Digital Story Critique 3: Bread

For my third digital story, I selected Bread. Bread is an interactive story that ties the lives of 6 women together through the common element of making bread. When you get into the meat of the site, you can select the story that you want to hear. Each story is a video of the woman being portrayed making bread, with a voice over of her telling her story. There is also a link on that person’s story page to her bread recipe. I selected this particular digital story because it ties well into my focus on telling my story through my community. While the primary form of media in this story is video, the aspect of people being tied together through a common thread is inline with my idea of sharing my community story through photography.

To critique this digital story, I chose the following criteria from Jason Ohler’s Digital Storytelling Assessments page: Media Development Process, Originality, and Presentation & Performance.

Digital Story Evaluation Criteria
 Media Incorporation How well did the author incorporate various media in the presentation? 10
Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the author exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? 10
Presentation & Performance How effective was the actual presentation or performance? 8
Total 28

I gave this creator a 28/30 because I felt she did very well in all three.

Media Incorporation – The author choice video and voice as his primary mechanism for delivering the content. This worked really well. In each of the individual stories, he showed the subject making bread in her traditional fashion, then you got to experience her story through her own voice and her own words.

Originality, Creativity, Voice – I thought the author was very original and very creative. He was able to tell 6 individual stories but tie them together over the process of making bread. And while each bread recipe was different, the idea behind it was similar. The voice was also refreshing. I liked how each story was a video of the subject making bread, but then you heard the subject’s voice, telling her story. Usually about where she was born, how she was raised, and her tie to the kitchen and bread making.

Presentation & Performance – The overall presentation and performance of this digital story was very effective. As the viewer, I was totally drawn into the story and enjoyed listening to each of the women tell their tale. There were two components about this digital story that I did not like. First, the intro was too long. You have to sit on the page while a measuring cup slowly fills up with flour, but during this time, there is nothing else happening. Second, there is not a good wrap up. You get through the intro and are then taken to a page where you can select the story you want to listen too. After you watch the story, you can go back to that page, and there is a marker showing which stories you have viewed. However, once you get through all six of the stories, there is nothing else. I would have like there to be something that made the presentation a little more cohesive.

Over all, I thought this was a great presentation and I enjoyed both the manner in which the stories were presented and the stories themselves. I thought the author did a great job of finding a unique way to tie together what might have been disparate tales (each of the women were born into different cultures).

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