Digital Storytelling – Bubblr

I’ve started to become interested in digital storytelling. So when I found Bubblr by Pimpampum recently I was very interested at the possibilities. Bubblr is a comic strip based services that uses the Flickr API to allow you to search for and pull in Creative Commons licensed images to tell a story. The interface is pretty intuitive; do a search via the text box, choose images you like from the returned results and drag them onto the strip. Add an additional image by simply dragging another and dropping it to the right of the last image, and so on. (You can also add them before the last image by clicking the appropriate option.)

Once your strip is in place, you can add comic strip like speech bubbles, thought bubbles and narrative bubbles. When you’re happy, you can publish your strip to the archive. You just then need to put a title to your composition and add your name. (There’s an interesting warning – your boss might see your composition so be careful.)

screenshot of Title and Name input box for Bubblr

Writing this post, I have realised some similarities between Bubblr and Vuvox Collage. So Bubblr not only has a digital storytelling use, but could be a presentation tool as well.

I’ve quickly created a Bubblr strip, Shots of Sheffield UK by Markuos.

Bubblr digital storytelling in action

There’s an archive to look through other people’s creations using a useful search facility.

Creative Commons Photos

I keep providing links to examples of media content that can be freely used within your own work, provided it is given appropriate attribution. Here is a link to literally millions upon millions of images that people have licensed under Creative Commons for reuse on Flickr. Thanks to all those people.

The Commons public photo collection

The Commons on Flickr is a collection of public photographs (with no known copyright restrictions) from a host of public archives including:

LSE Library's photostream

Bibliothèque de Toulouse's photostream

Photo of Abraham Lincoln from The Library of Congress' photostream

Stock photos

So you need some photos and you haven’t taken any suitable pictures yourself. Well there are some sites where you can download stock photos for free or very cheap per item.

  • Freerange – you just been to register for the service and then you have access to thousands of high-resolution photos.
  • Freedigitalphotos – has a catalogue of photos nicely categorised. You can download small images for free, and pay for larger ones.

And them there are the user upload sites. The most well known is Flickr. You need to check the licence agreement the photographer has applied to the photos; if a suitable Creative Commons licence has been granted then you can use the photo, as long as you attribute appropriately.