Everyday storytelling : supporting the mediated expression of online personal testimony ; Everyday Mediated Storytelling

by Aisling Geraldine Mary Kelliher

Institution: MIT
Department: Architecture. Program In Media Arts and Sciences
Degree: PhD
Year: 2007
Keywords: Architecture. Program In Media Arts and Sciences
Record ID: 1811192
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/38694


Personal stories make our experiences memorable over time. Transforming our fragmentary memories into shareable narratives helps us to understand and communicate who we are as individual and social beings. This thesis presents 'Everyday Mediated Storytelling', a model of the casual storyteller's process of capturing, creating and sharing personal mediated narratives. The purpose of this model is to better support rich-media storytelling through systems that enable storytellers to engage with personal media in a reflective, meaningful and shareable process. Based on the Everyday Mediated Storytelling model, an online authoring and publishing application for creating everyday rich-media narratives named 'Confectionary' was developed. Confectionary provides the storyteller with a spatial storytelling environment that encourages creativity and experimentation, supports a wide variety of storymaking styles, provides novel wayfinding strategies for story discovery and enables the audience to actively and broadly interpret personal rich-media stories. As a spatial storytelling environment, Confectionary reduces cognitive overload on the storyteller by making it easy to begin authoring, supports a wide variety of storymaking strategies and styles and enables the audience to engage in reflective dialogs through multiple active feedback modes. Results from a comparative evaluation with other current best practice within the context of online media and story sharing applications indicate that a spatial authoring and publishing application is more enjoyable to use, better facilitates the process of beginning to tell stories and is easier to navigate and explore. Quantitative and qualitative results from a lengthy study with a group of committed users signify the success of the system as an engaging everyday tool for personal storytelling that stimulated self-reflection and broadened the scope of media capture techniques and storytelling strategies demonstrated by its users. Critical lessons were learned about methodology and system design for rich-media personal storytelling. The model, methodology, and system presented in this thesis provide a basis for understanding how we move fluidly between our direct experiences, our cognitive and emotional reflections and our storied representations and interpretations. This thesis also demonstrates how a spatial everyday authoring and publishing application advances the digital storytelling process from one of collective anthology to one of storied reflection.