We buy/get music for many reasons, to enjoy it, but for many people (I hope) there is an interest in knowing more about the musicians, the meaning of songs -hence the liner notes that used to be part of the LP or CD package.
I am reading now Bob Dylan in America and caught note that the author worked for years as the creator of liner notes for Dylan’s music and website, and even was nominated for a Grammy for his work (an award for liner notes? there is recognition for the music meta data?)
Likewise, a movie on a DVD is certainly what we buy/rent/borrow it for, but to me, there is a ton more worth learning from the extras–
— where through commentary, “making of” shorts, interviews, out-takes, deleted scenes, we get a whole rich layer of meta about the feature.
With the dying out of the packaged form of media- the place for the context around them is going to be the web.
And this brings me to a few observations seeing the flow of blogging going in among the students and far flung remote participants of Jim Groom’s Digital Storytelling course at http://ds106.us — this is by non means a criticism, and is more of my own take on blogging about our work.
A lot of people are proud to show their work- as they should be– but a lot of times they just plop the media in a post and say, “Here is my _______ for assignment ________ on ____________”. It’s great to see the video or animation or graphic bit of storytelling, but that is really not the whole story — there is always more of a story behind the story- how it was made, what the inspiration was, what the person who created had in mind, what their own commentary on it.
For example (and again not picking on him) Jacob posted this beautiful graphic he did called “Davinci’s Power Outlet” — it looks for all intent, like one of Leonardo’s notebooks, with a mouse on some sort of treadmill generator. Check it out http://blog.laughingllama.info/?p=129. He has since added some more written parts to his post, but when I went there at first, I had no idea if he montaged it in PhotoShop (thats about all I could do) or drew it himself (actually it was the latter, which makes it that more impressive).
But without any context, without any story behind the story, we miss out learning about the craft that went into it. But even more so, you as the creator of the story, are missing out on a chance to really show your own thinking out loud, your ideas, etc.
So when you post some piece of media for one of these projects (or any one), I certainly hope that you can tell more fo the story behind the story– to me, provide the context to your work. It’s not just for your audience, it is for yourself.
Believe me, when you labor hours over getting the perfect sync for your animated GIF or lavish effort to find the font to make the movie poster jump out– in the moment or near after, you can remember all of the ideas and things that went into creating it. In a few months, the details will get blurry, and in a year or more you might barely remember it. Do yourself a favor, and archive it for your own reference (and us too!)
Thanks, from a meta information freak.
Featured image: Diamond Dave Whittaker looking at No Direction Home liner notes flickr photo by Steve Rhodes shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license