Remixes, Mashups and Storytelling, oh my.

I really like that this last assignment has us looking at remixes, mashups, Creative Commons, and access to online sources for public domain video, images and audio, as I believe that all of these factors have been key to the evolution of storytelling. The internet and web 2.0 tools paved the road by moving us from consumers of content, to producers of content. This structure has made it possible to be able to tell a story to a larger international audience without having a high technical skill-level and without having access to expensive equipment.

Having a go-to place to find artifacts that you are able to reuse to tell your story has created a lot more opportunities for media-rich storytelling. Public domain repositories of videos, images, and audio like NASA,, the Library of Congress, Getty Images, ccmixer, or libribox, to name just a few, provide both inspiration as well as material to reuse and to incorporate into your own story.

Creative Commons licensing has opened up opportunities for both a creator to say publicly how he wishes to allow usage of his product (commercial, non-commercial, share, share alike, adaptations, desired attributions), as well as allowing the user to quickly determine if the artifact requires permission by the originator to use without having to delay by trying to track down that creator. To me, it shows how important the Creative Commons licensing has become as more and more search engines are incorporating attributes for Creative Commons options into search parameters, Flickr, Google and Behold as examples.


Definitions of remix and mash-up seems to be as confusing as definitions of “digitial storytelling.” I tend to view remix with the more traditional definition where it means that you make something new by changing something in the original work . A good example might be when you visit an online greeting card service and can choose a different version of “Happy Birthday” Latin, Pop, Regae, Hip Hop, etc. Each of these version are remixes on an original theme.

This remix example was taken from a class wiki where students were learning about the same but different, through remix examples. This remix is based on the the original song  “Radioactive” by the Imagine Dragons.

While looking for examples to help explain the difference between a remix and a mash-up I found myself at a post from Alan Levine’s blog where he asks his twitter community, “What is difference between Remix & Mashup? I can’t always sort it out- help our#ds106 students. Tell us, not just links.“ For me, this is the twitter post that made the most sense:


Here’s an example of a mash-up:

Would you be able to create mashups without public domain or Creative Commons licensed creations? Yes, of course, but knowing that you have a larger collection of ready-to-use storytelling elements that you don’t have to create on your own and having a mechanism to share and reshare has made the process much easier.  I recently played around with a web 2.0 product called Zeega. This free service provides a platform where you can pull in media from online services like SoundCloud, Tumbler, Flickr, Giphy as well as your own image uploads to create multimedia stories. I believe Zeega calls themselves interactive, but I reserve the term “Interactive” for an activity that has the user do more then just click through a series of web pages or images. When looking deeper into how Zeega is curating their library, I came across this statement from an article in July 18, 2013 article on Mashable:

Users don’t have to worry about citing the media they use from the cloud. Zeegas are always live streaming as soon as you hit play, so the media is not copied. Zeega automatically generates citations for the media by adding icons as the bottom of every slide that directs you to the original source.

After giving Zeega a try, with this example called Raspberry Kiss, I did see that there is very tiny attribution down at the lower right-hand corner of the screen, and only when you mouse over it. These icons refer back to Flickr and to Giphy, in my example. The Flickr image actually has a copyright “All Rights Reserve” listed on the image. Even though I’m not making a “copy” or it and there is proper attribution, I would normally choose to pick another image that had an appropriate Creative Commons attribution. I assume that if the owner took down the photo then the link in my image would also be broken. What do you think? Is Zeega pushing the limits?



Bissram, V. (2013). “Zeega offers a new way to tell stories with interactive media”. Mashable. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from

Couros, A. (2009). “Digital Storytelling”.  Open Thinking Wiki – Wikispaces. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from

DS106 Digitial Storytelling.

Lamb, B. (2007). Dr. Mashup; or, why educators should learn to stop worrying and love the remix. Educause review, 42(4), 12.



Here is my attempt at a remix for this semester.