Who I Follow

Video Channels

CaseyNeistat – YouTube

Neistat is one of the most popular vloggers on YouTube. He has a distinctive shooting style and he’s an amazing editor. I don’t know of anyone better at applying storytelling techniques to the great and mundane things of everyday life. Most of my interest in digital storytelling focuses on personal stories, and Neistat continually offers novel and creative approaches to talking about and representing his own.

Sara Dietschy – YouTube

Like Neistat, she’s a relentless daily vlogger and she’s growing her subscribers everyday. Not only does she offer a fresh and informal take on the equipment she uses as a vlogger, but she also manages to represent the everyday aspects of her life in a polished, compelling way. I don’t totally understand where she gets her charisma, but she has it in spades. She’s charming, unassuming, and models and effectively personal approach to storytelling.

Jared Polin – YouTube

This guy’s tagline is “Fro Knows Photo!” And from what I can tell, he really does. Focusing almost exclusively on video and photography gear, he offers some of the most dynamic (and for some people, annoying) reviews and tutorials on YouTube. There are only a few YouTubers I really trust to deliver clear, engaging, and helpful info about digital storytelling gear.

Kai W – YouTube

Much like Polin above, Kai’s reviews are hilariously entertaining and filled with useful information. His sarcasm and throw-away asides give him a distinctive voice among a crowded photo gear community on YouTube. His matter of fact, don’t take yourself too seriously style, is something I would like to emulate as I continue to work on my own creative voice.

StoryCenter – YouTube

This one should be pretty self explanatory. If there was one organization that epitomizes what I like and what I want to pursue as a digital storyteller, it would have to be the StoryCenter. This is the organization that got me into digital storytelling in the first place. Their regular stream of fresh digital stories offers a regular influx of new ideas for my own stories and teaching strategies.

Channel Criswell – YouTube

This channel has some of the most insightful and polished reviews and critical analysis of films currently available anywhere. I am especially interested in these videos as relatively long, visual essays on specific aspects of filmmaking. Most videos focus on Hollywood films and production, but a lot of the concepts are still applicable to the type of digital storytelling I am interested in.

Every Frame a Painting – YouTube

My explanation for following this channel is almost exactly what I have to say about Channel Criswel. One thing that separates this particular channel from others like it is it’s seeming adoration and reverence for the craft of filmmaking. No one can watch one of these videos without taking away some impulse to want to create SOMETHING of your own. It’s really inspiring.

Jenny Nicholson – YouTube

Without a doubt, Nicholson’s channel adopts the most simple production. She’s not a daily vlogger like Sarah Dietschy or Casey Neistat, but she does put out material pretty regularly. Most of her videos consist entirely of her sitting in front of her camera in her bedroom talking about storytelling techniques in popular films. She’s brilliant, witty, and offers the most simple version of valuable content I’ve ever seen. I learn something about scripts, storytelling, or narrative every time she releases a new video.

Bianca Giaever – Vimeo

Giaever is probably my favorite online-video content creator of all time. She not nearly as prolific as some of the other people I’ve mentioned on this list, but that’s most likely due to the incredible creativity and polish of almost every project she publishes. The thing I like best about her work is how she develops visual interpretations for what are ostensibly audio-driven texts. There’s an obvious connection and separation between the audio and video elements of her work. They inform each other really well. Her work is some of the most fun, honest, and charming content on the Web.

The Mercadantes – Vimeo

This channel doesn’t put out a lot of content, but the channels flimmakers, Daniel and Katina Mercadante, are responsible for some of the most beautiful abstract films I’ve ever seen. Their real strength is producing visually lyric collages which also manage to maintain a strong coherence. Their sense of lighting is stunning. I don’t know of another pair of filmmakers who can offer a better visual interpretation of often relatively abstract concepts.

This is Radio – Vimeo

The irony is not lost on me. A video channel for radio. But it works. This channel is produced by one of my favorite organizations: Transom.org. They mostly produce video of radio producers talking about the art of storytelling with audio. The guests they feature are some of the most talented people in public and features radio. There’s no channel from which I’ve learned more about structuring audio stories than this one.

Twitter

This American Life (@ThisAmerLife) | Twitter

This is the radio show that sort of brought narrative radio storytelling to a mass audience. There’s not better radio show about telling stories about people’s everyday lives. There’s probably no better way to learn about structuring personal stories than listening to episodes of this show.

Radiolab (@Radiolab) | Twitter

I think of Radiolab as the This American Life of science and ideas. This show is one of the best examples of how narrative and storytelling techniques can be used to make “ideas” really compelling. They do an amazing job of showing ideas and concepts really do exist and operate in our everyday lives.

Internet Archive (@internetarchive) | Twitter

It’s really useful for digital storytellers to have a few reliable sites they can go to in order to find audio and visual materials to use in their projects. The Internet archive is one of the largest repositories of copy-safe resources available on line.

Creative Commons (@creativecommons) | Twitter

Every online content creator needs to know at least a little something about copyright and intellectual property. Not only does Creative Commons educate content creators about best practices for licensing their material, but they also provide boilerplate licenses that anyone can use for free to make their content more shareable in a variety of ways.

Bianca Giaever (@biancagiaever) | Twitter

Giaever is probably my favorite online-video content creator of all time. She not nearly as prolific as some of the other people I’ve mentioned on this list, but that’s most likely due to the incredible creativity and polish of almost every project she publishes. The thing I like best about her work is how she develops visual interpretations for what are ostensibly audio-driven texts. There’s an obvious connection and separation between the audio and video elements of her work. They inform each other really well. Her work is some of the most fun, honest, and charming content on the Web.

StoryCenter (@storycenter) | Twitter

This one should be pretty self explanatory. If there was one organization that epitomizes what I like and what I want to pursue as a digital storyteller, it would have to be the StoryCenter. This is the organization that got me into digital storytelling in the first place. Their regular stream of fresh digital stories offers a regular influx of new ideas for my own stories and teaching strategies.

Third Coast Festival (@ThirdCoastFest) | Twitter

This organization offers one of the most active and visible sites showcasing great audio storytelling from around the world. Every other year (now annually) they host a huge audio storytelling festival in Chicago. If you’re a fan of radio stories, it’s one of the most amazing experiences you can get a ticket to.

Roman Mars (@romanmars) | Twitter

Mars is the host of one of my favorite podcasts, “99% Invisible.” The podcast focuses on aspects of everyday design elements that a lot of people don’t notice or don’t understand the importance. Mars revels in obscurity along with all his “nerd” fans. If you’re looking for strategies for making everyday things into fascinating stories, 99% Invisible is essential listening.

Transom.org (@Transom_org) | Twitter

Transom mostly produces video of radio producers talking about the art of storytelling with audio. The guests they feature are some of the most talented people in public and features radio. There’s no channel from which I’ve learned more about structuring audio stories than this one. The tutorials and equipment reviews they offer are some of the best in the world of audio recording.

Serial (@serial) | Twitter

If you haven’t heard of Serial, you probably don’t really listen to podcasts. It’s first season was easily the most successful non-fiction storytelling podcast ever. Sarah Koenig is a masterful host and producer. I don’t know of anyone better at making the minutiae of criminal investigation, witness interviews, and legal maneuvers more compelling.

PRX (@prx) | Twitter

There getting to be more avenues for audio storytelling all the time, as podcasts and public radio continue to get more popular. PRX is sort of a clearing house for great radio stories produced by independent producers all around the world. The quality and variety of stories they highlight is unparalleled.

Benjamen Walker (@benjamenwalker) | Twitter

Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything is a quirky podcast that offers both fiction and non-fiction stories. But they’re not for everyone. If there were ever a podcast for “hipster” audio storytelling, this would be it. Personally, it’s one of my favorites.

The Truth (@TheTruthFiction) | Twitter

The Truth is a lot like Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything. Weird little audio stories. But really well produced and performed with talented voice actors. From week to week, you really never know what you’re going to get with this one.

Fourth Genre (@FourthGenre) | Twitter

This is one of the oldest and most popular literary journals focusing on creative non-fiction. The essays featured in the journal are almost always of exceptional quality. When it comes to working on story scripts, Fourth Genre is one of my essential influences.

howsound (@howsoundtweets) | Twitter

How Sound is a podcast produced and hosted by Rob Rosenthal for PRX. Rosenthal is one of the primary instructor’s for Transom.org’s popular and highly respected radio storytelling workshops conducted around the country. Each episode he showcases one audio story and offers insightful analysis of how the segment was produced and what other audio storytellers can learn from it. This is one of the best podcasts for producers just getting started with audio.

Dinty W. Moore (@brevitymag) | Twitter

Brevity Magazine is a quirky little journal. It focuses on publishing extremely short written texts. Sometimes referred to as “flash fiction” or “sudden fiction,” there’s no literary genre that more closely resembles a digital storytelling script. The variety and quality of work in the journal is amazing, and it’s really fun to read.

Sites I Follow

StoryCenter

This one should be pretty self explanatory. If there was one organization that epitomizes what I like and what I want to pursue as a digital storyteller, it would have to be the StoryCenter. This is the organization that got me into digital storytelling in the first place. Their regular stream of fresh digital stories offers a regular influx of new ideas for my own stories and teaching strategies.

Transom – A Showcase and Workshop for New Public Radio

Transom mostly produces video of radio producers talking about the art of storytelling with audio. The guests they feature are some of the most talented people in public and features radio. There’s no channel from which I’ve learned more about structuring audio stories than this one. The tutorials and equipment reviews they offer are some of the best in the world of audio recording.

AIR

I’m not sure, but I think AIR stands for the Association of Independent Radio. How can I not find that anywhere on their site? It’s a great resource for people wanting to enter into the world of independent radio production as a professional.

The Moth | The Art and Craft of Storytelling

The Moth is one of the largest and certainly the most visible and popular organizations dedicated to telling personal stories in front of an audience. The stories are almost always amazing. Almost always funny. Often moving. Alway personal and honest.

2nd Story | Chicago’s Premier Storytelling Series

2nd Story is sort of Chicago’s local version of the Moth. If you want to go out on the town in Chicago and listen to exceptional storytellers, you really need to keep up with this site. They’ve got events all over town all year round.

Home – Radiolab

I think of Radiolab as the This American Life of science and ideas. This show is one of the best examples of how narrative and storytelling techniques can be used to make “ideas” really compelling. They do an amazing job of showing ideas and concepts really do exist and operate in our everyday lives.

Bianca Giaever

Giaever is probably my favorite online-video content creator of all time. She not nearly as prolific as some of the other people I’ve mentioned on this list, but that’s most likely due to the incredible creativity and polish of almost every project she publishes. The thing I like best about her work is how she develops visual interpretations for what are ostensibly audio-driven texts. There’s an obvious connection and separation between the audio and video elements of her work. They inform each other really well. Her work is some of the most fun, honest, and charming content on the Web.

www.mirandajuly.com

July is one of the most creative artist across multiple media and genres working today. Her output is exhausting. Her work is weird and beautiful and challenging. If you’re looking for alternative approaches to digital storytelling, she’s got about a million ideas to get you thinking.

B&H Explora

B&H is one of the biggest photo and video stores in the world. They have exception prices and selection. Their customer service is also great. This site is a companion resource to their retail site. You can learn pretty much anything you want about photography, vlogging, filmmaking, and audio recording by wandering around this amazing collection.

The Podcasters’ Studio – Learn how to podcast.

Most of the content for this site is produced by Ray Ortega. I love his humble and easy going personality combined with a ton of experience and generosity with his knowledge. He also offers the occasional tutorial and product review for audio and video production. There aren’t very many serious podcast producers who don’t know about this site. It’s invaluable.