Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Technology: making your own animations online

Via Maarten Boers I got to know about Dfilm: a service with which you can create your own animation film online for free.

Maaike is our intern doing interviews with members of the e-collaboration group about their experiments with collaboration via new e-technologies. She thought of presenting her research on a blog and we had a meeting with the communications people of two organisations. At the end of the meeting she made a joke which inspired me to create this animation film about our meeting.

The meeting outlined a sort of dilemma with new technologies. At the one hand, a new technology by itself is attractive, and you should probably stimulate experimentation. On the other hand, you don't want technology to drive a solution and really want to think about the optimal choice of technology starting from the information need/audience. But if you overdo that, you may kill the initial enthusiasm.

At the end we kind of decided to try to get a blog going and produce a good old paper report as well. (and Maaike asked me to write down that in real life she is much smarter as in the animation :))

So my question is: how can you use this kind of animation in online interactions? Do you use it to summarize or stimulate discussion? Are there people who might be put off by an animation?


Allison Hewlitt said...

Thanks for sharing this Joiske (and Maarten). It was fun testing it out.

I can see an applicability in the work that Bellanet does. We have been developing a peer assist flash module. We have the script completed yet it is going to take almost 3 months to get a draft from our developers (who, to their credit, are practically volunteering to do the work). One of my colleagues suggested that we use dfilm to develop a second module - on AARs. I am sure that the look and feel won't be nearly as good but wonder how much of a difference will it really make.

You ask if the animation could be used to summarize or stimulate discussion. I think that it could do both.

You also ask if there are people who might be put off by an animation. I am sure that there are plenty of them out there - sometimes I am one of them. What hooks me is the story being told so if the animation focuses too much on the graphics and not on the story itself, I tend to shut down.

One final comment... It is ironic that content of your video focuses on the technology dilema as it applies in the to dfilm as well. This is another tool, like a blog, that many would, no doubt, excite many. My concern isn't so much that people overlook the optimal choice of technology as you propose but rather that they don't realise the extent of the work that needs to go into the technology to actually make it useful for others.

Beth Kanter said...

I had to fight myself and not go play with that tool ... great!!!

Joitske said...

Thanks Allison (I don't receive a lot of comments of late, so it's good to know someone DOES read my blog :))

The Dfilm graphics persons are very western (I had a hard time finding some normal ones), but you can add your own characters, that would be fun to do.

I liked you pointing out the ironics of jumping on Dfilms as a tool too. I guess you do have to experiment with new things though, to know when to use it or not to use it. It is the choice NOT to use it which is hard at times.