Facebook pages have been created for all eight women, along with missing New Jersey native Shannan Gilbert. The strangest connections are among the Atlantic City victims. All four profiles are "friends" with one another on Facebook. One of them, Molly Jean Dilts, is also friends with Amber Lynn Costello, a Long Island call girl who was found in a shallow grave on Gilgo Beach in December. The Costello profile's only friends are Dilts and a profile named "Jane Doee."
This follows the classic blog/Facebook digital storytelling form of character-based narration.
There's also a related form, extending the single-character model across others, a kind of extension and remix strategy:
Someone, or a group of someones, is taking creepy role-playing to the next level, though, by using their fake profiles to comment on a memorial page for another local murder victim, Anne Marie Fahey, who was killed by her lawyer lover in 1996. ...:
"we were all killed by the Capano's.""We are still waiting for justice. We were found in November 2006 in Mays Landing, NJ," the posting read. Immediately beneath Dilts' comment, a blank Facebook profile with the name "Colleen Marie" said the following: "They should also be looking at them in connection with 4 . . . girls found in Babylon NY. If something happens to me it is because I knew what they did back then and I know what did to you girls. I think I'm next."
It's like Lovely Bones, but more closely anchored to the real world.
There are other social media responses to the killings, including a rap video (described) and a blog.
Smuggling art into the world: one forger has built an elaborate performance for getting his works into museums. Apparently Mark Augustus Landis creates fakes of original watercolors, then pretends to be a Jesuit priest donating to cultural heritage institutions.
His motivations remain obscure. Is it performance art? A kind of cultural obsession?
Landis doesn't steal anything. He never physically harms his targeted museums. In fact,
however annoying and disruptive Landis’s activities may be for museums, he does not seem to have broken the law. “The criminal statute [of fraud] says there must be a loss and that’s the problem. There hasn’t been a loss to any victim,” says Robert Wittman, an investigator who used to run the FBI’s Art Crime Team.
What a story!
Here's one fascinating tidbit, good for generating stories:
Like many US art museums, the Hilliard relies on rich, often elderly, donors to bolster its collection and is accustomed to eccentrics. “In my experience with Jesuit priests and upper-crust wealthy donors, it’s not unusual to run into someone quirky,” Tullos says.
Here's another take on Web-based storytelling. L5 is a science fiction Web video series, about a spaceship crew investigating a mysteriously depopulated Earth.
Publication is planned like so:
The pilot episode of L5 wil be distributed through Vimeo and Youtube [channel] in high definition, as well as quicktime format on our website, and will be promoted as viral content on web forums, news fed sites, emails, as well as a production blog ...
Distribution and production of further episodes will be determined by the response to the pilot. Possible distribution methods include branded content or partnering with a torrent site.
How do we make stories through blogs? One answer is by romance, real-life romance narrated in real time. Check this discussion of one food blogger, who writes about her relationship to a chef:
[R]oughly half of the nearly 500,000 visitors to Ahern's website each month don't suffer from celiac disease. They just want to know what will happen next for Gluten-Free Girl.
"Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" is the title, and that romance apparantly brings in the readers. Call it the category (romance) or the genre (autobiography), it works. Readers return to keep up with bits of story, unfolding in blogtime.
In addition, there's what I've called mystery - here, the puzzle of figuring out how to eat well on a GF diet.
Note, too, the accidental nature of the thing. 1/2 the readers aren't into food issues. Sometimes digital storytelling appears when least expected.
Here's a fun example of social media storytelling - well, not using social media directly, but situating a story across a bunch of Web 2.0 platforms, imaginatively. Plus games. Check out "The Chase" - it's just shy of two minutes long:
It's apparently a marketing device, aimed at showing off a new and speedy processor.
Banks in Savannah, Georgia have suspended specie payment and “the Bank bill, passed by both Houses over the veto of the Governor, authorizes the suspension of specie payments and suspends the legal collection of all debts until December, 1861.”
Fifteen blacks and one white man have been hanged in Kentucky for attempting to incite insurrection. No further information is known at this time.
This blog posts extracts from E J Rudsdale's diaries of life on the home front in Britain during the Second World War. Each extract is posted exactly 70 years after it was first written, so follow events through the eyes of a witness to the war.
Today, for instance:
26th November 1940
Felt dreadfully ill today, and fainted in the Library this afternoon, being revived by the staff with hot tea. Very embarrassing. However, went off to see [the film] “Saloon Bar”, still feeling bad. Afterwards spent a miserable evening at Rose’s. Fine night, but no alarms, nor any all day.
The blog's "new readers" item is very good, with links to content about "people and places mentioned in his diaries", navigation to starting points, and "a summary of events so far in Eric's diary." Very useful for first-time readers. The blog is tied to a book, too.
May Hill’s previously quiet English seaside village became an unwitting target for enemy aircraft, her only son a young volunteer in the RAF, her husband a Coastguard, and close family members early casualties. In rare moments of peace from ‘her own old enemy’ she became devoted to writing.
Decades later, a fading old school exercise book, found hidden away in a forgotten drawer, began a family project of search and research. When, after several more years, the final cache of ‘missing’ diaries unexpectedly came to light, so did a wonderful surprise collection of May’s original poetry.
The blog is also linked to two books. Digitally, May Hill now has a Twitter feed, along with a Facebook page.
Both are evidence of the digital-analog ecosystem strategy of publication. In my new book I use the weird term "multiple proscenia" to describe this.