Siobhan O’Flynn teaches in the Canadian Studies Program at University of Toronto and at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab. Her teaching focuses on how artistic works & practices across media engage with political, social & cultural concerns. Her academic research examines: the function, design, & experience of narrative in interactive environments; foresighting emergent trends in digital storytelling & entertainment in a Web 2.0/3.0 world; and pyschogeographic practices  across media.

Siobhan has advised on over 70 projects, including screen-based works, in situ & social media installations, online social networking initiatives, cross-platform projects, interactive short films, ARGs and interactive graphic novels. In 2006/07 she was the interactive story editor on Late Fragment, a feature film/dvd a CFC/NFB co-production that screened at Cannes in 2008 as part of the Future of Cinema Salon. Siobhan has mentored for the Digital Development Lab (CBC/BC Film/New Media BC) 2008 and 2009 and Melting Silos 2009 and 2010 (NFB/SFU Praxis), & given numerous workshops on digital storytelling for a variety of audiences (traditional to digital). This past year’s talks have addressed strategies for trans/crossmedia development, digital storytelling, psychogeography and social activism in interactive documentaries, and disruptive innovations in a digital world, amongst other subjects.

Session Title: +city -a new paradigm in i-Doc curation/creation

The pervasiveness of mobile technologies, new platforms and ubiquitous computing define our era as one of constant connectivity and increasing data flows. As traditional content producers adapt to Web 2.0 digital practices, fictional & documentary content exists in competition for attention with the constant flow of content produced daily by individuals on the net. +city explores a new paradigm for the concept of and methodological approach to the creation of interactive documentaries. +city plays with the curatorial power of hashtags as a constantly shifting and grassroots generated tagging system enabling global conversations and the rapid/viral dissemination of content.

In focusing on twitter streams generated by specific hashtags, +city makes visible global networked engagement on specific topics in a interactive data visualization website. This new mode of documentary curation is designed to support audience mobile engagement in real-time through retweet and reply functions. +city works against the randomness of social media and provides a tool to make “Data” more meaningful for audiences.

The website for +city archives and analyze data feeds, while presenting that content in an accessible and interactive format. These latter features mark a shift from earlier seminal works of social web data-mining such as Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin’s Listening Post, which presented an orchestrated and curated sampling of real-time chat room content to moving effect.

Designed as an app for iPhone and iPad, +city is one component of a larger research project analyzing the interdynamics of social web communications and real world behaviour and experience through the mapping of geolocated content streams.

The app is on iTunes – search +city and it should be easy to find in the App store for iPhone & iPad. The website for the app is here, pluscity.me. The interactive website is in process.

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