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Publishing Digital Multimedia Scapes August 16, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends.
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I was invited to speak, moderate and judge at the Asian Publishing Convention in Singapore this week. My presentations shared strategies for creating deep immersive multimedia packages and making the browsing experience more organic and contextual. My take – when the Web is no longer flat, journalists need to think about content in multi-dimensions.

Hello Web 3.0. With so much graphics, images, audio and video captured and created by producers and consumers, how can publishers, bloggers and advertisers exploit this media to explore new experiences or applications? How can we create a richer engagement with content?

The publisher must act as the integrator of multiple media types, multiple experts, and multiple industries to turn an idea into a product. Different technologies, standards, and business issues must be considered when extending electronic publishing into multimedia.

When convergence calls, the consumer is in control, shifting the unit of information consumption. When Napster came along a decade ago, the musical unit of consumption shifted from album to song. Today iPod and iTunes offer a whole new way of providing music.

With the invention of online media, the publishing industry has also seen its unit change —from overall publication to individual article. Readers seldom consume an entire newpaper or publication, instead picking and mixing a variety of articles from different sources.

Since the book evolved from a scroll to the page, no change in the practice of publishing texts has had such an impact on the way we perceive and use publications as electronic publishing. This paradigm shift changes the way text is perceived in time and space and the integration of text, video, and audio into a multimedia product is a logical step.

Yet it is not the technology that undergoes the biggest change, but the role of the publisher, who has to re-emerge as the agent of a new medium. Empowered by new tools and technologies, anyone can become a multimedia producer.

Most “me too” multimedia publications renege on the promise of an interactive and integrated experience in digital space. They are lots of fun to make fun of, but certainly not funny.

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