Monthly Archives: November 2018


A New Form of Audiovisual Storytelling

What is Story Maps?

Story Maps is a web application that combines multimedia content (photos, videos, audio) with narrative text, allowing the author to tell a variety of stories while providing the audience with an engaging experience. In a way, it is reminiscent of your typical PowerPoint presentation, yet it is far more visually appealing and it provides a better flow of content. Instead of slides, one controls two independent dimensions which interact with one another: the horizontal axis, which organizes data in rough order of priority, and the vertical axis, which presents insight into the data. Overall, as an academic, you can create easy-to-share presentations for the classroom or for conferences. Also, through Story Maps, you can create a resume, a work portfolio, a blog… the options go as far was your imagination allows.

What does a Story Map look like?

Good question. The best way to explain this is by showing you some examples. The best user-friendly platform for Story Maps is ESRI. There you can find various samples, such as these:

Click the image above

Click the image above

Why Story Maps?

Make your work stand-out! It can be difficult to make academic subject matter be attractive and captivating, engaging and intriguing, pleasant and easy to understand. With Story Maps you can provide your audience with a cohesive continuous stream of information that appeals to the senses. Furthermore, hosted by an internet platform, you are provided with a website address, making Story Maps easy to share and to access in the digital age. What is more, Story Maps work on a variety of screen sizes- from PCs to mobile phones- making them virtually accessible to anyone anywhere.

How to create Story Maps?

As mentioned above, the recommended platform for creating Story Maps is ESRI. It is free, self-explanatory, and provides tons of help and advice for creating your Story Maps. Your presentation will be edited, stored, and hosted by ESRI. There, you can choose from a series of templates that can help you start your Story Map:

As you begin to create your Story Map, the interface will direct you to its many options for browsing/adding/editing/placing text/images/videos/audio:

Would you like a detailed tutorial on creating Story Maps? Let us know in the comments below.

Is there a catch?

Indeed, while the end product (when done correctly) looks simple and effortless, it takes patience and creativity to create a successful and effective Story Map. Additionally, it goes without saying that you need visually-appealing content to produce the presentation. After all, you can resort to open-source content when needed.


I would like to thank the GCDI Digital Fellows, Olivia Ildefonso and Javier Otero Peña, for their “Introduction to ESRI Story Maps” workshop. It was there where I learned about Story Maps.

Five beginner’s tips on how to manage your department Twitter account

Are you new to managing your department’s Twitter account? Or are you thinking of using Twitter to increase the online presence for your department/program/group? If you are completely new to Twitter, it can be overwhelming without having some knowledge and the right tools to help you start managing it. As program social media fellows, we’ve all been there. That’s why we want to share some basic yet important tips you should consider when you start creating and managing a Twitter account for your program. Our tips are more geared towards new program social media fellows at the Graduate Center of CUNY. 

— The Social Mediums

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How to advertise effectively on Facebook

The Social Mediums were recently allocated a budget to advertise for our respective GC departments on social media, with a current focus on Facebook. Although there are some ethical concerns to consider about interacting with Facebook’s paid advertising platform, such as issues of data collection, we came to the conclusion that as long as we are using Facebook as a tool to disseminate information, we might as well maximize our returns. And this new strategy has proven fruitful: we have seen a tremendous increase in post engagement and page likes since reinstating paid advertisement. This post will talk about some strategies for effectively targeting your desired audience on Facebook ad posts.

— The Social Mediums

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You are finally ready to share your questions, ideas, research, and conclusions with the world. You have your manuscript reviewed and accepted by the chosen journal. EXCITMENT. You are about to sign the copyright agreement… STOP! Do you know what you are agreeing to? Will you be able to use or share this article after it is published?
In this post, we discuss how to use SHEPRA RoMEO to learn publisher copyright policies and self-archiving for future use and sharing of your published work on social media. 

— The Social Mediums

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