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Looking back at 2013 and forward into 2014, multimedia storytelling has been changing faster than ever. It’s working in tandem with tablet and responsive website technology, as the tech once reserved for engineers speeds up and left-brain types become more capable. Now it is easier for online storytellers to create a landscape that integrates multimedia elements into a seamless and more intuitive user experience.
The New York Times project Snowfall has been lauded as the groundbreaking piece of multimedia storytelling that led the charge of the integrated experience. But it wasn’t. Responsive Web design and much of the technology that made Snowfall possible was a property of modern Web coding languages such as HTML5. Snowfall had such success because a great story was augmented with cutting-edge technology and socially shared and marketed like no other multimedia project before. Regardless, Snowfall’s sheer popularity gave rise to the term “Snowfalling,” which basically means throwing a lot of user-oriented technology at the story.
Snowfall was published at the end of 2012, and it spawned a slew of multimedia stories with similar formats in 2013.
This project crafts a multisensory experience with sound and visuals to support a story about a small group of Filipino troops who man a forsaken ship in the shallow reefs of the South China Sea while trying to keep China’s massive fishing industry in check.
From production to the consumer and recycled back into use, NPR took advantage of responsive design and scrolling through video to tell the remarkable story of an average T-shirt and the massive interconnectedness of a global marketplace.
National Geographic took responsive design sideways, literally. Side-scrolling design as well as the use of video, stills and robots take us into the Serengeti to explore the world of African lions.
The Canadian National Film Board project is about population density and the modern-day need for vertical living. The site is a hub for various other projects exploring the phenomenon of vertical living.
“Hollow” takes the story to the community. The project creates a community framework for town residents to record and tell their own story.
2013 brought us some interesting and robust multimedia stories. As technology continues to move forward, it will be quite interesting to see what this year brings in multimedia storytelling.
- Tags: Learn & Discover
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