A few things you should know before choosing this College
You don’t need any prior knowledge of “technology”, you don’t have to be a geek, you don’t need to know everything about virtual reality, mobile apps, video games, websites and social networks, you don’t need to know how to use graphics and editing programmes, and you don’t have to be a developer. You’ve come to Holden because you want to write, don’t you? Fine, at this College you will write. But your stories will not end up in print, they’ll travel across the web, they’ll appear on various platforms, and readers will have their say about them and discuss them with each other.
Know that at this College you will work in a highly independent manner, rarely as part of a group. You will notice that the roads you and your colleagues follow will be unique and personal, and they’ll lead you to explore totally different worlds.
What you’ll be doing over the two years
You’ll do lots of things in the classroom, and many different kinds of things. At this College it’s a bit like going constantly Off Track. You will learn to write on and for the web, but you won’t necessarily have to know how to programme the technical media on which your stories will be posted; you’ll write stories that will be disseminated using these channels.
To find a solution to the challenges you’ll come up against, you will explore some rocky, unbeaten paths that no one has travelled before, to create something unprecedented and ground-breaking. You will study websites and mobile apps, and learn digital strategy, or how to build action plans to engage people online and make them work together. You will study online communities and a discipline that goes by the fascinating name of “cyber ethnography”. You will observe and listen to human communities that inhabit the web, a bit like ethnologists who observe indigenous communities that inhabit the jungle.
You will have direct transmedia experiences, will analyse the potential of new initiatives and will transform creative ideas into online trends. You might come up with a storyline for a video game, even if you don’t know how to create it from a technical point of view. You will experiment with all kinds of writing for the web, from tweets to long form, and incredibly, one of your reference books will be Le lezioni americane (Six Memos for the Next Millennium) by Italo Calvino. The book was written in 1985, but the values described in it are nonetheless qualities that are still necessary for succeeding in this most futuristic of Colleges. Not bad, eh?
What you’ll be able to do by the time you leave
- you’ll know all the rules for communicating via any digital channel: online storytelling techniques, ways of interacting with the public, and techniques for engagement;
- you will have acquired experience devising communication plans, subjects for virtual and augmented reality, or even a short film for mobiles (directed, filmed and edited entirely on a smartphone): this is the type of experience that counts in the real world;
- you’ll be prepared for working in the corporate communication sector, at communication agencies or as a social media manager;
- finally, you’ll have written and saved a lot of stories. Of all the things you will discover, analyse and explore over the two years, there’ll probably be at least one or two that will keep you awake at night. These are the things you need to follow up on and transform into material projects; by this point you’ll have learned how to do that.
Master – 2017/2019
Who is he?
It’s cool to say Chief Creative Officer. It’s even cooler to use the acronym CCO. In Italian, that’s “Direttore Creativo Esecutivo” of Ogilvy&Mather Italia. In real life, he writes, teaches and studies advertising and marketing and never stops enjoying it.
How did he begin?
He wrote the very first erotic hot line scripts, way before Internet and YouPorn. A few weeks later, he was writing the CD Rom for Cistercian monks to include in the weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana (The Christian Family) and made peace with his conscience.
What does he do when he’s not writing?
What about when he’s not reading?
He plays billiards. Italian five-pin billiards: technique, instinct, creativity and a good arm. Just like writing.
Why does he say words can fly?
Because the digital world has shattered context frames and our writing often assumes new boundaries compared to the perimeters it was originally designed for. Today, a Facebook post has the same potential audience as a thirty-second ad during the Super Bowl. It is the planning attitude that decides the outcome of a message, not the media in question.
Who is Iabicus?
It’s his digital alter ego. It’s him twittering and posting pictures on Instagram, posting on Facebook and writing on Medium. Iabicus does not always agree with Paolo, but most of the time he hits the nail on the head.
The Master of 2016-2018 is Massimo Banzi, an Italian businessman and designer. Co-founder of Arduino, according to The Economist he is one of the promoters of the “new industrial revolution” started by the Maker movement.
Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Digital during the last school years: Michel Reilhac, Alessandro Garofalo, Manuela Cacciamani, Max Giovagnoli, Davide Bartolucci, Emmanuel Guardiola, Simone Arcagni, Giuseppe Mazza, Tito Faraci, Luca Morena.