Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oral History and New Media

We're going to tackle Oral History next. Be sure to read the handout called "Making It Through Hard Times." This chronicles some of the WPA Interviews of the 1930's. Then, take a spin around the web to these sites.

Story Corps is an NPR project. All audio files. To my mind, this is new media at its very best. Do read about the project, and listen to five or six interviews. They're only about 3-4 minutes each.

Our friend Stephen Elliott has written an series of interviews called An Oral History of Me.
Basically, he interviews his friends about how they remember him as a teenager. Give some of them a read.

A Day in the Life of a Bike Courier is a terrific article about the San Francisco hills, streets, and bike lanes. This is one of my favorite articles on the web.

This is a defunct blog, but it was by a public defender, overwhelmed by her caseload. It's a smart look inside a stressful career.

From the McSweeney's archives. Interviews with people who have interesting or unusual jobs,

So, we've got audio files, personal narratives, second person oral histories, blogs, and short interviews. There are lots of other ways to feature Oral History on the web. Your assignment for next week:

1. Complete the readings.
2. Post three Oral History sites that you find interesting on the What's New Media Wiki. Include a short description and links for each.
3. Write your own Oral History. This can be about yourself, someone you know, or a total stranger. The key: use elements of new media to tell this story. Use links, audio or video files, flash, photographs, or whatever you deem fit. Post this on a site of your own making (Google pages or our class wiki if you like), and then link to it with your name in the next post.

We're looking forward to next class.

-- Tom and Adam

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