Discover more from Nuanced Narratives
10/ Persepolis, archiving and interactive storydoing
Incredible interviews and effectiveness-informed authoring.
Welcome to the 10th issue of Nuanced Narratives!
I’ll start by announcing that we’ll be releasing new features on the website next month:
Archiving. We’re working with Webrecorder to manually archive all past posts and begin automatically storing archive files for each of the websites we curate.
Engagement and effectiveness tracking : we’ll be using a combination of homemade tools with data from sources (when willing) to measure and display effectiveness and engagement on the articles.
This will contribute to measuring and safekeeping interactive and visual articles, helping us better understand effective authoring on the web.
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This month's visual spotlight is awarded to Persepolis by MediaMonks. Remarkable use of 3D with scrollytelling to reimagine and give life to the historic city. The camera moves along a pre-defined path in an author-guided narrative with details-on-demand for the curious reader.
Two special mentions for this issue.
Neal Agarwal - the Space Elevator, Neal’s experiments are simply fantastic.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Burton, who heads up interactive at the BBC. Tom’s been a source of inspiration for the past decade, needless to say I was grateful for the enlightening discussion. Here’s a couple takeaways:
We should avoid direct translations of linear content. We're natural storytellers, but with interactivity, there's another parallel story – that of the user. It's important to consider their perspective and the different psychology and grammar at play. Storydoing not Storytelling.
Traditional storytelling methods like cinema and film can have a greater reach and effectiveness. Because they’re grammar and passivity suits the emotional journey you want to take an audience on. However, interactivity can offer presence, agency, and choices, which can have a deeper impact on the audience.
It's important to understand that when interacting with something, you enter a different mental state or behavioural space compared to consuming content more passively. There’s a term called Ludo Narrative Dissonance that captures this challenge.
You can read the full interview here.
I also had a wonderful conversation with Russell Samora from The Pudding (everyone’s favourite source for interactive essays) to learn more about their approach. Here’s a quick excerpt on personalisation.
Next month I’ll be releasing a first draft of a long research and interview consolidation project, looking at visual encoding and best practices for effective-informed authoring.
Interactive video on Vimeo (interactive interviews made simpler?)
This incredible Minecraft project by Reporters without Borders