Well, there are lots of things but to start, they are a distinct art form. For those unfamiliar with the term digital storytelling the simplest way to describe it is a recorded personal story complimented by still images relevant to the person. The whole thing is enhanced by use of panning, zooming, transitions and so on. It can be described as quite a simple work in terms of production values, but that is to miss the point of the concept.
Digital stories can be simple in their creation, deliberately so, as this makes the form much more accessible. There is no point in introducing highly technical procedures if all this manages to do is alienate the participant. The confusion about the technical simplicity around digital stories often comes from a lack of understanding that the process is often as important, if not more important, than the finished product. That is not to say that it is wrong or incorrect to make a story that is as polished and professional as possible but the participant should have the final editorial decision over what is and what isn’t included. That is the significant difference between a digital story and those supposed real life documentary stories, which dominate our TV screens.
Not everyone ‘gets’ the concept of digital storytelling, especially in this age of high tech, 3D, immersive experiences, but when you do, when you allow the stories to infiltrate your heart it all makes sense. And here is one we made earlier that explains it much better than I ever could!by