Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "Tell me a story:" Are online stories storytelling?
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The craft of storytelling has survived and thrived throughout history. Though there are as many purposes as tellers, two are: to record history and pass it on; and, to entertain . These purposes continue today. But today's storytelling has been affected by the World Wide Web; storytellers provide web sites on which visitors can hear recordings of their stories. Four such sites are Nelson Lauver's, Thomas Doty's, Storyteller.net, and Dana Atchley's. But are these online stories really storytelling, as compared to oral tradition? This essay evaluates these online story sites as websites and compares their stories' characteristics with those shown by historical storytelling. The conclusion is that online stories are storytelling in the historical sense, but only based on the assumption that the stories being recorded does not invalidate that decision. More than one scholar, myself included, feel that the machines are no substitute for the live experience of storytelling.