Category Archives: Student Stories

Podcast Episode #3: Holiday Stories

Welcome to the third episode! In honor of winter break, which officially just started for UNC-CH, we’ve got a set of holiday stories for you this time around.


Show notes!:

This episode has four parts:

Part 1: Gary Bolick on a Thanksgiving in France
Part 2: Anna Spickard on her family’s Thanksgiving tradition
Part 3: Jane Mayo on a scary Santa
Part 4: Alexis Rabin on celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah

Thanks to Ryan Bolick, Derek Mayo, Anna Spickard, and Lydia Min for working on this episode.

Intro and outro music: Cheese Steak, by Raleigh Moncrief

In between segments: Christmas Eve At Midnight (Small Town Square), by Lee Rosevere

Transcript available after the break.

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Podcast Episode #2: Sports Stories

Welcome to the second episode! We’ve got a theme for you this time: sports. The segments cover a range of topics, and there are some really fun stories in here. Give it a listen! And send in your ideas for future episodes.


Show notes!:

This episode has four parts:

Part 1: Jose Drost-Lopez on tae kwon do
Part 2: Daniel Bolick on basketball
Part 3: Jessica Gaylord on bowling
Part 4: Ashley Fernandez on football

Thanks for Jose and Jessica for submitting their stories, and thanks to Ryan Bolick and Lydia Min for recording interviews and putting together the episode.

Intro and outro music: Cheese Steak, by Raleigh Moncrief

Transcript available after the break.

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A Love Child between APPLES and the CDSL

Social Media Stories is back in action this year hoping to form a foundation here at Carolina!  We want to start off by hosting an informational session this Thursday, September 22 at 7 pm, in Union room 3206B.  If you are interested in journalism, communications, video storytelling and editing, service hours, and/or entrepreneurship, this is the meeting for you!

The SMS goal is to find organizations on campus and local non-profits who want to create video collateral as a means of spreading their mission and accomplishments to the public.  We would create a short 2-3 minute video for the organization or non-profit, and they could use it across media outlets to gain a greater following for their cause.  Along the way, SMS members would gain experience with video recording and editing and service hours for all of their hard work.

If you think you might be interested in SMS, contact us through e-mail at or come out to our interest meeting this Thursday!


SMS Co-Founders

Lauren Livingston, Chloe Adcock, Freddie Montgomery

Podcast Episode #1

Welcome to the first ever episode of the Carolina Digital Story Lab podcast! We’re hoping to use this as a space to explore the idea of digital storytelling, present projects our members have worked on, and just try lots of stuff out. It’s all a big experiment. And we want lots of people to play along—if you have an idea for a future segment, get in touch: stories at unc dot edu.

The experiment thing is for real—for instance, I got some really great advice for improving my segment that I haven’t had time to actually do, so I’m publishing it in not-new-and-improved form in the interest of publishing it at all. Feel free to chime in with more suggestions in the comments. Or if you want to take a shot at reworking the audio I used, that could be really interesting—let me know and I’ll provide it. Conversely, if you’re interested in podcasting but don’t have much experience, consider this your license to go for it and not worry about being perfect. :-)

On to the show!


Show notes!:

License: this episode is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

-Segment one includes two appropriately-titled tracks: The Professor’s Lab, by Christian Bjoerklund; and At the Lab We Work and Play, by Good Old Neon.
-The outro music is Blach, by Raleigh Moncrief.

Augmented Reality

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a conference on Augmented Reality here at UNC. The conference was run by a library science genius from NC-State University and was relatively poorly attended, even though there was quite a bit of work put into its creation. During the conference I created a ‘layer’ inside the browser that can be applied inside a smartphone application and used to view all of the UNC buildings on north campus. I am going to keep working on the browser layer and add in functionality for the rest of campus, slowly creating a workable campus map with GPS tag-points that can direct anyone to any building. I foresee it becoming very useful.

So what is augmented reality? From the conference and my own random explorations, it can be defined as any tool that allows us to change the landscape of the world and impress new information upon it. Roadsigns are primitive forms of augmented reality. Science-fiction displays from Tony Stark’s Ironman Suit and the Terminators are more complex examples. What we are seeing in the present day is a blend between primitive and futuristic techniques. Everywhere social media engines and mobile devices are creating applications for Smartphones that add information and content into visual displays, turning the phone’s video-camcorder into a virtual Heads-up-Display capable of augmenting the reality that the user sees through its camera lens. We have seen simple implementations in applications like AcrossAir, UrbanSpoon, Yelp, and Layar… but this is just the beginning. Soon there will be powerful augmentation engines capable of changing the nature of reality and advertising in real space, in real time. What this means is that advertising is about to get very personal. Handheld screens will display segments of the real world through augmented lenses, transforming ordinary spaces into virtual clusters of information-rich threshold space that exists somewhere between virtuality and the real world.

This has absolutely profound ramifications for personal, hyper-rich, targeted advertising and digital storytelling. Gone are the days of centralized media. What we will see in the future is an endless barrage of garbage trimmed for our personal pleasures. This seems, at present, inescapable. The money is still in advertising. As far as instantaneous transmission of information is concerned, we will likely see the end of printed media and the beginnings of purely digital experiences. This is worrisome to say the least, but does not necessarily need to become a negative issue. Digital sharing of information means that digital storytelling will be more valuable than ever. We will need to envision new techniques for sharing information faster and faster.

There will be many more choices and many fewer filters. Ergo, the filter-makers will have considerable power.

Want to eat somewhere? Go to the restaurant, guided by your device. Hold up the augmented reality lens to the outside of the building and see the menu, the staff, the history of the space, the fire codes, the occupancy level, the ratings of the restaurant, the online reviews of food items, any book in the world that has ever mentioned it. Go inside, hold up your device to a person and see their Facebook profile, their Twitter feed, their likes and dislikes, their religion, their favorite sport, whether or not they have been to the doctor recently. Order food, hold up your device and see who has regaled your meal in epic poems throughout history, see where the food came from, who manufactured the plate, the tablecloth, the table itself. Learn where the wood came from. Open a Wikipedia article. Remember your waiter? Turns out they were once hospitalized for an allergy to mushrooms. Does your food have mushrooms? Are you allergic? Look into the screen.

This is what we have to look forward to. The question is: how are we going to get anyone to care when all of this information is at our fingertips?

Preserving History in spring 2011 – APPLES co-op

Hey everyone, if you’re reading this then you’re getting the first installment of the APPLES service learning group’s blog updates. I’m from COMP 380 (Computers in Society), a class focused on the myriad deployments of technology and computers in daily life and society. In partnering with the Carolina Digital StoryLab we’re in the beginnings of a semester-long effort to develop content, aggregate resources, and help out in any way we can with the similarly-focused Jackson Center.

Right now the group is focused on textually cataloging interviews from the Northside Community here in Chapel Hill. In general, the Jackson Center has been working with Northside residents and the surrounding community to preserve stories about a life that may change dramatically as the University expands. Even if the physical landscape changes, the digital landscape may help us to record a lot of important content.

At home base in the StoryLab, we’re going to be working on promoting and expanding the resources available to anyone wanting to record their own bit of history. This could take the form of aggregating useful video/audio/graphic/content/writing tutorials, developing custom resources, and implementing projects designed with story-telling in mind. The same goals are to be taken into a larger context while working with the Jackson Center as well. I think our entire group is quite interested to see just how much technology can do for this cause.

I can be most helpful when it comes to graphic design, photographic management/re-touching and photo-manipulation. And I hope I can lend my abilities to some great causes in the coming months.

Here’s a taste of the tutorials that exist online and can be extremely helpful in managing any sort of graphics with Adobe Photoshop: