Firstly, Adele took us through her experiences of using Box of Broadcasts to locate footage and recordings…

  • It’s a useful tool for exploring content, filtering through metadata, creating playlists of interesting material and using transcripts to locate segments within video or audio.
  • We wondered how integrating the means to explore archives should be within Pararchive. Perhaps an export feature to pull out timecodes, metadata and generate links or embed code is a good starting request to the BBC.
  • Adele tried to embed clips within Facebook using various share options in BoB, but we found this required authentication; essentially, we’ll need the ability to export media and metadata for use in editing apps, embed authentication credential in embed and link code… more questions for the BBC.

The latter half of the meetup, Adele and I thought it’d be useful to run through the platform so far, so I pulled out the segment from my Cardiff talk that explained how Tom, Dean and arrived at the notion of storyblocks and some of the design treatments they’d been exploring with the prototype and reading interfaces; particularly focussing on how tapestries of connected stories would emerge.

We talked about how a number of ways Bokeh Yeah members could use blocks…

  • Exploring archives and stories to find source material and perhaps roughing out narrative structures.
  • Documentaries created by the group could be published as blocks and artefacts to be used in other Pararchive stories… the “source code” of a documentary.
  • The platform could be used to create “behind the scenes” Pararchive stories showing the artefacts, places, people, essentially sharing the research used in the creation of a documentary, but not necessarily used in the final footage.

I also showed Cowbird as an example of connected stories and where media can be orchestrated into simple narratives, but also how community values and tone define the experience, more so than features, notably the Pine Ridge community storytelling project.

Before we left, one of the members showed us Popplet – a really interesting example of a web-based mind-mapping tool that reveals to us some clues on how a storyblocks creation interface may work.

As always, the Bokeh Yeah! group stimulates some useful, provocative and collegiate discussion… and they’re a lot of fun to hang out with. Also, the couscous was awesome!