Uh oh, the people in my session are just tuned into their devices.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Awesome, that is what I wanted, my session was billed as a BYOT one. This represented the new plan I hope to have for the content I collected last year during my travels. I first thought when I got back, I would turn all the content back to the open… but one person in particular clued me into the thiung that made the content special was that is was NOT on the internet.

The “slides” for my talk are actually all housed on the StoryBox (it is a series of images and a jQuery slideshow gizmo) but I put a copy online as well. I also broadcasted it to ds106 radio and have an archive (hey @mgershovich, Always Be Archiving!)

Create Something from the Storybox presentation

Besides referencing my original video for the call to participate

I was happy to have a new video by Noise Professor where he explained his ideas for I Left This Pirate Box Here For You To Read

I find the whole PB concept to be entirely fascinating, both for its potential as an expression of the copyleft impulse, and from the perspective of culture jamming, but also as great example of an ephemeral phenomenon. A secret, hidden-in-plain-sight (from a network perspective, if not necessarily a physical one), and fleeting besides.

But the real goal for the session was to have people upload stuff (I tracked at least 31 new pieces of media), as well as asked them to download it and produce something new, or remixed from the content.

This is my new concept- the raw material stays on the StoryBox, so the only way to acces it is to be in its vicinity, but I am encouraging people to build stuff out of it and release it on the open web.

I made a few examples on the plan ride down, the bigges was a video made from photos shared from the New York City Occupy movement (shared by Michael Branson Smith) and my own photos/audio from seeing Occupy activity in Toronto and Asheville (NC), and a few more photos in the box of men in suits and police. But the real gem was an original song composed and performed by Mike Caulfield. Yeah, the box is supposed to be anonymous, but I knew the stuff was from them 😉

I am releasing the remix I made here

I wanted more than video, and to show some easy examples, I discovered there are actually some nicely formed templates in MS Word, and I made a few fun ones using StoryBox content. This is a movie poster for a scary film about Cats, using a photo from the Box, done as a movie poster

click for PDF of movie poster

Wow, I never knew Word had this in it I made a few more (all PDFs)- Badges for a Crazy Conference, and an invitation for an artsy fartsy movie, plus a comic:

click for full size comic

I am not sure what folks will do with the stuff, I told them I would be around the conference te rest of the time with the StoryBox turned on, si I hope to see some remixes come back to it. If you do get access to my stuff and publish it online (that is my ultimate goal), please let me know via my Google Form http://bit.ly/storybox-published.

I heard some interesting ideas from at least two teachers, and someone from Des Moines who said they already had built three storyboxes to set up in their community to collect ideas for the city planning process- that is just stunning.

People seemed to have a lot of fun today (I sure did!)

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)


  1. What an interesting use of technology! You caught a photo of me trying to upload to your pirate box (wearing black shirt/dark tie). I am a graduate student at UT Austin and one of my classes is about adventure learning, which, among other things, tries to bring a distant locale to the student through different types of interactions and media. I love the pirate box because it could be a great way of digital trolling (the fishing kind of trolling, not the instigating arguments kind of trolling) and a unique way of gathering material from a location to share with students. Way cool! I’ll be sharing your blog with my class. Good luck with the project!

      1. Hi Alan, GoNorth! is a pretty cool example of adventure learning. A research team travels around the arctic while classes back in Minnesota follow along in their classroom, interact, do problem based learning, and participate in the narrative. Not too many opportunities for collecting digital artifacts there in the Arctic, but adventure learning can be taken any where. Pirate box could be taken along for the ride, and be a way of interacting with a location and letting that are/ people tell a story, do this as an event… just some thoughts…

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