Media Magazine

There’s Demand for Your Storytelling Skills in the Tablet

Posted on the 12 October 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed; the next blog post is Monday, October 15

TAKEAWAY: If you are a visual journalist/storyteller, then there are more doors and possibilities open for you today than five years ago. Stories thrive in the tablet, and someone must be there to tell them. What we learned from storytelling in the app.

There’s demand for your storytelling skills in the tablet
Purchase the book on the iBookstore

iPad Design Lab” trailer on Vimeo.

The EPUB version of book is HERE:

To all of those who are writing to let us know that you can’t buy The iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, in your countries, or for your tablet, the good news is that we have completed the EPUB version and it is ready for download via for Kindle and other platforms:

TAKEAWAY: If you are a visual journalist/storyteller, then there are more doors and possibilities open for you today than five years ago. Stories thrive in the tablet, and someone must be there to tell them. What we learned from storytelling in the app.

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A funny thing happened on the way to our Garcia Media involvement with the creation of the app, which is now ready for you to download and to enjoy. It is part of what I will include in my session today at the Society of News Design in Cleveland, where my topic is Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet.

The point is that although I have been a visual journalist for as long as I can remember—and that’s a long stretch—-in the process of working with the talented team that surrounded us for the app creation, I realized that so much of what we do as visual journalists or storytellers can apply beyond the traditional boundaries of newspapers, magazines and online editions of publications.

The tablet is all about storytelling. Whether you are telling the story of a city, a product, an organization or, indeed, a publication that exists in print and online, it is all about a story.

The moment we turn on our iPads (or any other tablet, for that matter), the anticipation is the same as when we open a book or put the bucket of popcorn on our lap at the movie theater.  We are in for a treat, whether that treat is obtaining information we want or enjoying a subject we follow.  The tablet experience begins with an identical sense of exhilaration.

As such, it requires the skills of storytellers for whom the story is first, the platform second.

With the app, we have all those elements of anticipation.  There is the setting: the alley and lobby, where we meet all the characters that will take us on a journey.  There are the objects that tempt us to touch them.  There is the music—the centerpiece of the app—and, of course, there are the stories of the musicians who relate tales of inspiration and creation.

There were times during the creation of the app when the subject of discussion was highly technical, or more about the gaming aspects of the app.  But there was never a moment when we did not have our visual journalist hat on, to craft stories that are such a rich part of the texture of the app. Behind every group that formed and played its first songs in a garage, there is a tale of hardship, dreams and hopes.

Those stories are not any different in the app than what they would be if told through the pages of a newspaper or magazine.  The tablet allows us to tell them with more richness, across genres and senses.

Nick Hansen, president and co-founder of, kept bringing up the subject of storytelling through the entire creative process with the app.

I am, at heart, an academic researcher, and I have long been fascinated by ways in which information can be presented in both linear, analytical forms such as sentences and paragraphs, as well as visual, organic forms, such as mind maps and flow charts.” Nick said. “With all the remarkable creative tools now made available through the ubiquity of tablet devices, the body’s natural nexus between hearing, seeing and touching can be rewarded by embracing digital media. This is true whether the user is consuming a sea of footnoted text, or engaging with an immersive, interactive experience such as the app. Storytelling in the context of devices such as iPad holds the user’s curiosity, it allows for the imaginative use of video, graphics, sound and other imagery and it permits ancillary discussions without losing sight of the main point. All of this, when properly executed, contributes to greater levels of communication by the author and greater levels of understanding by the audience.

As I speak to an audience of professionals at the SND Cleveland conference today, many of whom are at the start of their careers, some still in colleges and universities pursuing a degree, there is a point to be made: If you are a storyteller, don’t limit yourself to the traditional platforms. Explore storytelling for the tablet.  The challenges are abundant, but so are the opportunities.

The experience revealed this to me and my team

Of related interest

: a new music app that rocks

Must weekend reads of interest

The Orange County Register is hiring dozens of reporters, focusing on print-first expansion


After being sold over the summer, the newspaper is hiring about 50 editorial staffers and adding new print sections — because print’s where the money is.

Our own blog post on the OCR’s new strategy:

Change, hope and optimism via the Orange County Register

Tailoring news for the mobile crowd


As more and more people get their news on mobile devices, at a time when much of the younger audience is turned off by traditional media, Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau decided it was time for a video news outlet designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. Enter NowThis News, the mobile and social video news platform set to debut this month.

Digital First is NOT an option for media—it’s the only way forward


As the traditional media industry continues to struggle with the disruption caused by the web, some sceptics argue that a “digital first” approach isn’t the answer — but the reality is that focusing on digital is the only hope the industry has.

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1st Middle East News Design Conference

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It promises to be a great program, and a historic one, too: the first SND Middle East gathering. Put it on your calendars: November 8 & 9, in Beirut, Lebanon. Sponsored by An-Nahar and SND.

For more information:

TheMarioBlog post #1116

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