19 Jan 2018Growing Home: Refugee gardeners in Domiz Camp, Iraq
Amsterdam, 19 January 2018—Growing Home is an interactive web documentary that presents interviews with refugee gardeners in Domiz Camp, Iraq. In May of 2017, Scrollytelling travelled with a team from the Lemon Tree Trust to Northern Iraq to meet the gardeners and tell their stories. They are presented in Growing Home: a gorgeous online production that uses videos, text, audio and photography taken directly from the camp site.
20 Jul 2017The Holy Road selected for L’OR Golden Calf competition
Amsterdam, 20 July 2017—The Holy Road, an interactive web documentary for which Scrollytelling did the development, is selected for the L’OR Gouden Kalf Competitie during the 37th edition of the Nederlands Film Festival (NFF). The Netherlands Film Film Festival is both the home of Dutch cinema and the leading platform for our national film culture. The Holy Road is a confrontational road trip through the occupied area, with stories of Israeli and Palestinian residents.
02 Jul 2017Omroep Brabant using Scrollytelling for background journalism
Amsterdam, 2 July 2017—Omroep Brabant has joined Scrollytelling as their latest subscriber. This network‘s key figures are impressive: almost half a million tv-viewers per day and more than 600.000 website/app visitors per day. They will use Scrollytelling as a background journalism tool. When viewing or reading an item, people are directed to scrollytellings when they would like to learn more. The medium has already been succesfully used to provide background for breaking news and current events.
After a career in teaching, radio, and print, Martijn started to explore the sea of possibilities that the internet offers to tell a story more intense, more empathically and to more people. Next to producing interactive documentaries (like Refugee Republic) Martijn teaches interactive narratives at the Maastricht Academy for Media, Design & Technology.
Scrollytelling came into this world thanks to a grant from the Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek (Dutch). For this, we are eternally grateful. But it wasn't a case of cashing a check and rolling out some servers.
Online storytelling began in December 2012 with The New York Times' Snow Fall. Dutch daily de Volkskrant immediately realised they needed to start doing these multimedia productions as well. They commissioned Martijn to create 'De chocolade raakt op' (We're running out of chocolate - converted to Scrollytelling format from the original). This went fine but they weren't too excited about the cost. That first production was hand-coded from nothing and many concepts had to be invented first. They wanted more of these, but only when Martijn created a generic tool to be continually reused.
This tool was christened Storyboard and the grant money, and most of Martijn's prime years, was poured into it. The tool was custom; and as can be the case when developing software, the parties weren't aligned on the direction and technical implementation proved insurmountable. The effort was finally scrapped and Martijn was forced to walk away empty-handed.
Luckily for him, us, and in fact the broader universe, someone tipped him the open source storytelling tool Pageflow. Being written in the programming language Ruby, a search was mounted to find a team of Ruby developers. This team (Space Babies - owned by Joost) was found and the rest is Internet history. Pageflow was adapted to fit with Martijn's aesthetics and idea for user experience. de Volkskrant invested additional funds to make it all happen. This is why we've granted them monopoly in the Dutch daily market (i.e. daily print newspapers); and this is why we're eternally grateful for them as well. Coincidentally, they are Scrollytelling's biggest user and can easily create multiple stories per day. Readers love the format and the popularity of the stories draws in a new audience, as Scrollytelling is not behind their paywall.
When Scrollytelling proved to be viable (and then some) it was turned into a startup company. From the get-go, our focus was with national brands with huge numbers of visitors. The absolute top end of the market. And we would give them world-class availability, speed, and continutally evaluate not only technical thingamajingies, but actively participate in curating the content as well. Currently, we have many more paying accounts and are proud to host enormous numbers of visitors seeing photos, text and especially videos without us having to break a sweat. We're sticking with our initial idea of only servicing the top end of the market.
Things we find important: being globally distributed, having full encryption, embracing standards, delivering your content with blazing speed, on many different devices for many different readers. We take care of all the gnarly aspects behind the scenes, allowing the story to be front and center.
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