filizefe's blog

Visual Storytelling For Web: Tips And Techniques

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 31, 2009

Duration Does Matter!

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 30, 2009

I was studying film in the college in the 1990s. The length of the short film was defined as maximum 30 minutes. After 30 minutes it was called feature-length film. I didn’t keep my short film assignments from then but I remember they were not short and my primary concern was not the length of the film. In today’s media environment, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be but not the only criteria to attract the audience.

The short article published in the New York Times this month is discussing the Web habits of the today’s impatient audience, the duration of a visual content and the importance of storytelling. It also gives statistics and insight about the use of the media and audience habits, which is worth clicking.

“Keep it short – Keep it Simple – Keep it Interesting”

The first rule we keep in mind in digital storytelling classes is “keep it short!”. If our story is going to be distributed online, our audience is impatient and they are distracted very easily. After 90 sec, it is our own risqué to be watched. Although it is not a big issue technically, we consider these perceptional limitations in our short films now.

The pace is fast on the Internet; too many windows are open at the same time. We need to tell what we tell in a simple way and more if it is not interesting there is no chance: It turns out to be named as ‘boring stuff’.

Our everyday life and communication tools have changed and so the expectations for the content. We don’t go to a movie theater to see a short film; it’s there in our pocket already. We are not limited with time restrictions; we stream or download the content anytime we wish.

What makes us nailed to our seats to watch a longer film?

Good storytelling and good production values make the audience engage with the content. But also the expectations are playing an important role in the process. The audience classifies the content: Is it a 90 min movie or a video clip or a documentary? And they devote some time to consume that content.

When the medium was TV or a movie theater, we were able to come up with some quantitative metrics for the value of the content. But the Internet as an ultra medium blurs the picture of measurement. The Video Insider poses the question “What is a show and how do we define a most-watched show on the Internet?” and proposes that “the ‘most-watched’ measurement should be the highest number of user-initiated streams in any distribution category that is measurable online and that a ‘show’ is any periodically produced branded content.”

The audience defines the length of time they are going to devote before they consume the content. Therefore not all the visual content is to be under 90 seconds: Although, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be, classification of the content, good storytelling and good production values are the keys to create an effective content.

How to make the best use of the “social media”

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 1, 2009

Clay Shirky talks about “transformed media landscape” and “what it means for anybody who has a message to get out anywhere in the world”. Social media puts the end to top-down control of news and this is changing the nature of politics globally.

The choice we face, I mean for anybody who has a message they want to have heard anywhere in the world, isn’t whether that’s the media environment we want to operate in, that’s the media environment we’ve got. The question we all face now is how we can make best use of this medium, even though it means changing the way we’ve always done.

My answer to Shirky’s question would be “storytelling is the key to make the best use of social media”.


Shirky, C. (2009). Talks Clay Shirky: How social media can make history [Video File]. TED . Retrieved on June 30, 2009 from

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