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Money and the Greeks ( Interview sequence: Greek bike messenger

by Verena Kick

This sequence is part of Money and the Greeks (2012), a web-native documentary by Florian Thalhofer. Thalhofer uses his software Korsakow (developed in 2000) for putting together his web-native documentary films. Korsakow is an open-source application for dynamic storytelling, be it web documentaries or other kinds of nonlinear, interactive narratives. No program expertise is needed for Korsakov, only the understanding of how to work with one's footage in terms of SNUs and POCs (terms invented by Heinz Emigholz). A filmmaker takes her footage, edits it into video clips up to 2-3 minutes long and then starts to turn them into a SNU, i.e. adding keywords and and other rules to it. This kind of editing is called "algorithmic editing." In a second step, the filmmaker creates links between these SNUs. These links are called POCs and are more than merely a link - they are more like possible "docking points." Sometimes a SNU finds via a POC the right matching SNU or several SNUs, but sometimes the right SNU with the right keywords are not there. (More about Korsakow here:

In this sequence, the user has chosen to watch this interview (SNU) with the bike messenger. While I am watching this interview, smaller previews of the next SNU are loaded and offered to the user. By mousing over them, I see a preview image, the SNU's tag word (which is not necessarily identical with its keywords) and also a bar in the lower half of the preview image that represents how people (Germans, Greeks, and Greek expats), who have watched the footage before it was turned into a web-native documentary, have voted on singular interviews, either agreeing or not agreeing with that the interviewee stated.

As a user experience, the user is listening to the currently playing SNU, while trying at the same time to figure out where to go next, to connect what is said to the next SNU, to guess what the tag might have to do with the matching clip, how it will relate to the current clip etc.

To some extent, the user is almost focused more on the navigational part of the web  documentary than on the actual content, at least at first. Once interviewees and clips reappear, the user weaves her own narrative out of the stories told.


Money and the Greeks ( Interview sequence with Bike messenger

Money and the Greeks ( Interview sequence with Bike messenger Demonstration of navigating a web documentary, in this case, a Korsakov-Film.

from Money and the Greeks: (2012)
Creator: Florian Thalhofer
Posted by Verena Kick