I have spent the past three years looking at the world of Interactive Documentary and assuming that because I am intrigued by documentary film and technology, this was the genre for me, but I am beginning to re-think.

I am not saying that I do not belong in the iDoc’s world but I have come to realize that it is just a part of what I want to teach and research.

I thought of interactive documentary as a new “genre” until reading a post on the iDocs site by Judith Aston, in which she discusses interactive documentary and describes it  as, ‘a term used to describe the new possibilities for both the construction and representation of ‘reality’ brought about by the human–computer interface’.  She goes on to say that for a documentary to be interactive a physical action must take place between the human and a computer.  And that the term like ‘interactive documentary’ or   ‘open documentary’ starts to become one under which a whole host of emerging genres and platforms might sit.

My interests lie in the connection between the emerging, creative, interactive tools of technology and documentary, journalism and storytelling.  This can happen on a website, theatre stage, art piece or any other conceivable platform.

Participation and sharing are key components to this connection.  As in any good media piece, you start with a good story and build on the story with the help of the world around you.  In order to do this, you incorporate the tools of interaction and invite participation and sharing.  Social media is also a key component to successful participation and advancement of the story.  Every story comes alive, grows, changes and will continue to live as long as there is a conversation to share.

I will continue to research this area to find the best ways to teach my students how to best communicate their stories using all available technologies.  I have changed this blog name to reflect  a more open-ended idea of this subject area.  A work in progress.

I welcome any thoughts and ideas.  I am also building a website that will reflect my teaching and ideas along with a place for sharing and interaction.  I will share this site in the near future.



Aston, J.(2016) Interactive Documentary-What does it Mean and Why does it Matter? Retrieved from:


Digital Niche

As I was working on my Media, Technology and Society course, with this weeks concentration: Social Awareness, Civic Engagement and Social Change in Media, I kept coming across this one word, NICHE. So, I decided to write a bit about the idea of niche media and it’s importance in today’s digital media landscape.

The term niche has been used in marketing for years and now is appearing strongly in the digital media arena as a way to streamline your cause, website and marketing to create the audience you need in order to create social awareness.

I begin the discussion with how, as a non-profit or social change organization wishing to attract an audience, the first thing we need to do is create the awareness of what the cause stands for. We need to decide who we believe will be our best audience to create this awareness. I base these decisions on the idea that we are creating either an interactive documentary (video based) or website, while using social media to help advance the cause.

We begin with social awareness, which will create step 2, the Civic Engagement. This step involves getting people involved. Interaction is a big key in making this happen. Getting your niche audience involved in the conversation so that they take action. This action can be in the form of adding to the conversation through commenting, media (audio, video, blogging) and sharing it forward.

Once we create the social awareness and get our niche audience engaged, this will create the social change. Change can come in many forms, from a change in understanding/attitude to change in laws/regulations.

Digital niche media’s goal, as described by Henning Meyer, is to target users in a much more focused way and build better and more intimate relationships with them.

Finding a niche takes research and work. Looking at like-minded sites for inspiration is a great place to start. Painting a picture of your perfect user, as we do in advertising (target audience/personas), is a good idea.

With so much conversation going on over social media, you need to find a specific audience that will listen and care about your cause.

According to;

  • There are over 75 billion pieces of content shared on facebook each day, with users spending a cumulative 20 billion minutes on the platform.
  • Over 5,700 tweets are sent per second – or 500 million tweets each day.
  • More than 55 million images are uploaded to instagram each day – and users comment On these images an average of 1,000 times per second.
  • Across 1 million linkedin groups, more than 200 conversations are taking place each Minute.
  • On average, pinterest experiences over 5 million pins each day, or nearly 3,500 pins per minute.
  • There are more than 100 hours of video uploaded to youtube every minute, and over 1 billion video views per day.

With a defined voice and audience, you can send out your message to those who want to listen, share and engage.

Once you have defined your voice, you now need to develop content that is simple and engaging. You must provide value to your audience by considering their interests in creative ways, and give them cause to follow you, your updates and a good reason why they should listen to you.

Be creative and “new” so that your audience will not only follow you, but like and share your voice. Use video, as it is now considered one of the most important online delivery systems. And make sure that your work is mobile friendly.

One of the great things about all of this from a “communications” standpoint is that all of these things can be done either free or inexpensively using front-end technologies from companies like and interaction building), sharing), Aurasma (augmented reality) and many others.

As a non-profit/social change organization, your ultimate goal is to make a sustainable difference in the world. In order to enjoy success in niche marketing, you must create obtainable goals and creative content, that will show your audience that you are truly invested in bettering their lives. (Reis 2013)

I am interested in any thoughts, ideas or information concerning digital niche media for social change. Please share here.


Meyer, H. (2014) Why Digital Niche Media Are on the Rise. Retrieved from:

Moore, A. (2015) Influence the Digital Space in the New Year. Retrieved from:

Reis, J. (2013) Why Niche Marketing Will Work for your Non-Profit. Retrieved from: