Multi Media Makes Messaging & Blogging Better

This week we are talking about multi-media elements in blogging and why it matters so much.  Who doesn’t adore blogs with great multi-media elements?  They successfully grab your attention, pique your curiosity, keep your interest, and done right improve the entire content and reader experience.

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Multi-media in the so called New Media is changing everything. Social discourse, politics, news gathering, news reporting, coverage of the Kardashians…what would any of it be without multi-media?

What Does Multi Media Really Mean?

Adding video and GIF’s, embedding links, building dynamic display tools all keep consumers engaged.

Here’s a quick example. Rather than just writing the phrase”Calgon take me away” look at how much more powerful it is to see this:

No accident that I’ve selected this particular commercial. Although undoubtably important and valuable, as a content producer I find many multi-media tools difficult to master. It’s often my “calgon” moment.

Has to be done though…we’ve just gotta get over any technophobic fear of learning how.  According to Matt Smith, a professional blogger and internet marketer from the UK, writing in 2013:

It doesn’t matter how brilliant your writing is, big sections of text on its own can be quite dull. People unfortunately do judge a book by its cover, so it is vitally important that you add other content in your articles to grab your reader’s attention.

Smith was right then and he is, if anything , even more correct now as the technology side of presentation is moving and improving so quickly.

Right Place. Right Time. Some Techniques Are Better Than Others

No one wants a PowerPoint presentation in a touching human interest story. Conversely a highly produced video or some slick animation would be out of place for something like the Oconee County Observations. (Becker, L. 2015) The right multi media has to be…well, the RIGHT multi media for that particular story. To be right. It should enhance the specific piece not just be multi media for the sake of multi media.

I was searching for outstanding examples of multi-media and happened upon: http://www.theplaceswelive.com  (Bendiksen, J. 2015) And trust me when I tell you it is worth a click here.

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Talk about the right multi media in the right place and the right time – OMG. No seriously. Oh Em Gee. The story telling, done almost entirely with unbelievably strong use of multi media tools is extraordinary. From incredible 360 degree views insides the homes to the text boxes over startling powerful still images – I found this use of multi media moving and profound. And the story demanded no less.

How to Know What Multi Media is Right

On the Online Journalism Blog I found a great primer on thinking through what media to use, how to use it and when to use it all based on the story you want to tell.(Bradshaw, P. August 2012) Gee, there’s a fascinating concept, right? Boom!

The article itself is is available here: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2012/08/21/how-to-get-started-as-a-multimedia-journalist/

It boils the use of multi media down to four logical and bite-sized steps:

  1. Look for multimedia opportunities in your journalism
  2. Plan and practice
  3. Improve the technical side with an understanding of principles
  4. Start simple, and go from there

Frankly, I was inspired. I don’t have to become the Stephen Spielberg of multi media blogging unless that is the best way to tell my stories. I was thinking about which multi media is the most effective for me in this grad school blog, and it occurs to me that an info-graphic would be appropriate.

Blogger Creation of Multi Media

I’m lucky enough to have a great designer working for me, and he usually builds what we need at work, but that felt like cheating in this case. So I’ve used https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/ and taught myself how to do this:

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Not going to win any awards, right? Not really the point, as the Online Journalism Blog says:

Your first attempts will be crude and frustrating – but they will point you to the key issues, and provide the motivation for learning the techniques.

(Bradshaw, P. 2012)

Crude and frustrating? Nailed it. But feeing motivated to improve too.

 

 

Sources:

Becker, L. (2015) Oconee County Observations. Retrieved from: http://www.oconeecountyobservations.org

Bendiksen, J. (2015) The Places We Live (u.d.) Retrieved from: http://www.theplaceswelive.com

Bradshaw, P. (August 2012) How to get started as a multimedia journalist. Onlinejournalismblog.com. Retrieved from: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2012/08/21/how-to-get-started-as-a-multimedia-journalist/

Easy, Drag-and-Drop Infographic Creator (2015) Canva.com Retrieved from: https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/

Smith, M. (March 2013) Why Multimedia Blog Content Is Good For Your Site. Benchmarkemail.com Retrieved from: http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs/detail/why-multimedia-blog-content-is-good-for-your-site

 

 

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