Nuzzle: A Social News Reader

Most of the time when we are using social media to engage with family, friends and followers, we don’t really want news stories or articles in general mixed in there. There are other times however, that we would just like to see those stories without other interactions intermingled. We have discovered an App for that! Meet Nuzzle, the social news reader.

 

Nuzzle

 

Nuzzle provides a clean layout of news from your friends and people you follow on Facebook and Twitter. What you see then are blog posts and articles only, without any status updates. An ‘options’ tab provides you with the following viewing options :

  • News From Your Friends
  • News From Friends of Friends
  • News You May Have Missed
  • Recently Read Stories
  • Your Custom Feeds (lists you have made within Twitter)
  • Featured Feeds

You are also able to build a network within Nuzzle by finding and following friends within the App. If you select to receive it, Nuzzle will send you a daily digest to your email highlighting top stories! To make your own social sharing easier, Buffer, Pocket and Instapaper can be signed into on the App so you can share right from a story as you read it, or save it to be read later allowing you to enjoy the read without an internet connection.

This is a free App that offers a de-cluttered experience, which is always appreciated!

 

Merging Media 2011

Two principles that Ahimsa Media has been built upon are education and the sharing of ideas and collaborating with others.  This is what we did back in the day with Megan Cole and Bridging Media to encourage the conversation between technology, digital media and traditional media.  When Megan and I got busy on other projects, I am glad that others picked up where we left off with the conversation.  Most notable of these is Vancouver’s Merging Media Conference, which I have had the honour of sitting on the Advisory Board for the past two years.

No Conference is ever perfect, but this one rates highly in my books, because it encourages a conversation with media makers and technologists from a number of different sectors, including traditional media, emerging media, social media and gaming; and it invites in a number of different voices and opinions from around North America. On top of that, Merging Media provides the opportunity for people to connect through networking events, B2B meetings, and a Master’s Class. For me these are the key ingredients to evolving our ideas and creating the future of media.  It is thanks to events, like this, that we have built a valuable network of colleagues, partners, contractors and friends over the years.

Can Convergent Roulette at Merging Media 2010, photographed by Liz Kearsley.

Merging Media 2011 takes place in Vancouver this week – Thursday October 27th & Friday October 28th – and it is not too late to take part.  You can still sign up.

Some of the highlights:

  • An impressive list of speakers (I’d mention them all, but there are a lot of them, including many that I adore and love listening to) on some interesting topics, including gaming, monetizing, technology, traditional media in an interactive landscape …etc.
  • International B2B (Business to Business) Sessions
  • The VEDC Innovation Gallery where our BC Technology companies will be demoing their latest ‘Tools of Engagement’.

I am also pleased to share that we will be pitching our latest project with Emme Rogers and friends, Roamancing, as a part of the Pitch 360. This is not only a project that we are having a lot of fun with, but that truly reflects the nature of this events, as it combines the efforts and creativity of a number of people world-wide from traditional media, emerging media, social media and gaming.

Hope to see you at Merging Media this week!

Erica

New Courses for the New Year

We are pleased to be ringing in the New Year with two new Interactive Storytelling Courses for Professionals at BCIT and Capilano University.

Photo Courtesy of John Biehler

The focus of both these courses are to inspire the participants to use digital tools, such as social media, to make your online communications more engaging, build community and to learn to use storytelling elements to impart information, whether about yourself, a brand or a more traditional story, such as a novel or a television series.  We will look at the new world of transmedia storytelling and will explore the development of digital media strategies around your properties. The courses are hands-on and the goal is for participants to choose a project to focus on and build over the 8 – 10 weeks.

A review from a past student:

“Erica has the gift of making a very “technological” subject accessible and understandable for everyone… even those who are not quite up to speed yet with all the ins and outs of Social Media. Her wealth of examples and stories infuse what could be an overwhelming topic with a sense of normality and fun. Her willingness to go above and beyond when it comes to encouraging the learning process, creativity and support is highly appreciated and mark her as a very generous educator.” ~ Ina Stockhausen,  April 5, 2010

Winter 2011 Interactive Storytelling Courses:

Audiences today want to access media from multiple platforms: online, offline and on the go. Learn the art of interactive storytelling and learn how to use the tools, such as Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, podcasting and blogging, to tell your stories.

  • 10 Wednesday Evenings, January 12 – March 16
  • 6:30 – 10:00 pm
  • Instructor: Erica Hargreave
  • 3 Credits
  • Burnaby Campus
  • CRN: 77465
  • $349.30
  • Interactive Storytelling (A Capilano University Continuing Studies Course)

The face of media is rapidly changing. Join traditional and digital storyteller, Erica Hargreave, as she introduces you to the art of interactive storytelling and how to use tools such as Twitter, WordPress, Flicker, YouTube, Facebook, podcasting and blogging to tell your stories. Audiences want to access media from multiple platforms: online, offline and on the go. More and more audiences are demanding the ability to interact within the story, and with the characters and authors. The collective “voice” of media is changing, audiences desire a much more personal tone in what they read and interact with. This personal tone and voice extends beyond the story to the corporate brand as well. Audiences want the story behind the story, to feel that they are part of the story, the creators and the brand itself.

  • 8 Tuesday Evenings, January 25 – March 15
  • 6:30 – 9:30 pm
  • Instructor: Erica Hargreave
  • North Vancouver Campus
  • CRN: 10047
  • $329

The Vancouver Sun asks: Can Technology Improve Literacy Skills?

Last week The Vancouver Sun‘s digital life writer Gillian Shaw approached Erica Hargreave to discuss the effect technology is having on literacy skills.  An issue often discussed in the Ahimsa Media office and, it would seem, many other offices too. Gillian’s article went to press on Saturday, and it was fascinating to read the full analysis, and hear other opinions.

Gillian discusses the use of technology in our schools and the changing face of learning at home.  Many, myself included, were initially fearful, of social media’s growth, particularly amongst children and teens.  Spelling seemed to go out the window, closely followed by sentence structure and even sentences themselves.  But Erica makes a great point about twitter’s 140 character rule: “with young people having to tighten up what they say, they are learning to write very precisely, to focus on what they want to say.”

Another educational tool which I had not previously considered is the ipad, Gillian writes:  “Today’s preschoolers can read books on an iPad that brings the touch features of a traditional print book: they can flip pages and read it sitting on their laps in the back seat of the car, not only at a desktop or laptop computer. The digital version also brings enhancements, from Alice literally tumbling down the rabbit hole on the screen in Alice in Wonderland to books that read aloud and let children take part in the story creation and other features.”

Photo by Tim Bishop for Weber Shandwick Worldwide

One of the reasons we, at Ahimsa Media, love technology is the ease with which it allows us to interact with ease, and The Vancouver Sun piece reflected this.  Less than a day after publication, an email popped into our inbox, from retired news reporter Alexander Young.  He had just read the article and found us through it.  It was timely as he has recently taken his first step into personal publication by beginning a blog, and he too has been pondering the issue of literacy.

He said: “As far as faulty spelling and grammar may be concerned, the point is whether the viewers of the writer can be understood. Take a look at usage in e-mail and facebook and twitter. It’s a fright if you insist on perfect spelling and grammar. But that, as I see it, is mainly because the people, especially the younger generations, who use those avenues of expression are in a hurry, they have little time for worrying about  typos and grammatical niceties, and they comfortably use multitudes of abbreviations and graphic symbols. So cut them a little slack.”

So, as Gillian concludes that if technology is used correctly it can improve literacy.  Please enjoy the full article here: Can technology improve literacy skills? Yes, if done right.

And in true interactive style we want to hear from you, do you agree or disagree?

A New Classroom & Course for the New Year

Leerlingen van lagere scholen volgen op demonstratieve wijze een les op het Binnenhof / Primary school pupils stage a learn-in outside the Dutch Parliament

Photo from The Hague’s Nationaal Archief

I’m excited to be embarking on a new educational adventure this year! My new classroom will be in the Broadcast Communication Program at BCIT and the Continuing Studies Department at Capilano University.  At both schools I will be teaching Interactive Storytelling.  Not completely sure, but I do think these are two of the first Interactive Storytelling Courses at Post Secondary Institutions in Canada.

So what is Interactive Storytelling?

I define Interactive Storytelling, as storytelling across platforms of media, some of which are interactive, allowing the audience to interact with the story itself, if they so choose.

For the purposes of these classes, whilst we will be looking at examples of other forms of interactivity, such as ARGs and Gaming, the focus of the class will be on using different forms of social media (such as blogs, twitter, facebook, blip.fm, flickr, podcasting..etc) to make traditional stories (such as novels, films, tv, articles, radio, plays, brands …etc) more interactive. Through the course of the class, the participants will use these social media tools to build an interactive component to a project of their own.  This can be a project that they have developed in the past, are currently working on or are just using as a tool to experiment with telling stories interactively.

Who is this course for?

Anybody who has a story to tell, whether it is that of a place, a brand, a novel, a play or a film or TV series.

Here are the details on the two courses:

 

Capilano University

  • Course Code: CRN 10020 – Interactive Storytelling
  • 6 week course
  • Tuesday Nights from 18:30 – 21:30 (6:30 – 9:30 pm)
  • North Shore Campus
  • March 2, 2010 – April 6, 2010
  • This is a non-credited course through Continuing Studies.

 

BCIT

  • Course Code: BCST 1073 – Interactive Storytelling
  • 10 – 12 week course
  • 3 – 3 1/2 hours a week
  • Course Date Pending: Either April or September
  • This is a credited course through the Broadcast Communications Program, but don’t let that scare you off, as it is open to the public and you do not have to be a full time student to take it.

Also stay tuned for an Interactive Storytelling Course for Youth during the Spring Break with the Delta School District!

Back to School With Kontent

Summer is winding down, and with it my days of zaniness.  Time to buckle down to more serious matters, like interactive storytelling!

Excited to be a part of Kontent Creative’s Summer School with a workshop on Interactive Brand Storytelling:

Creating Interactive Brand Stories

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 7pm – 9pm

No matter how many new technologies and forms of media we invent, the most powerful form of communication will always be the most ancient, the art of storytelling.  The beauty of these new technologies and forms of media is that they are vehicles for stories that allow us to tell them in new ways and spread them to new audiences. They also allow our audience to interact within the story itself, allowing them to feel a part of it.

Often we think of stories as medium strictly for entertainment sake.  The reality is that we are all storytellers, telling our own stories, that of a company or a brand, or those of the culture in which we live.  The trick is recognizing what our story is and learning how best to tell it.

In this workshop, we look at examples of brand storytelling, identify what others stories are and how they are using the online space and social media to tell their brand’s story and engage with their audience.  Just like the stories online, this workshop will be interactive and we will be doing some story building of our own.

Click here to register.

So what do you think –  should I go with my summer look:

…or move on to the autumn wardrobe?

Delta School District = a Social Media History Maker

Cross-post from DSD Youth Activities

Pretty impressed with the forward thinking of the Delta School District, as as far I am aware they will be one of the first school districts in Canada to fully embrace social media this summer, by actually offering students a course in it.

That’s right, the Delta School District is having me teach two mini-courses this summer on ‘Blogging and Storytelling’ and I’m pretty gosh, darn excited about it.  I love Interactive Storytelling (which is a part of what using social media tools to tell story is), I love to share knowledge (especially that which excites me) and I love working with young people and seeing them get excited about learning.

So details on the classes?  Here they are:

BLOGGING – STORYTELLING RESPONSIBLY & SAFELY (ages 10 – 15)

If our youth are going to blog, tweet or fire up flickr photos – on the new information highways – then might it be wise to teach them to do it in both a socially responsible and personally safe fashion?  Join media arts specialist and Delta teacher Erica Hargreave as she helps students create their stories and characters online in a safe and responsible manner.  This week of storytelling explores the use of social media tools which are becoming more and more a part of their lives.  And of course … don’t forget your digital camera!

Fee: $70

ID 8153     July 6 -10      9:00 – 11:00 am    Seaquam Secondary

ID 8154     July 13 – 17   1:00 – 3:00 pm      Delta Secondary

Nervous about your child learning how to use social media?  Well, I hate to say it, but it is just like sex.  You can hide it from them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to experiment on their own.  By showing young people the cool things they can do with social media and storytelling, we can encourage them to be safe, show them how to be safe and how to use the tools responsibly.  I also might add, that it is the knowledge of how to use these tools safely and responsibly that a lot of businesses are looking to young people for guidance, opening those that know how to do this to a lot of opportunity.

Hope to see you and your young storytellers this summer!

Chicks Who Click Hit Vancouver!!!

A few of you have been asking about Tris Hussey’s and my upcoming workshops and where you can sign up.  Those are still on the horizon, but in the mean time there is another exciting event coming to town where you can learn the ins and outs of utilizing social media in your storytelling and other aspects of your business and personal life.  That’s right Chicks Who Click are coming to town on June 26th and 27th.

What’s that you ask?

Chicks who Click is an initiative born in Colorado thats designed to bring dynamic women together with minds that are creative, connected and looking to collaborate and be the best in their fields with social media.

Does that mean that you need to be a leader in social media to attend?

Absolutely not.  The event is designed to foster women starting to utilize Social Media and provide those already using  Social Media with growth opportunities.

So should you come and will you gain from the experience?

Absolutely.

For those of you curious to learn more, here’s what the event looks like:

Friday, June 26, 2009

2:30-4:30
101 Track-“We are Living in a Digital World and I’m Just an Analog Girl”-Doyle Albee 

5:00 p.m.
Chicks who Mix:
Tweet-up at the Alibi Room

Saturday, June 27, 2009

8:00-8:30
Breakfast and Networking8:30-9:30
Via Livecast from Seattle-Monica Guzman, from the Seattle Post Intelligencer

9:45-10:45
“Twitter: Tweeting, Following & Finding” –Monica Hamburg

11:00-12:00
“Breaking the Glass Ceiling-Women in Tech Start-ups”-Megan Cole, Victoria Revay, Alexandra Samuel, moderated by Boris Mann

12:15-1:15
Lunch
Carrie McCarthy-Marketing your image-online and off.

1:30-2:30
Connecting Communities-Traditional Media and New Media”-Erica Hargreave

3:45-5:00
“Privacy vs Transparency-Where do you draw the line?”- Gillian Shaw, Rebecca Bolwitt, Erica Hargreave, Moderated by Doyle Albee5:30-?
Chicks who Mix Cocktail Party and Networking

That’s right I’m speaking at it along with a few other great gals in town.  I can’t tell you just how much I’m looking forward to this.  It should be a rather inspirational day!
Hope to see you lovely ladies there!

The Yorkton Film Festival Goes Interactive

Most excited to be heading off to the Yorkton Film Festival this week with Tris Hussey (from m2o)  and Emme Rogers.

The three of us, along with locals, Richard Gustin, Karen Brownlee, and Lee Robertson will be demoing Interactive Storytelling to the Festival by telling the Festivals story through tweets, snapping pics, blogging and possibly even shooting a bit of video.  Much of this is very new to both the film world and Saskatchewan, so we will be posting some basic how-to set-up various social media platform posts on Bridging Media.  We will also be talking a fair bit about characters on the web there.  We even did a podcast with @SookieBonTemps (the True Blood character Sookie Stackhouse on Twitter) that you should be able to find there later this week.  For the lighter side of the Festival (or as Emme likes to call them festivities) check out Emme’s posts on Being Emme.

Designed by Mitch Doll

Designed by Mitch Doll

The main highlight of the festival for us is the Interactive Storytelling Panel on Friday May 22 from 1:30 – 4 pm Saskatchewan time, 12:30 – 3 pm PST.  Very excited about this panel as it is all about what I am passionate about – Interactive Storytelling.  We will be talking about building stories and characters interactively with the audience,  using social media tools to effectively tell stories and further your projects, and discuss the future of media.  Joining me on the panel is Richard Gustin (former head storyteller at SCN), Gresham Bradley (Director of On-line Development at e-cast in New Zealand), and Peter Raymont (Executive Producer of the Border).  Emme is also insisting that she’s going to be making an appearance (apparently the lack of an invitation hasn’t dissuaded her) and Tris will be our in the audience online panelist driving the traffic and conversation online along with Lee Robertson and Karen Brownlee.  We are really hoping some of our social media savvy friends from Vancouver and elsewhere will jump into the online conversation during the panel – the tag is #yff09 – as we want to highlight the sort of talent out there that the producers and broadcasters in the room should be bringing on to their projects.  I know for sure that both @SookieBonTemps and @LordLikely are planning on hopping into the conversation.

Stay Tuned for more from Yorkton (mainly on Bridging Media, m2o, A View from the Isle and Being Emme)!

Launching Ahimsa Media 2.0

Welcome everyone to the new and improved Ahimsa Media!!

As many of you are aware, Ahimsa Media has been undergoing some changes over the past year and a half, shifting our focus from Traditional Broadcast and Video Production to New, Social and Emerging Media Storytelling and we are loving it!  In the busyness, it’s taken a while to update and rebuild the Ahimsa Media site to reflect our current focus and work, but here it is at long last!!!

So what are we up to these days?

Our main focus is on New, Emerging and Social Media Storytelling.

What does that mean?  Well, that we consult with Traditional Media (films, tv series, video, books, magazines, writers, directors, advertisers ..etc), Businesses and Corporations to help them tell their stories to the new and interactive Social Media space.  This involves building aspects of their stories online in an interactive manner or telling the behind the scenes story of the making of. An example of this would be Being Emme, one author’s adventures in the writing of her novels.  We also built the original Sexy In Van City (2008), helped with the online promotion of the Vancouver Theatrical Release of Mark Leiren-Young’s The Green Chain, and are currently consulting on menvent.

Being Emme

As an accompaniment to New, Emerging and Social Media Storytelling Consulting, we are also busy educating on New, Emerging and Social Media Storytelling.

Photo Taken by Invoke Media at WIFF New Media Day 2009

Educational Initiatives have included:

Upcoming educational initiatives include:

Aside from that, we are busy as always with a few Traditional Media Projects.  The current projects include:

  • writing the scripts and education packages for four BC Health related ESL Videos for ELSA Net
  • writing the educational package for the movie, The Green Chain
  • regularly contributing to Cloverleaf Country Magazine