the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

web presence - ideas about why, where and how to build - post your ideas here...

A few notable ideas. Web presence is about social media and easy as 1,2,3...and mostly, free.

1. - free from - it is the easiest and that makes it best for me. Set up a gmail acct and then a blog. Takes about 20 minutes to set up a blog. If you update it regularly it will come up in a google search of your name. Because blogs are more easily updated they are updated more frequently, therefore blogs will attract the attention of web crawlers that bring your name to google so your blog will be the top o' the list when a prospective presenter or avid fan googles your name. That's a good thing.

2.FaceBook - free and beats myspace and great way to connect with friends and family.

3. LinkedIn -free place for business contacts not for fun. See this article on LinkedIn ( thanks to Tory Lane - school librarian extraordinaire). A bit more complicated to create a profile BUT very important. ALWAYS use your email contacts to see who you ALREADY know, is "LinkedIn" and connect to them.

okay, as easy as 1,2,3,4?

4. youtube - free video website. It takes about 20 minutes to set up a channel - then you upload videos to the site. No good video of your work? You can easily create videos from audio recordings by making a slide show in either Power Point or iPhoto and adding your story as the sound.

What if you have no digital recordings of your work? Got to do that! 21st century been here for nearly a decade. Get help. Do not delay - ask for help today! Get a digital mp3 recorder ( for example try a Sony ICDUX70RED Digital Voice Recorder MP3 or equivalent ) The recording quality using the built in stereo mics is okay but best quality will come from a small lapel mic. For well under $100 you can be recording and sharing recordings of your work.
Download Audacity for free and you can edit and produce high quality digital sound from you mp3 recordings.

Every performer of story should have live and studio recorded ( not live) representations of their work. It is fun to create these expressions of our art and great way to publicize what we do, create interest in our art form and publish our performances.

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What is social media? Click on the arrow and each image to watch the very informative slide show below.
then go to if you want to learn more - check out their "How To" archive...

Hey Norah,

I sent this message to you put thought others might be interested. I compiled a handout for the NSN 08 panel discussion on tools to use on the web and other resources. It is now on my publications page for easy download. Everything is hyperlinked. Go to: and click on "Tales, Technology and Techniques - Ancient Tradition Meets the 21st Century" Panel Discussion: "Seeking the Future of Storytelling Online", National Storytelling Conference, Gatlinburg, TN, August 2008.

There is a shorter version offered in the CT Hearsay Newsletter there as well but the above link is the expanded version and contains more information.

See you soon!
This is fabulous! So well done and easy to follow. I hope it inspires folk to get their work done.
Thanks Norah. I confess, I haven't "done it all" yet either but I know it is there and when time allows, I slowly add different ways to network. There is much to choose from and we all need to find what works best for our own work but it is grand to have so many options and tools.

Hi Norah,

As you requested, I am posting my thoughts I shared on the LANES listserv with regard to ganering attention for storytelling events.

Recently we had a similar discussion on the Storytell listserv and folks were lamenting the slow death of print newspapers and discussion various ways to get the word out. And yes, I agree, magazines and newspapers are slowly disappearing, going the way of the dinosaur, but they are still useful as ONE tool. Five ladies, in their mid-20's came to hear Lani last Saturday. Why? They were looking for something different to do and found it the Events section of the newspaper. When I do the PR for the Story Cafe I use a number of different avenues:

1. Press releases in newspaper
2. Flyers with our "Story Cafe" logo go in different locations in the downtown area. I think a logo is important for a two reasons: 1) It says, "professional" and 2) When folks become familiar with it they automatically connect it with the venue.
3. Free online event calendars such as,,, the UMass/Dartmouth campus Events calendar and TV channel, and of course, Massmouth.
4. The venue location for the Story Cafe, ArtWorks, has their own mailing list as well and does due diligence in placing the evening on their website as well as emailing their newsletter/calendar out to folks.
5. I also highlight the event in my own online newsletter (subscription is almost up to 800)
6. Four listservs: three for storytelling, one for librarians
7. My own blog

* We are also working on raising interest in the realm of radio, so far no bites, but we are still 'working it."

The point is, we need to stop preaching to the choir, fan out, don't just send your event to storytellers, get it out among the expanded population. Postcards, brochures and business cards still have their place but if we want to attract the next generation, we have to bring it to them by merging the old with the new.

My two cents. :)
Karen Chace
Hi Norah,

Since we are chatting about web presence it got me thinking about marketing and branding, which are not necessarily the same animal. I had already culled a lot of my work from my columns in Storytelling Magazine and my newsletter and placed the links and synopses on my own blog at However, since the discussion is taking place here I have also listed the branding and marketing links on the MassMouth blog page. I hope folks find them useful, emphasis on the "use." :)

From Vernon and others atLANES listserv TV + American Storytellers

Lee-Ellen once again you guide us forward to share the fire. But this time you
may not be able to do it alone. Is there someone out there with the energy and
connections to produce the Real American Storytellers! The ultimate reality TV

I can see it now an hour TV show that will focus on a specific Storyteller each
week. Highlighting how they communicate the power of story. After some brief
interview background we will get to see them practice their art where and how
they normally practice it.
We would witness story in schools, large tents, around campfires, on stage, in
hospice by bedsides, on family porches, you got the idea the possibilities are

The story pieces will not be a montage but non edited actual how it would be if
you were present at that STORYTELLING.

TV could be the medium that helps spread the power of story. Unfortunately even
though I am a country fan I believe the Clint Black American Storyteller will
not be the Real American Storyteller.

Thanks for all the input. Can we put this thread on the LANES website? If you
all would do so we could send TV producers to see our great ideas. You can not
send them to the listserv.
If some one has the energy to tackle this project please go to

It actually talks you through pitching a reality TV show.

Discovery the Reality Mega producers offers this advice:

If you are an individual with a program idea or are interested in being talent
on a program, you should do your own research on production companies and
contact them. If you are a producer and wish to submit a program, please visit:

I am tooooooo busyfor this. I wish I could do this project because it is not
only worthy but I am convinced Lee-Ellen and the others are on to something that
could really spread the word about the oral tradition.

Your LANES web volunteer and
fellow Story Promoter
Learnin Vernon

Vernon L. Cox
665 Saco St Lot 236
Westbrook, Maine 04092

Phone 207-899-9299

Member of MOOSE
the Maine Organization Of Storytelling Enthusiasts

Member of LANES
The League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling

---- Lee-Ellen Marvin wrote:
> This is not new. There is or was a series on MTV called "Storytellers"
> about rock-and-roll singers and bands. It's a darned nuisance when
> trying to find video clips of storytellers on YouTube!
> And novelists are frequently called "storytellers".
> My thought is that unless we can figure out, after thirty years, how
> to get some mainstream attention for our work, people will not know
> about our work and how we do our magic.
> Lee-Ellen
> On Aug 14, 2009, at 1:55 PM, Karen Chace wrote:
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > I just read this piece. Is it me or is everyone jumping on the
> > 'storyteller' bandwagon? I know it can be good to spread out into
> > other areas, and break the mold a bit but are these off shoots
> > diluting our work? Thoughts?
> >
> > "Clint Black is adding "television producer" to his ever-expanding
> > resume. The music mogul has been named executive producer of the
> > upcoming series, 'American Storytellers.' Clint Black is adding
> > "television producer" to his ever-expanding resume. The music mogul
> > has been named executive producer of the upcoming series, 'American
> > Storytellers.'
> >
> > For the rest of the story...

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Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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