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Let Me Tell You a Story: WordPress as a Storytelling Tool

Let Me Tell You a Story: WordPress as a Storytelling Tool

Online storytelling continues to evolve, with more complex and engaging forms appearing almost daily. What began as long-form online news articles has branched off in diverse directions, from websites that expand the universe of an upcoming Hollywood movie, to a loose fabric of apps and sites that together reinterpret a classic Victorian novel.

This session explored the boom in online storytelling and examined how both developers and users are leveraging WordPress to uniquely support such storytelling. The discussion touched on such WordPress solutions as the Aesop Story Engine plugin and themes such as Storyteller, Longform, Radcliffe and Editor.

This session originally was presented by Kevin A. Barnes at WordCamp Milwaukee 2015 on July 26, 2015.

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Kevin A. Barnes

July 26, 2015
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Transcript

  1. “LET ME TELL YOU A STORY” WORDPRESS AS A STORYTELLING

    TOOL KEVIN A. BARNES WORDCAMP MKE — SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2015
  2. STEAL MY SLIDES Presentation at: http://kevv.co/wcmke15/

  3. WHO AM I? Storytelling: •  Published short story author • 

    Webmaster for Ex Fabula (storytelling nonprofit) •  Grassroots ARG writer
  4. WHO AM I? Website / WordPress Experience: •  Hand-coded my

    first website (for fun) in 1995 •  Created my first website using WordPress in 2004 •  Responsible for website development at Milwaukee marketing agency Creatonomy from 2006 to 2011 •  Currently Director of Web Design & Development at the Orion Group
  5. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  6. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  7. STORYTELLING “(T)he main function of the human brain, the primary

    instinct, is storytelling.” — Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse, as well as the director of two Avengers movies July 11, 2015
  8. STORYTELLING “The conveying of events in words, and images, often

    by improvisation or embellishment.” * For the purposes of this presentation, we are using a wide definition of ‘storytelling’ which includes both fictional and nonfictional narratives.
  9. A BRIEF HISTORY OF STORYTELLING

  10. A BRIEF HISTORY OF STORYTELLING Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

    Corporation Photo courtesy of Apple Inc.
  11. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE STORYTELLING

  12. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE STORYTELLING Some Current Methods for

    Online Storytelling: •  Traditional applications of Text / Images / Video / Audio •  Infographics •  Long-Form Journalism •  Animation / Animated Interaction •  ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) •  Transmedia Storytelling
  13. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE STORYTELLING Envelope-Pushing Examples — The

    Lizzie Bennet Diaries: •  Multi-platform reimagining of Pride and Prejudice •  Told story using online video diaries, character social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest) More Info: http://www.pemberleydigital.com/the-lizzie-bennet-diaries/
  14. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE STORYTELLING Envelope-Pushing Examples — “What

    Is Code”: •  Long-form article by Paul Ford on Bloomberg.com in June More Info: http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-ford-what-is-code/
  15. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONLINE STORYTELLING Envelope-Pushing Examples — BBC’s

    Sherlock: •  “Universe Building” with multiple in-story websites More Info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/ 4yTrVL4srk48mKs8bhK4TvM/other-sherlock-related-websites Photo courtesy of British Broadcasting Corporation
  16. WORDPRESS FOR STORYTELLING So what makes WordPress such a good

    choice for this? •  Cost •  Support •  Scalable •  Easy to Use (plus high adoption rates) •  Easy to Maintain •  SEO Friendly •  Accessibility •  Powerful Themes and Plugins already exist for Storytelling •  Customizable
  17. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  18. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Download: http://wordpress.org/plugins/aesop-story-engine/ Showcase / Demos:

    http://aesopstoryengine.com/showcase/
  19. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Features: •  13 unique, customizable

    story components
  20. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Features: •  13 unique, customizable

    story components •  Quick Start Guide
  21. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Features: •  13 unique, customizable

    story components •  Quick Start Guide •  Developer Portal
  22. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Features: •  13 unique, customizable

    story components •  Quick Start Guide •  Developer Portal •  Aesop Themes and Add-Ons (Premium)
  23. AESOP STORY ENGINE (WORDPRESS PLUGIN) Demo Website: http://tomorrowsage.com/

  24. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  25. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Longform (by Cohhe): Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/longform/ Demo: http://cohhe.com/project-view/longform/

  26. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Longform (by Cohhe): •  Works “out-of-the-box” with

    Aesop Story Engine •  Extensive documentation (for developers) •  Lots of built-in advanced options •  Responsive and Retina-ready •  Multilingual/Translation-ready Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/longform/ Demo: http://cohhe.com/project-view/longform/
  27. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Storyteller (by Katharina Bruner): Download: https://github.com/cutterkom/storyteller Demo:

    http://storyteller.katharinabrunner.de/demo
  28. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Storyteller (by Katharina Bruner): •  Open source

    theme designed for journalists •  Easily build multimedia stories (based on images or video) •  Allows customization well beyond a traditional theme •  Responsive and Retina-ready Download: https://github.com/cutterkom/storyteller Demo: http://storyteller.katharinabrunner.de/demo
  29. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Radcliffe (by Anders Norén): Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/radcliffe Demo:

    http://www.andersnoren.se/themes/radcliffe/
  30. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Radcliffe (by Anders Norén): •  Focus on

    content •  Full-screen photography •  Solid typography •  Responsive and Retina-ready •  Extensive theme customization options Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/radcliffe Demo: http://www.andersnoren.se/themes/radcliffe/
  31. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Editor (by Array HQ): Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/editor Demo:

    https://arraythemes.com/themes/editor-wordpress-theme/
  32. WORDPRESS STORYTELLING THEMES Editor (by Array HQ): •  Responsive • 

    Emphasis on typography •  Extensive theme customization options •  Translation-ready Download: https://wordpress.org/themes/editor Demo: https://arraythemes.com/themes/editor-wordpress-theme/
  33. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  34. QUESTIONS? Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.

  35. QUESTIONS? Contact Kevin: •  Website http://www.kevinabarnes.com/ •  Email connections@kevinabarnes.com • 

    Twitter @KevinABarnes •  Download These Slides http://kevv.co/wcmke15/ •  Let’s Talk Live at WordCamp MKE: I’m around for the remainder of today — catch me between sessions.
  36. AGENDA A Brief History of Online Storytelling Aesop Story Engine

    (WordPress Plugin) Select WordPress Themes Designed for Storytelling Q & A Appendix: Resources
  37. RESOURCES A Small Sampling of Websites using WordPress for Storytelling

    (nonfiction): •  The Big Roundtable (uses Aesop Story Engine) http://www.thebigroundtable.com/ •  7pathways (uses Aesop Story Engine) http://7pathways.net/ •  Epic Magazine http://epicmagazine.com/ •  n+1 Magazine https://nplusonemag.com/
  38. RESOURCES A Small Sampling of Websites using WordPress for Storytelling

    (fiction): •  To Sail Black Seas of Infinity (uses Aesop Story Engine) http://heathkennings.com/storyteller/ •  Liquid Imagination http://liquidimagination.silverpen.org/
  39. RESOURCES Learn More About other Websites: •  Is It WordPress?

    http://www.isitwp.com/ •  BuiltWith Technology Lookup http://builtwith.com/ •  WordPress Theme/Plugin Detector http://www.wpthemedetector.com/
  40. RESOURCES Storytelling Sites and Resources: •  National Storytelling Network http://www.storynet.org/

    •  TED Talks on Storytelling https://www.ted.com/topics/storytelling •  Center for Digital Storytelling http://storycenter.org/ •  Ex Fabula (Milwaukee storytelling organization) http://www.exfabula.com/ (built on WordPress) •  The Stanford Storytelling Project http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/ index.php
  41. RESOURCES Some Blogs that cover Storytelling: •  “Telling the Story”

    blog http://tellingthestoryblog.com/ (built on WordPress) •  Online Journalism Blog http://onlinejournalismblog.com/ (built on WordPress) •  Beyond Bylines http://mediablog.prnewswire.com/ (built on WordPress)
  42. RESOURCES Contact Kevin: •  Website http://www.kevinabarnes.com/ •  Email connections@kevinabarnes.com • 

    Twitter @KevinABarnes •  Download These Slides http://kevv.co/wcmke15/ •  Let’s Talk Live at WordCamp MKE: I’m around for the remainder of today — catch me between sessions.