By Mary Kate Brogan
I love learning about new storytelling tools, so learning about two tools for enhancing storytelling, Mozilla’s PopcornMaker and Meograph, at No Coding Allowed: Free and Easy Multimedia Storytelling Tools Friday afternoon turned out to be a pretty good use of my time.
PopcornMaker adds pop-ups to videos, kind of like AMC’s DVD on TV. The pop-ups include live content from websites like Wikipedia, Twitter and Google Maps. Presenter Mark Zeltner, of Slippery Rock University, said he thinks it can be a helpful tool, but the platform is all-online and can crash if you don’t save often. It also apparently doesn’t embed on WordPress platforms, although I don’t know for sure whether that’s WordPress.com or WordPress-based sites. I wouldn’t use the tool for a professional presentation, but it might be cool for a features-y piece, albeit a little strange for anyone who probably isn’t expecting pop-ups on a video.
Meograph seems like a much more professional tool to use in multimedia storytelling. It’s effectively a timeline where you can add moments and locations to map out a timeline as a kind of journey. It has similar problems of crash if you don’t save often, according to Zeltner, and there is no fullscreen option, but it still seems like a valuable and professional-looking tool to use for multimedia storytelling. I particularly like that you can go forward and backward, skip points you don’t like and embed videos and other multimedia into the timeline with such ease.
If I had to choose one program I’d actually consider using, I would use Meograph because it presents well and seems like a strong tool that could create great multimedia storytelling opportunities.