After Snow Fall

4079094816_9740c4ef90_zThe title of this post reads like a first line of a Robert Frost poem.
However it is a link to my thinking after experiencing John Branch’s New York Times’ story, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.
A post by my son, Sam, moved me on. Sam used his experience to start transforming his About Me page. In it he has explored some of the tools that animated the Snow Fall story.
In his post, Sam observes:

Unsurprisingly, pretty early on I realised that engaging the user in the way the Times article engaged me, was pretty tricky. I persevered and through the use of Google Earth, HTML5 charts and a JQuery plugin called “Parralax” I was able to hopefully bring the page if not to life, then at least to semi-consciousness by amongst other things, making my photos move around, video that fades in and automatically plays when you scroll to a certain point.

In addition to the three tools listed, Sam used:

(I was particularly interested on the fourth item on this list and eventually it led me to David Walsh … and a one hour diversion reading about a remarkable developer.)
A link to today’s Cowbird story by Gemma Weiner brought me back from the world of code to narrative structures. I thought it was a delightful, expressive story … which encouraged me to think even more about the issues Sam discussed and David has explored in his work.
A link from #etmooc sent me off to a December 2012 post by Rachel McAthy. She lists fourteen visual storytelling tools: TimetoastDipity; Google Fusion Tables; Tableau; Datawrapper; Meograph; Storify; Storination; Popcorn; I am familiar with Storify and Cowbird but thist leaves me with twelve new learning experiences.
Other links from #etmooc (@robinwb) introduced me to seven collaborative websites for storytelling, free digital storytelling tools for nonprofits, myBrainshark, ShowMe and reintroduced me to Voicethread.
Just viewing these options was a powerful experience. Before I launch off to try all these I think I will seek out some good examples of use.
I am going to track #etmooc with great interest. Day 1 has taken me on from Snow Fall to a community that will introduce me to remarkable creativity.

Photo Credit

Herbert George Ponting and cinematograph (National library NZ, no known copyright restrictions)


  1. […] This week’s links have left me thinking about an idea I had back in 2005. I wondered at that time if I could become skilful enough to combine the insights offered by Edward Tufte and Usama Fayyad. More recently, I have been wondering if I could do that with the virtuosity that pervades Snow Fall. […]


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