SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > New Tech Demos > Diamond Road Online

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Diamond Road Online

Theme: Complexity and Accessibility
South Lobby

Diamond Road Online extends the concept of an interactive documentary into the 21st century. A large and extensible corpus of documentary content (video, audio, text, image) can be deposited in a database and presented to users as a guided series of recommendations.

Users can meet characters, follow developing storylines, find counter-arguments and otherwise travel through the world of a documentary with a completely different experience of the content than a traditional documentary film would allow. Personal interests combine with software recommendations, authorial and editorial decisions, and a vast array of media content.

Linked to a three-hour internationally distributed documentary series ("Diamond Road"), Diamond Road Online completely reworks content, storylines, characters, and editorial approach in order to reveal bias, support personal interpretation, and allow user-generated edits, feedback, response, and content.

Enhanced Life
Diamond Road Online sa documentary you direct. It lets you steer your way through a documentary experience filled with compelling characters, fascinating locations, developing stories, and differing perspectives, so it was a perfect candidate for a new way of telling stories. The software that recognizes your choices and recommends content it thinks you'll want to see next, to give you context, draw connections you might not have noticed, and turn documentary content into a conversation among creator, audience, and community. And it changes the kinds of stories documentary makers can tell.

Goal
Above all, Diamond Road Online tries to tell a good story. It breaks new ground in how users can follow their interests, in how teams can develop a story together, and in how communities of users can interact around factual and documentary content. The project illustrates how engaged audience members can be in pulling together content, teasing out unexpected relationships, and sharing thoughts with others.

Innovations
Diamond Road Online extends existing research with an awareness of how micro-content can work in a modern, Web 2.0 world. It enhances content recommendation in the documentary setting with social-networking tools, an algorithmic awareness of story and context, and user-generated content aggregation and recommendation. The re-usable platform can be tuned and re-purposed for other documentary and factual-media explorations.

Vision
In the world of factual media, we either sit back and watch linear media, or try to finesse the right search terms to find what we want. This project seeks a middle ground in that spectrum. Over the long term, it could spur knowledge experts and professional storytellers to rethink how they practice their crafts and push audiences toward a more engaged and context-driven experience of factual media.

Contributors
Richard Lachman
Ryerson University

David Oppenheim
Kensington Communication