Google+ Frequently Asked Questions | StoryMaker™

Frequently Asked Questions

StoryMaker is a brand newmobile application. Below are answers to some of the more popular questions we get about StoryMaker. If there any additional questions you have that are not listed below, feel free to contact us and we will be in touch.

What is StoryMaker?

It is an Android app to help people learn to produce better stories with their mobile devices.

Who wrote all the lessons in the app? What was your process?

The lessons have five different sections; Journalism, Security, Audio, Photo, and Video. The journalism lessons were produced by the International Center for Journalists. John Smock adapted the lessons from their curriculum. John Smock is a professor at CUNY in New York. The security lessons were written by Brian Conley, Small World News Co Founder. Brian has performed security trainings for a few years now, and has been focused on improving accessibility to mobile security for a few years. The audio lessons was produced by Mark Rendeiro, a specialist in online journalism, social movements and global conflicts. The photo lessons were produced by John Smock as well. The video lessons were produced by Steve Wyshywaniuk, Small World News co-founder and experienced videographer.

Why can’t I pick any lesson I want to start with?

The content is produced as a 101. We have structured the lessons to build on each other, so unless you take them in a specific order you will miss out on key details. If you are experienced and know the information then the quizzes should be quite easy to pass. If not, then you might be due for a refresher on the material.

What makes StoryMaker unique for producing stories?

StoryMaker is unique because we help you through the entire process of media creation. StoryMaker wants you to not only make great content, we want you to know why you are doing it.

How many steps are there in telling a multimedia story?

StoryMaker works with you to figure out that process. If you want to create a complex story you’ll need to produce 25 clips, but to make the most basic of stories you can do it in five clips.

Couldn’t I do this with any other app on my phone?

There is a world of exciting apps to help you simply produce content, but StoryMaker helps you learn to make your story great. Why specific shots work well for different purposes. With every clip you produce you will take a step to making better stories.

Can I add content I create in other apps?

You certainly can. StoryMaker supports the standard media formats on Android, and allows you to import any clips from the gallery on your phone.

What about editing?

Once you have produced or added all of your clips StoryMaker will assemble them automatically. You will have a chance to review your story, and if you have a preference you can drag and drop your clips to make the edit your own. Our basic story structures are strong, so feel free to let StoryMaker edit for you.

Can I add narration to my stories?

Currently you can only add narration to a photo slideshow. We are working on adding narration to other story mediums.

Do I need to have an internet connection to use it?

You need an internet connection to install the app and download the lessons. After you have downloaded all the great parts that make up StoryMaker you can use it wherever you fo and it will be fully functional.

What languages is StoryMaker in?

It’s currently in English and in Arabic. If you would like to translate it into a language you can learn more on our Transifex page.

Who is it for?

StoryMaker is for anyone who wants to produce high quality news content.

Who made StoryMaker?

StoryMaker is a great example of the right people coming together at the right time. Small World News, the Guardian Project, Free Press Unlimited , the International Center for Journalists and the Open Tech Fund have all played important parts in bringing StoryMaker to life. You can read more about it on our About page.

What motivated you to make StoryMaker?

StoryMaker was created by a dedicated team of people wanting to help others learn how to produce better stories. As mobile phones are increasingly becoming the primary tools for content creation we think it is only natural to be ahead of the curve on helping people learn how to produce their content better at the point of production.

How much does it cost?

StoryMaker is free!

Are there any parts of the app that I have to pay for?

StoryMaker is free and available for anyone to use and publish any content they wish.

Where can I download StoryMaker?

It is available right here on our site:

When will it be available for iOS?

We are investigating options for an iOS version.

Can I look at the code for StoryMaker?

You sure can! It is open source and you can see what is being worked on over at github.

What services can I share to from StoryMaker?

Currently, StoryMaker supports publishing to YouTube and SoundCloud. We support publishing to YouTube directly from within the app and to publish to SoundCloud you will need to setup an account and have the app installed on your phone. We are working on supporting more platforms from within StoryMaker.

What about security. How are you protecting users?

Can you tell me more about Tor and Orbot?

Orbot is an open source client for the Tor network on Android mobile devices. The client allows you to route traffic going from your device’s web browser, e-mail client, map program, etc., through the Tor network, providing anonymity for the user.[2]  Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

Orbot is the only app that creates a truly private internet connection. As the New York Times writes, “when a communication arrives from Tor, you can never know where or whom it’s from.” Tor won the 2012 Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award.

This tool is being used by political dissidents around the world[3] to keep their communications on smartphones secure from the governments that may be monitoring their communications.

This program is also popular outside of countries where political persecution is common, as evidenced by its more than 100,000 downloads from the Android Marketplace.[4]

What was the most surprising thing when developing this app?

One of the most exciting things was handing StoryMaker to a colleague of ours in Tunisia. He had never handled a camera before. He asked us to stand there and he just moved the mobile around and seeing how standing in different places helped him line the shots up. He started by putting the camera very close to my face for a close up shot, and went through all of the different overlays and the different shots they represented. He learned what has typically taken hours of class time and countless trial and errors in the field in the matter of minutes.

Where can I provide feedback?

We have setup a feedback form within the app. You can alsp email [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.