What is cyberdrama?
Drama's about sharing stories about people. Traditionally that happens in a contained and restricted space (the stage and during the performance dates/times), with the rise of social networking and the ease of sharing multimedia through the net there's a whole range of possibilities in terms of sharing stories emerging. Cyberdrama is about using htings like blogs, myspace, msn, youtube, wikis (and anything else you can think of) to create and share stories.

The most famous cyberdrama is LonelyGirl15. This one started about three years ago with what everyone thought was just an ordinary girl posting video logs to YouTube. She had a MySpace and intereacted through that and YouTube with comments left by members. Gradually, Bree's friends started to make videos and build up a story. It became pretty clear pretty quickly that it wasn't real (the introduction of a cult out to use Bree for the purity of her blood does tend to give it away). Anyway, the audience got sus and after some net detective work found out Bree was a paid actor and the proverbial hit the fan - remember when there was all the talk about YouTube being full of liars and people out to manipulate the innocent, part of that was the fall out from the revelation of LonelyGirl15 as a "fake".

At the time most people thought it'd die - but turns out it didn't. It's got it's own website now, although it still uses YouTube to host its videos and it's just started it's latest evolution - The Resistance...which is very cool.

There's more and more cyberdrama stuff going on out on the web and I could keep going on, but I'll behave. If you want to know more drop me a line.

What's different about it?
  • It's very non-linear. With all the different applications that COULD be involved the stories get told in a very "dribs and drabs" manner. You kind of surf through the different bits, find something that interests you and follow that strand until something else grabs your attention.
  • There's far more scope for audience interaction. Unlike traditional theatre where the audience tends to sit passively to be "told" the story, with cyberdrama the audience can friend/follow/interact with the characters and story, in some cases they may even make offers to the story through their own videos and blogs.

My Project

Within my department's walled garden my students have been managing and running their own mini-cyberdramas. They're using blogs, vlogs and bits and pieces and it's been a full on experiment - as far as I know, there's nothing like this being done elsewhere in my state.

It's not an ideal environment for what we're doing - Ning would be SOOOOOOOOO much better, but for now I have to work within policy.