How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 5 of 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

This is the fifth of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links – REVEALED
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins” – TODAY

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

Discord has a mix of scheduled video and text chats as well as random interactions that enhance the experience.

To look forward to the scheduled to the random, you will want to get to know the other server members. The next step is to see which ones could be friends.

Yes, we have heard of “friends” on Facebook and other social media. True, this does not mean you are best friends. Or even true friends. Though, it at least means that the two of you agree that there is potential for great conversations to collaborations.

When you see who else are server members, you can click on the icons/avatars and see the following:

You can click “Add Friend” and await the request. At times, being “friends” can make the difference during voice/video chat. Depending on set-up, you may not be able to see the video if you are server members but can if you are friends. Bonus: The “User Volume” is handy if you noticed that someone is too loud or too soft when joining voice/video chat. The good news is that this does not affect how anyone else hears them.

You can also have friends who are from different servers…or perhaps you don’t belong to any of the same servers. Though, you can now private message each other and use the @ to mention or give attention.

Otherwise, the host of the discord server–like “storycrossroads”–can use “@everyone” to send a notification/message to each of the server members. This comes on handy when there are scheduled or random voice/video chats or opportunities through the text channels.

Regular Chats

Check to see when the discord server has regular voice/video chats and/or text chats. As for Story Crossroads, we have them every Monday from 10:00pm-11:00pm MDT usually in the “chat-about-stories” Voice Channel. These are informal brain trust sessions where one main person “takes the floor” and can focus on any storytelling-related idea, performance, technology, or any other possibility. The invite link to our Story Crossroads Discord Server: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Examples –

Monday, July 6th – Carl focused on stories or repertoire to tell while giving people tours of Antelope Island in Utah.

Monday, July 13th – Tim shared about an upcoming podcast and had us as a sounding board while also hearing advice from regular podcasters.

Monday, July 20th – Stephen will share about his venture with Patreon while also exploring how a storyteller can use recurring revenue subscriptions that can also be done through Twitch and custom-made memberships.

Anytime we have these sessions, the topic jumps around though always connects to storytelling in one way or another.

We plan on having a daytime regular voice/video chat. Anytime we do have these chats, we place it in the #announcements text channel. Please let us know if you have a preference by emailing info@storycrossroads.org.

Plus, if you want to “take the floor” and have an idea that could use some listening ears, then email info@storycrossroads.org. We can arrange a day for you.

Random “Check-Ins”

If you message friends on the discord server, you can have your own one-on-one voice/video chats as well as on the text channels. “Storycrossroads” does not have to be there for it to happen.

Click on your friend’s icon/avatar and see if you can arrange a same date/time together. If you know this person outside Discord–such as through Facebook, Instagram, or in-person–then feel free to use any other communication ways to schedule a time together. Email? Text? You choose.

The only thing we ask? Please keep any conversation family-friendly even when talking adult to adult. Remember, adults are part of families, too. This means clean language and appropriate and positive conversations.

Explore the text channels and unread comments will pop up first. Get caught up and see if you can add to the discussions.

Enjoy all that is possible on Discord.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

Look forward to our 7-part Blog Series “What Youth Tellers Want & Need.” And…Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 4 of 5 – Adding Resources & Links

This is the fourth of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links – TODAY
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

You can touch base with people or delve deeper by adding to the conversation.

With the virtual world, you can be a lurker OR be considered an active participant or even “high-quality server member.”

If I have several deadlines, sometimes being a lurker is the only way to multi-task and still “be there.” Not make any comments. Listen in. Read comments. But nothing more. Yet, to “be there” is not the same as “being there.”

Yes, all this does relate to adding resources and links.

But first…Most people on the Internet are lurkers.

They watch but never or rarely make comments. For example on Twitch with an audience of 100 people, probably 5-6 are the ones commenting, clapping, and posting emojis.

In Twitch and Discord (these two platforms often work hand-in-hand), some people actually announce they are lurkers. You can create a command for a “bot” with something like “!lurk” and have some celebration emojis in your lurking. But do we, as a society, want to celebrate lurking?

And, in case you were curious, some people have “bots” or robotic type characters (not human) that can help manage things from chatting/talking much like humans, moderating the rules of the server (like kicking out trolls or not allowing bad language), or even a music bot that can play songs directly from YouTube or other platforms.

So how can you be “being there”?

Go back to the Discord Server(s) and look for the bold text on the panel. You may also see “unread comments” near the upper left. The channel in bold would have had some activity since you last were there. Though, I recommend playing with your notifications.

Once you are aware of activity, add to that activity.

Do you have a favorite website to find folktales from Argentina? Share it on a text channel.

Do you have a funny meme that relates to the focus of the server? Story Crossroads promotes oral storytelling. Then add it. Here’s a 4-second example of what I love and added in the Story Crossroads Discord Server (Text Channel – Storymemes):

People love to joke around and share emojiis. Feel free to do so.

Though, people like to explore the topics. I absolutely have loved the chat about Japanese and Hawaiian ghost stories. Here is a sampling that can be found in the Story Crossroads Discord Server (Text Channel – chat-about-stories):

How do you get the notifications or adjust them on Discord?

Go to the settings image on the bottom left of your screen:

Click on settings and find the Notifications label on the left side:

Click on Notifications and adjust as you wish:

When the Discord Server gets really active, you can adjust those notifications again.

Either way, be aware and respond to notifications…maybe not right away, though often enough to not be a “lurker.” Well, not all the time anyways.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 3 of 5 – Voice Channels

This is the third of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Text Channels – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels – TODAY
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

You can talk–with or without video–and even share screens and watch storytelling videos and such together.

Sounds a lot like Zoom? Yes, many of what you can do with Zoom can also be done in Discord.

You can have virtual storytelling guild meetings, places to share ideas on story-crafting or other adventures, as well as any number of networking opportunities.

While not the ideal place for performances such as through Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube, Discord still offers a great place to welcome anyone who simply wants to “chat” or “talk story.” People can chat for a few minutes or hours upon hours.

While Text Channels have the pound sign, Voice Channels have the megaphone you can see circled in red below. All server members with their handles are listed underneath the chosen Voice Channel as you can see with “storycrossroads.”

If at least two people are there, go ahead and chat. We don’t have to be there.

This image to the left shows “Voice Connected” when you are successful for jumping on the voice channel. The red arrow points to the phone image/”x” for how you leave or disconnect or “hang-up.” Clicking the microphone can mute/unmute while the headphones allows you to deafen/undeafen others through your computer.

By default, your microphone–assuming you have one built-in your device or connected–comes “on hot” or active. You can change it to only be on when you click an assigned button like the space bar. Though, I find it best to not worry about buttons. Simply use the mute/unmute option instead!

Setting Up Your Microphone and Video

By clicking on the gear button, you can make sure that your microphone and video work for Discord. Although you may have used your device for other voice-related platforms like Zoom, you still want to check and test while in Discord. Tech is funny that way.

This screen will then pop up and go to “Voice & Video” under “App Settings” in the left column.

Then, by clicking “Voice & Video,” you will see this “Voice Settings” screen:

Your input and output will be different. Do the mic test. Then scroll down on this same page until you see “Video Settings.” This is what it looks like:

Again, test the video.

If you have trouble with your video or seeing people who claim that their video is on, then click out of the video channel (disconnect/phone-“X” image) and then go back in. This will not be as reliable as Zoom but there is practicably no delay when speaking.

Here is what it is like when you are alone without video on (or at least storycrossroads):

The bottom “bar” has the usual camera image (turn on/off your camera), the computer with arrow image (share screen, includes files and/or video), the microphone (mute/unmute), and the red phone/”x” (disconnect/leave).

When others join in, here is what it could look like:

Three Voice Channels for Story Crossroads Discord Server:

For any of our three Voice Channels, keep it family-friendly. You can message a friend on the server like you would for Facebook Messenger and “meet” in any of these channels.

General

This can be any topic of storytelling…or even unrelated and needing to chat.

chat-about-stories

This is usually where our scheduled voice/video chats will take place. The main focus is having one person “take the floor” and share an idea for story-crafting or any other story-related ideas. Throughout our lives, we need to be there as a support. Join us on Mondays at 10pm MDT by using this direct Discord invite: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

worldwide-folktales

If people want to talk specifically about folktales and/or perform folktales, then this is the best voice channel. However, we will never have any formal performances on this Story Crossroads Discord Server.

What are you waiting for? Feel free to talk!

We may add more specific ones as time goes on. At least you have the basics…and the next blog post will be on voice channels. Only a couple…but some tips on how to troubleshoot and such.

Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

How to Best Use the Story Crossroads Discord Server – Part 1 of 5 – Getting Started

This is the first of five parts on how to benefit the most from the Story Crossroads Discord Server. Discord is a platform that combines features of Facebook, Zoom, and many others in one place. Text, image, audio, and video communications are possible with a network of people of like-interests.

5-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Getting Started – TODAY
  • Part 2 – Text Channels
  • Part 3 – Voice Channels
  • Part 4 – Adding Resources & Links
  • Part 5 – Scheduled & Random “Check-Ins”

If you prefer video approach and/or have these videos running while you glance below:

“Uh…what is Discord?” Or, “I thought Discord was for Video Gamers.”

No worries.

Discord is a platform that allows people to chat in many ways–text, audio, video and even through memes. This fascinating digital networking tool started in the video gaming world though has expanded to library, music, and so many more. Although it kick-started in 2015, it now has 19 MILLION daily users.

Discord has been relatively unknown to the storytelling world.

Let’s change that through Story Crossroads.

The potential with Discord to connect is important considering quarantines and limited-sized/proper-distanced events. Even beyond such circumstances, Discord is “on fire” on growth, momentum, and “stay-ability.” You might as well learn what all the buzz is about.

Here is How to Get Started with the Story Crossroads Discord Server:

  1. Click here for the direct invite/link. Discord can have public and private groups. Youth groups, sports teams, and you-name-it, have created what is called a Discord Server. You can have invite links that expire within 24 hours OR have one that never expires. For Story Crossroads, we opted for “never expires.” Thus, you can even share this direct link/invite: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

2. Clicking on the invite/link will take you to a similar image below. You will click on “Accept Invite.” Although called “members,” there are no fees. In fact, many people love Discord because there are NO ADVERTISEMENTS! There may be promotions or announcements from whoever runs the Server, but no outside ones. Facebook, YouTube…well, they do have those “sponsored ads” and such.

3. Complete the basics of creating a handle that either reveals or does not reveal who you are – up to you. I wanted it to be obvious on our side of things so “storycrossroads” was a natural handle/user name. Some people focus on their first name and then their specialty in storytelling. Super easy and basic for sign-up.

4. You can join more than the Story Crossroads Server. You can search keywords, but it is really only through invites. You don’t have to be part of more than one server. However, when we typed in “storyteller” or “storytelling,” we did not get much expect for role-playing groups. Oral storytelling is…lacking, except for us so far. We certainly hope other storytelling organizations create their own Discords. HINT: NATIONAL STORYTELLING NETWORK. UTAH STORYTELLING GUILD. THE SOCIETY OF STORYTELLING. THE FEDERATION OF ASIAN STORYTELLERS (FEAST). NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK STORYTELLERS (NAB). In fact, some people only focus on “the one.” There is not the pressure to have “more friends” or “more followers” as other places. Of course, we want a decent number of people on our Server so we can have more storytelling conversations. We will get to these in Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog series.

5. You can get notifications when someone in the Server has a comment. If you Server is growing or inactive, then these won’t pop up so much. However, as the Server grows, you may want to turn off notifications and simply check on it for updates.

BUT…be aware that if you do not “show up,” we have the option to “Prune” you. We can choose from 1-day-no-show, 7-day-no-show, and 30-day-no-show. We probably won’t…but we shall see. Here is what that option looks like for us in this image below:

6. Explore all the “categories” and “channels” on the left side of your screen.

Our categories are: Welcome; Story Crossroads; Text Channels; Voice Channels; Fun & Games; Academic Discussions.

Our channels are within those categories: welcome; rules; introduce-yourself; info-about-us; announcements; videos; livestreams; questions-for-us; general (text); chat-about-stories (text); worldwide-folktales (text); storygames; storymemes; admin-room (locked); moderators-room (locked); general (voice/video); chat-about-stories (voice/video); worldwide-folktales (voice/video); storygames (fun & games); storymemes (fun & games); story-genres (academic); and multilingual-storytelling (academic).

We will explain more in future blog posts of this series. Discord is best by laptop/computer though there is a free phone app. We have scheduled voice/video chats usually within “Voice Channels” and then “chat-about-stories” on Mondays at 10:00pm MDT. We will eventually have regular one during the daytime. Join us! Again, that invite link: https://discord.gg/KfwNK7Z.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups on our website home page at the bottom, the archive page, etc.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

Short & Sweet Marketing for Story Artists – Tip #2 of 5 – Social Media

This is the second of five parts on how best to manage marketing during this particular time period…or beyond. While Story Crossroads sees “story artists” to typically mean spoken word storytellers, these tips apply to all performing artists or professionals across industries.

5-Tips for 5 Days:

  • Tip 1 – Website – REVEALED
  • Tip 2 – Social Media – TODAY
  • Tip 3 – E-Newsletter & Email Lists
  • Tip 4 – Ideal Client
  • Tip 5 – Art of Consistency & Branding

With so many choices on social media, have at least one that is “strong.” Yet, you need a website to receive the full benefits of social media…

Your social media needs to drive people away from the hustle and bustle of the constant chatting and texting and voices of everyone.

The goal for any social media is to get to your website so that they can contact you about performance opportunities. Or buy your CDS and books. Or any number of revenue-building activities.

If you allow your people to “hang” on social media too long, they will eventually become distracted by something else. Blogs are considered social media though are part of your website so has the benefit of having people already at your website to explore.

Other forms of social media besides blogs: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram (plus many more icons) as well as picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing (can be story-sharing), crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, podcasting, etc.

Luckily, you do not have to be on or doing every single social media. Unless you have the volunteer or paid office people to give attention and care to it. Or interns. Ah, love interns–who tend to be up on the latest trends and ever-ready to share their knowledge and skills.

Paying someone at least $10/hour once a week could be worth it…if they can match your “voice” and style in communicating online.

Quick 5-Question Social Media Audit:

  1. Do you have YouTube and are you using it? Asking for subscribers? Adding material at least once a quarter (once a month, once a week or more is awesome)? Of all the social media, YouTube is on the “required” list to best showcase your art and easier for people to write grants and prove your ability to committees.
  2. Is there at least one other social media besides YouTube that you could commit regular time/postings? Consider your ideal client (will get more to that for tip#4). Click here for a basic idea from Flint Group – keep in mind this changes all the time.
  3. Are there any social media you do that you could drop to free up more time to emphasize your best one(s)? Or at least do automatic linkage such as Instagram/Facebook or any other combination? Best to post separately/per social media…but can “cheat.”
  4. Are you familiar with the up-and-coming platforms? Have you considered Twitch? Tik Tok? Discord? You do not need to be “on” these new ones, but are you willing to test them out? Ponder on what highlights storytelling and your work the best.
  5. Do you follow and analyze other storytelling, performing arts, and people of other industries and see what is working? What is not? Can you apply this to you?

Story Artists & Organizations Who Know How to Use Social Media to their Advantage:

Up & Coming on Social Media Buzz:

  • Tim Lowry – YouTube – he put out a goal to have at least 1,000 YouTube Subscribers so he can stream in a more effective way (was at 787 on 7/4/2020) – he will want to customize his YouTube domain name to have his name after “youtube.com” as he reached the minimum 100 subscribers to do so
  • Brian “Fox” Ellis – YouTube as Fox Tales International – while in the new stages, he has AMAZING production value and a plan/schedule in place, within 24 hours he had over 100 subscribers (was at 143 on 7/4/2020) – he will want to customize his YouTube domain name to have his name after “youtube.com” as he reached the minimum 100 subscribers to do so

If you want me to give initial thoughts on how you are doing with social media and do not mind well-intended bluntness, I am open to letting you know if you email info@storycrossroads.org. Yes, this is complimentary.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities with three options to watch it featuring our panelists: Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed, Sheila Arnold, Darci Tucker, and Brian “Fox” Ellis. We are grateful to funding from Utah Humanities.

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here

If you really want to experiment with us, we have the Story Crossroads Server on Discord with text/vocal/video chat options plus resources and ideas. Click here for the direct invite/link.