Week 5 Story Critique: Because Being Silly Matters Too!

OMG… I just have to say that this was not my original story, but after fighting with embedding a Facebook video for three hours… I am giving into my second choice. Okay,the vent is done!

I would like to welcome you to the Shetland Islands, where my parents and I immigrated from. I am biased, but this is a beautiful place and the culture and people are even more beautiful. No, this is not a go visit Shetland post, but if you do please know that you need to plan ahead as you will be traveling into the middle of the North Sea. Originally settled by the Picts, it has a strong Norse tradition and yes, Shetland Ponies.

What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

One is supposed to enjoy this piece as an audience, it brings a little fun to the famous pony icon. If you are a participant in this story,  it’s okay to dance along and smile. As the author or creator the motivation for involving the audience it to really bring focus to the locale the background behind the dancing. In relation to my theme, it’s hard to break out of the norm and be yourself. This little pony is dancing their way into joy.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? 

Well, I could make the argument that this is an example of fan fiction as it rewrites the traditional notion of the iconic image of the Shetland pony. It is composed to bring them into life with a personality and an attitude of confidence. It could also been seen as a tied to a commercial purpose a way of reading “Visit Shetland” in a more modern and digital way.

Pony on Belstone Common, Dartmoor

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

There are multiple online spaces for this story. It was found on You.Tube, but was originally created for online interaction. It went viral and some sites that it was used on would include traditional texts such as the Daily Mail, Visit Scotland, ABC News, ITV News and the BBC. It was also seen on Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Pintrest, and many more sites. By having this story of the dancing pony going viral it brought attention to the islands in a very public and inventive way. It engaged potential tourism to the islands and became a sensation on its own. By sharing this story it spread the story of visiting a country.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement? 

This was well produced, they must have waited for a perfect day in Shetland. It can be a day where you cannot even see the ponies because of the fog.Very powerful images of the landscape and scenery. I think the remix of the music was well placed. I may have shown a little more interaction with the other ponies to set the tone for what a “non dancing pony” looks like. I think audiences’ really enjoyed this story as it was spread across the digital space and across the western world. I think there is room to work on the moon walking feet, I could see a little digital modification here, but this is getting quite nitty-gritty with my critique.

Since I know the culture of Shetland, I did laugh at the cliff moment because one must be cautious when waking on the Isles because the cliffs can sneak up on you or have some mighty winds. I also thought the interaction with the tractor was well done. When we are brave enough to be uniquely ourselves we often stop dancing when someone is watching. I thought this added a bit of humor and humanity to the piece. I was engaged and I hope you were too!.


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