Yesterday the folks at Ancestry.com retweeted an interesting article that asked was scrapbooking dead. The article included a video that at first would make you think so . . . until it got to the part discussing the amazing alternative – photo books.
I don’t think scrapbooking is dead, but I do see it as one component in the broader category of digital storytelling. I love a beautifully embellished page, but I’m more interested in how it can support the story than in having the design be the story. Technology has given us so may different ways to present our family stories – current families as well as past ones – that there’s something for everyone at just about any skill level or any budget.
I love to use digital scrapbook elements in my family history projects. They add atmosphere to the project, help direct the reader’s eye to the areas I want them to see and spotlight specific photos. I would love to do more, but unfortunately there are two major issues in my way.
One other area where designers could better support digital storytellers is with more size flexibility. Digital storytellers are creating books, ebooks, multimedia presentations and movies. Our proportions are rectangular, not square. You design beautiful templates and backgrounds, but we often can’t use them. We’re displaying our work on computers and tablets and digital frames and even television screens and would love to fill up those screens with photos and text.
Square just is to . . . square.
One last thought that may help push you towards including us in your marketing efforts. Family historians are fixated on acknowledging their sources. You can be sure we’ll give you the credit you deserve.