If the bucket is already there – use it

NewImage.jpgI came into Mog Morgan’s break out at DS5 a little late and thought I’d stumbled into the wrong room. Mog was holding the audience with a description of the bucket to use for home brew; describing a strange ritual of “blessing the bucket” in his local pub somewhere in Wales. He went on to list the ingredients that would find their way into the bucket. His chaotic style of presentation made me suspect he’d already consumed the contents of another bucket over lunch! (Sorry Mog – I know you were sober)

The point – yes there was one – was that any old bucket will do for home brewing so long as it’s clean, and similarly you should use whatever is available to make digital stories. If the kit is there, use it – even if it’s a PC (backs away making the sign of the cross out of two fingers!)

But he had a point – Macsnobbery will prevent most people from joining in.

So we were introduced to the Free Sustainable DS Wort as the home brew analogy was stretched a little further. Apparently there are Freeware plugins for Windows Movie Maker for pans and zooms on Windows XP, and, despite the crashes, digital stories are being made successfully using this clunky software. Mog warned against using the “effects” in Movie Maker otherwise your digital story could resemble an Ultravox Music Video.

“If you plug your headphones into the microphone socket on your computer you can record your voice by speaking into the earpiece.” I discovered this trick when I was a schoolboy, but ditched it as a credible alternative to using a proper microphone after a very short time. It’s a method that made you crave “‘phone quality” for it’s fidelity. But the Free Digital Storytelling Wort would be free whatever the cost so to speak. It has to do what it says on the tin.

The session went on to reveal free websites, hosting, streaming and blogs. In brewing, time was an important factor – so it is with digital storytelling.

Then we played games with words. Using a random phrase generator we were invited to submit a 160 character SMS text to his blog, a restriction that demanded precise creativity. The random phrase in our case was “Jeremy Kyle – in a boat – doing karaoke”. Did we pass the test? The blog is here

I could go on – “be a tinkerer” he said, “… and take those times when you say ‘wouldn’t it be good if ….’ and make them work – it’ll only cost you time and hair!”