Strategies of interaction, questions of meaning: an audience study of the NFBs Bear 71

Kate Nash, Leeds University, is an academic working within the field of interactive documentary. Her research so far has delved deeply into the world of audience studies, looking at what drives interaction, how it can be assessed and what measure of impact can be derived.

Following her keynote at i-Docs in March (the full paper is available here) – she has now published her latest paper on the NFBs Bear 71:

What do audiences actually do with interactive documentary and how do their actions contribute to the process of meaning making? This paper presents the results of a study of user responses to the web-documentary Bear 71. Arguing that interaction and interpretation are interconnected, a methodology for interactive documentary reception study is proposed. The research considers how users structure their interaction, producing a specific audio-visual sequence by deploying interactive/interpretive strategies. The activity of the user in structuring their interaction is considered, as is the role of the text/author in promoting specific patterns of engagement. Finally, the pleasures of interactive documentary are considered.

The full text is available here – most people attached to institutions will be able to access via Shibboleth or OpenAthens

We will also be adding the text to our the bibliography page of our resources section on the i-Docs site, which is worth checking out if you haven’t already!