A form of storytelling not commonly traversed by readers is digital storytelling. Digital stories are short films that feature still photos, audio, videos, and usually a voiceover narration. They are usually easy and inexpensive to make and are done to convey a passionate message. Seeing Differently by Sarita Daftary is one of a few digital stories made to present East New York Farms! Project (ENYF!), a project addressing “food justice” in a local community (ENYF!). Daftary describes the potential and “human survival” that Daftary saw and how she watched a whole neighbourhood flourish by working together to build a sustainable and economical community garden. StoryCenter, the heart of most digital stories, helped facilitated the making of Seeing Differently and has supported more than 20,000 digital stories like it (StoryCenter).
Compared to branded contents, which are aimed to perfectly hook and reel in their target audience, we get the heartfelt emotions of a short, sincere video made for the only purpose of inciting empathy. Although the message reaches less people, and is unlikely to reach a target audience because of a lack of marketing, the feelings induced are much stronger and effective. The viewers observe the low budget and aesthetic quality of the digital story and know that they can trust the story being told and where it came from.
The beauty of digital story telling (and also the short-fall) is that it doesn’t need to be published to be reached by the public. With the convenience of the internet, thousands of digital stories can be made accessible without paying a buck. Regrettably, this also means that the message is seen by less people and that the obviously amateurish videos can deter much of the audience. This is unfortunate because many of the digital stories contain valuable, unheard anecdotes that demand to be listened to.
“About StoryCenter.” STORYCENTER. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2016.
“Who Are We.” East New York Farms! N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2016.