ds106: Audio Assignment – Introducing the DS106 International Treaty

The concept

The ds106 International Treaty is a satirical and completely fictitious set of rules and regulations (Google document/Word) drafted by participants of the open digital storytelling (ds106) course. The International Treaty is an attempt to define an agreement which governs the behaviour of all mankind.

In this introduction, I have created a fictitious public service announcement from a  representative from the southern continent. They wish to discuss the terms of the International Treaty and put forward two possible caveats to the existing treaty as part of an ongoing dialogue with other ds106 participants. This public service announcement is a declaration of intent to create a treaty that is fair and just.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/19552061″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”120]

Right select (Save Target/Link As…) to download the ds106 International Treaty Introduction (MP3, 1.9MB)


The audio assignment – A course as a community

Ds106 could be regarded as a course made up of multiple student enrolment layers (open, online, face-to-face, UMW students), but I think it’s more than that. As an outsider completing the open section of the ds106 course, I see the ds106 course as a community. A non-clique community made up of global citizens that produce and share content and forge personal and professional relationships. The ds106 International Treaty audio assignment will provide the backdrop for me to explore concepts and themes of:

  • a course as a foundation for a community
  • a community as a self governing system
  • the development of networked relationships.


  1. Todd Conaway

    Well, first off I think I am going to have to create and contribute my own anthem straightaway. That idea is going to go places. Second, brilliant idea.

    I hope to get my audio act together with @cogdog as we have a great start to the audio assignment but have work to do to finish by the 11th. And, @mburtis had great idea about doing the treaty in audio and I bailed on that front. This has got me energized toward the most noble goal of a useful treaty. They could of used one last night on the #ds106radio tweets. Lots of my ____ it better than yours. We need a working and active treaty.

  2. Thanks for your comments Todd.

    You’re right, the ds106 International Treaty works best as an ‘audio document’. It’s like something you would hear being broadcast from a United Nations summit via the BBC World Service. That’s how I saw the concept being realised anyway.

    Looking forward to hearing your response on behalf of the ‘citizens from the northern continent’.

  3. Hey Todd. What I failed to recognise in my previous comment was the excellent work you did to kickstart the whole International Treaty off with the open Google document. That was a great way to community-source ds106 specific content.

  4. Todd Conaway

    I am interested to see where the call goes with storytelling in text?

  5. Pingback:ds106 Treaty in Audio « the pagan pirate archives

  6. I’m loving the recordings, but I wonder whether recording the Treaty doesn’t make it less of a living document and more of an static artwork? We can riff off of it now, but I no longer feel comfortable adding to it. It’s almost like doing the audio embeds it in stone somehow.

  7. Todd Conaway

    Can we compare this to the notation of music and the renditions of the notation that are played over and over, all slightly different if only in venue and in instruments? Is it the notation that is flexible or the adaptations? Perhaps all are flexible, amendable, and only in a moment caught in a stony silence 🙂 Or not?

    I think we will find beauty in the differences that come out of the audio work, and wonders that come out of the written work. My version is just bizarre. Not at all like Martha’s version. Interpret the essence of the thing. Or literally? These are the same challenges we face these days in religion and law. Are we looking for the spirit of the law or the literal meaning? Where is the common ground, if there is any at all?

  8. For me, the audio version of the ds106 International Treaty is the conversation. The kind of conversation delegates would have at a United Nations sanctioned event (If something strange was in the water). 🙂

    • That’s funny — I see it as the reverse, where the potential is greater for the written version to be more alive. Must be something about me being a historian. Maybe relating to the Constitution.

      Todd’s seeing it as notation is interesting. Maybe it is more like different instruments. Jazz improv. That helps.

      • Todd Conaway

        I wonder if this has to do with learning styles and learning preferences? For example, would we be more likely to follow rules distributed in audio (like a parent saying, don’t do that) or in a written rule on the wall of a classroom? I am sure it would have to do with the person making the rules and the perception of them by the rulee. But I wonder if we see some as being more legit than others because of the form they are transmitted in. Of course, all forms are in words.

  9. Todd Conaway’s use of Storify to aggregate the disparate strands of the ds106 International Treaty into a cohesive annotated narrative is amazing!


  10. Todd Conaway

    I added the storify story to a @shareski blog http://soistartedagoogledoc.com/google-doc-story and the thing was viewed like 1000 times in the first couple days! Now it is at 1900 views. Good marketing.

    I like the storify product?

    • I like it too! I think it works well as a commentary-style review tool, where you comment on the stages of a project or piece of work!

      I’m sure there are many other uses.


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