Popathon

Growing a community of web-native storytellers

Telling stories born on the web

Popathon is an international series of hackathon events bringing together digital storytellers, technologists and designers to prototype the future of web-native storytelling.

Why?

Visual storytelling has been with us since the beginning of times. Through the ages the way we tell stories has changed along with the evolution of different media. The capability of the web enables stories to be interactive, dynamic and participatory, allowing for engaging experiences around them. While this is hugely exciting, we believe a language of web-native storytelling is still developing and want to help that process along by hands-on collaboration.

How?

For one weekend, participants team up to brainstorm ideas, create open-source code and demo prototypes of their own web-native stories. Participants compete against the clock, not against each other. Teams are formed by combining different skills and spend a short and intense period creating a story prototype that is born on the web. After the final sprint all prototypes are presented in a live demo open to the public. All the source code powering the projects is shared as an open-source (MIT licensed) repository on Github for others to study and build on beyond the event.

Participatory

We believe disciplines like filmmaking, development and design already offer the most important skills required to make engaging stories that work on the web. By having different perspectives around the table, we share our expertise and learn from eachother.

Productive

They say the best way to predict the future is to create it. Creating something together also happens to be the way we learn most effectively. That's why every Popathon has as its prime mission to create a working prototype that can be shared with the world.

Purposeful

We want to contribute to a wider community of creators who embrace the web as the platform for their storytelling. By sharing all projects created at Popathon open-source, we let people build on the knowledge generated beyond the event.

Made at Popathon

Explore projects hacked at previous editions

  • Coming Soon

    This ever unfolding story of digital pre-natives was waiting to be told. A real-time dynamic life story that is different every time.

    Fork this project

  • StereotypeCelona

    How stereotypical are your ideas about the people living in the different parts of Barcelona? An interactive video quiz with embedded data visualisation.

  • BCN Says

    Big cities are a constant buzz. Imagine you can conduct the sounds of your city into an urban symphony. Come in to play while listening what Barcelona has to say.

    Fork this project

  • Le 6 mai 2012

    On May 6, 2012, the socialist François Hollande was elected President of the French Republic, following Nicolas Sarkozy. Many considered that day historical, since the socialists did not succeed in the Elysée race since 1981. Celebrations took place in the Place de la Bastille

    Fork this project

  • Room 404

    Room 404 is the destination for all your online mistakes. A participatory experiment that collects a database of users' confessions.

    Fork this project

  • Surveillance

    A web-native thriller story exploring the theme of online surveillance. Who's watching who?

    Fork this project

Web-native Storytellers

Who should join us at an upcoming event?

Teams thrive when different skills are combined. Popathon invites 3 specialities to the mix, each with their own perspective and reasons for taking part.


filmmaking

Filmmakers / Storytellers

  • Explore how your storytelling can become dynamic and interactive
  • Brainstorm and prototype new ideas for a new medium
  • Meet & collaborate with designers and developers
development

Technologists

  • Experiment with new libraries and frameworks in an informal setting
  • Create a visually-rich interactive multimedia project
  • Meet & collaborate with designers and filmmakers
design

Designers

  • Design the future of storytelling on the web.
  • Tackle questions like: what does an interactive film look like?
  • Meet & collaborate with filmmakers and developers

Popathon X Mediasmith

27-28 February 2015, University of Warwick

A 24 hour storytelling hack jam to explore the potential of the web for academic research.

About the organisers

Philo

Philo van Kemenade

Philo van Kemenade combines video, data and the web to make storytelling more engaging and have it reach wider audiences. His expertise in Artificial Intelligence and passion for filmmaking brought him to London, where he researched data-driven storytelling using user-generated online video as its building blocks. He believes we are currently lacking an interactive storytelling language that fits the nature of the web and feels we need multidisciplinary experimentation to move this field forward.

Gilles

Gilles Pradeau

Gilles Pradeau explores participatory documentary focusing on democratic innovations and public spending in Europe. The first chapter of “Learning to count” uses a 360º camera to record teenagers negotiating the budget for their high school. Before making his own films, Gilles provided consultancy and workshops for public engagement and worked in Paris for a mobile film festival.


Some places we've hacked at


i-Docs Symposium Bristol
Brighton Digital Festival
Darklight Dublin
Docs Barcelona
WebDox Leuven
Open City Docs Fest
Mozilla Festival

Get in touch

Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date about upcomming events or join the conversation on Twitter. If you're interested in hosting a Popathon or simply like to know more, please email us.