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Scrollytelling, a new way to show a story

During the last year or so, there has been something growing on the internet. Scrollytelling, for those who don’t know what it is, it’s simple.

Scrollytelling is the mix of scrolling (yes, the mouse wheel between right and left click) and the old art of storytelling; so, it’s a way to tell a story using the scroll.

A long time ago, people used to think that as internet goes fast, everything had to be fast, so articles had to be short and simple, almost like a dictionary, or a few sentences with a title and subtitles. But Scrollytelling came here to show that was wrong.

Scrollytelling articles are long, full of details, and in most cases, combined with sound, videos and movement in the images, so as you’re scrolling down, you see some movement and you know you have to scroll so the things happen, it’s, in a certain way, interactive, like a game. You can’t change the story, but you make it happen, you’re an important part of it.

For those who are wondering about the practical use, and why should you choose scrollytelling over other kind of articles? It’s pretty simple, you must use it when you have something to say that is quite long and you can make it interactive in some way. In order to make it properly, you need to give control to the readers, they must feel that they’re doing something, and you have to release the exact amount of information so they want to continue scrolling to know a bit more about the story you’re telling.

There are unlimited ways to use Scrollytelling. Some writers use a static part, and you change the background with the scrolling, as you can see here, in an article presenting the company:

http://thesearethings.com/

In that website, you can see the main characters of the story and you can change the background with the mouse wheel, putting those characters in different situations depending on what part of the article you’re reading.

Another article that shows the potential of Scrollytelling is snowfall, published by the New York Times and created by John Branch:

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

It’s a long article about the avalanche at tunnel Creek. When you scroll down, you’ll find not only text, but videos, maps, pictures, of things related to the story being told, so you don’t have to look for a map to know where it happened nor do you have to look for pictures, everything is there, you only need to scroll, and enjoy a very interactive and interesting article.

And finally, and example of how it can be interactive, educative and funny:

http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

In this scrollytelling article, you have to scroll to “see” de distance between objects in the solar system, using a pretty particular scale; the moon is as big as one pixel.

After these examples, it’s important to say that studies confirm that people are more likely to scroll down to finish the story over clicking to change to the second or third page of an article, so if you’ve read articles that would fit for it, you could give it a try.

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