My students and I have been making participatory documentaries forsome years in my course Transient Spaces (part of the Mas ter of Com-munication Degree at RMIT University, and an elective inother pro-grams). This cookbook attempts to codify my practical experience of making participatory documentaries using social media. It is light ondeﬁnitions and theories, and more focussed on techniques and (hope-fully) shortcuts.
My approach relies on entry level domestic media technology and free, or verycheap, online services. It is aimed at people with basic skills (in photography, socialmedia and desktop publishing, for example). While many people are ‘beguiled by video’, it is not necessary.This cookbook is not aimed at professionals, and the projects that are presupposedare of a small scale. However the principles presented may be of wider interest.Professional media makers need to harness the media empowerments now enjoyed by ordinary people through social media, both to make and disseminate engagedand ethically responsible documentaries.The style of documentary making codiﬁed in this cookbook is an emergent genre.It is allied to a broader media movement which often goes by the name of transme-dia, but as the word ‘documentary’ suggests, it is focussed on real world issues. It isalso a type of digital storytelling (see Digital Storytelling Overview by Amy Good- loe for deﬁnition, research and pedagogy). What makes it a particularly interestingform is its engagement with people — both in the making and the dissemination — which it achieves partly by radically incorporating social media. Participatorydocumentary using social media faces the same issues of cohesiveness and authorial voice as participatory documentaries have faced in the past. If you are predisposed