If you Google for ‘digital storytelling’, the top links focus on training in storytelling and multimedia tools ( e.g. http://dsi.kqed.org/index.php , the best of this bunch) and it’s hard to find public free databases dedicated to distributing heritage and cultural histories. So I did a bit of digging.
Please comment with more examples if you have them.
1 Digital storytelling & community archiving sites
A database for small heritage archives and community groups.
It costs quite a bit to sign up to it: http://commanet.org/English/C_What_you_need.htm
Cultural Objects in Linked Environments. This is a demonstration project, aiming to enable community groups/schools to tell stories using cultural images. Partners vary from schools to villages to museums across Europe.
An online community for sharing digital stories. The description sounds great but the site seems to be offline.
Schools can upload digital stories if they are within the National Education Network (UK broadband consortia)
Community groups can currently upload stories to Moving Here, not just the groups that were part of their Routes to the Future project, which has added 400 more stories from more migrant groups.
2 Generic tools that allow community & learning groups to create their own websites:
These tools are easy to use. However, your own story site wouldn’t easily be connected into a wider community that is about the history of places and cultures. (Comments are invited on whether or not this matters.)
http://lotsofbigideas.blogspot.com/ is a good example of a community blog, allowing refugees to post & share ideas & experiences
http://pbwiki.com/ Wikis can also be useful for making freeform hypertext stories.
http://elgg.net/ You can use a variety of tools to run your own learning network. ELGG Spaces is a new service that means you don’t have to download the software to your servers.
Drupal with CivicCRM is the best for a large Community website and has extensive audio and video uploading facilities.
For families’ to share information and their history/stories
Flickr, YouTube, of course, are also good distribution sites. Flickr isn’t just photos but can be for writing projects e.g. http://flickr.com/groups/nycwp/discuss/162532/
Ubuntu seems a good open source Operating System, especially if you’re doing projects with underfunded groups and other countries, because it’s available in many languages and there are 14,000 packages all with no cost (seems hard to believe).