Short and sweet: How to tell a great story, by Seth Godin. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There are informational packages, and then, there are stories. Some stories are linear. Multimedia stories can be linear, but past a certain length, they must be nonlinear.
The question is, how do you construct a nonlinear story? More specifically, how do I teach students to approach the construction of a nonlinear story?
To create vicarious experiences for readers or viewers, writers transform the famous five W’s and the H. “Who” becomes character. “What” becomes plot. “Where” becomes setting. “When” becomes chronology. “Why” becomes motive. And “How” becomes narrative.
I think that’s the start: Take the traditional elements of reporting and recast them. Then figure out which of those are the keys to the particular story. The characters are often keys. Maybe time (when) is very important in one story, but in another story, place (where) is more important. Photos can be used effectively to show characters and place. Graphics can show chronology. Audio and text in combination reveal plot and motive.
I should have known Macromedia (Adobe) would address the gnarly IE ActiveX problem. The updater can be downloaded from this page. This update is for Flash 8 only. It works as a MM extension (.mxp), so you download it, unzip it, and then launch the Macromedia Extension Manager to easily install it. Just look inside your Macromedia folder (inside Programs or Applications). The Extension Manager is there.
Get the straight dope about on-demand video from CNN.com (David Payne), ABC Digital (Bernard Gershon), CBS Stations (Jonathan Leess), NYTimes.com (Vivian Schiller) and Advanced Media Ventures Group (Shelly Palmer) via Cory Bergman blogging live (yesterday) from NAB.
The Lost Remote team has been covering the heck out of the gigundo NAB conference. It’s almost as good as being there!
The big announcement from BBC News worries me: My favorite online news site will be radically transformed, and maybe I won’t like the result! The BBC online will be reorganized around the concepts “share,” “find” and “play.”
… although the BBC had lots of policy ideas about the future, it hadn’t really grappled with the creative challenge of what feels like an entirely new chapter in broadcasting.
Thompson (Director-General of the BBC) outlined five themes:
“Martini Media”: Media that’s “available when and where you want it with content moving freely between different devices and platforms…. it means we have to adopt a completely new approach to development, commissioning and production by the BBC: From now on, wherever possible, we need to think cross-platform, across TV, radio and web for audiences at home and on the move.”
Entertainment: Think about mobile applications and other ways of using new media “from the very start of the creative process”; “nurturing and support of outstanding writers”; relaunch the BBC comedy Web site; “use 360-degree commissioning, interactivity, user-generated content to reengage audiences in primetime TV entertainment.”
Young audiences: “… the drift away from the BBC by some younger audiences, which we picked up on more than five years ago, is not just continuing but accelerating.”
… we’ll also launch a new teen brand aimed at 12 to 16 year olds which will be delivered via existing broadband, TV and radio services as well as mobile and other new devices … We’re going to take diversity, onscreen and off-screen, far more seriously than we have — it’s critical in convincing younger audiences that we’re in touch with them.
Findability: “… if we don’t coordinate our content, make it easy to find and brand it clearly, it may just disappear.” Yes! That’s a brilliant observation, and one far too few news organizations have taken seriously until now.
The active audience: “The final theme may turn out to be one of the most important. … the audience … doesn’t want to just sit there but to take part, debate, create, communicate, share.”
A year ago, Poynter launched NewsU, a free site for online learning about my favorite subject — journalism. Anyone from anywhere is welcome to register (it’s free), and most self-directed courses take only an hour or two.
Take a look at “Multimedia Reporting: Covering Breaking News,” for example (start with the video documentary section; it’s good). Beginning journalism students could certainly benefit from the “Be a Reporter” game. Most of us could learn something from “Math for Journalists.”
In case you have not read my previous post, this is all about making your Flash movies work normally (again) in IE.