In the spirit of this quote
Building thorough chronologies in your research process can help a writer see unexpected connections
from Amy O’Leary, I thought I’d post this follow-up to Wired.com’s interview profile “Smart Readers Are Too Distracted to Dig Smart Content" by Raw File’s Pete Brook. To make those "unexpected connections," I thought it may be helpful to share some follow-up thoughts as well as a few exchanges I had with friends and industry colleagues regarding the Q&A. Here we go:
Photo is by Thomas Patterson. He took some great photos of the Second Story studio space that didn’t make the edit. It’s a great environment for collaboration and creativity. How Magazine recognized it as one of the 5 Creative Workspaces in the Western U.S. And our very own creative director for envrionments Daniel Meyers wrote a post about the future of studio design on AIGA. In any case, I appreciate Second Story for allowing the photo shoot to happen in the studio.
For six years he was the Director of Multimedia at the New York Times, developing groundbreaking interactive news packages like the Emmy award-winning A Year At War.
I’m compelled to point out that A Year at War was a deeply collaborative project that pulled together an enormously talented team. Here’s a behind the story panel at the duPont Awards.
The Times’ award winning Snow Fall is a prime example of users’ deep engagement and cinematic interactives on a linear narrative.
In the slight chance folks missed it, the Source has an excellent Q&A with the team that put together Snow Fall: How We Made Snow Fall.
Even though people are more engaged with the internet, the danger is that users’ focus is fractured.
David Campbell challenged the headline and was craving for evidence regarding this fractured focus. I ended up pointing him to Matt Richtel’s NYTimes series Your Brain on Computers. But I generally agree that we need more research on the impact of media consumption and interactivity.
As for the headline, I enjoyed what others resonated with in their tweets including:
- Ingredients of compelling storytelling in the era of distraction
- Attention and not content is the scarcity challenge
- Insight on keeping distracted audiences engaged
- The past, the present and the future of storytelling
- Today’s media tools, philosophies, distractions, challenges
I’ve found it successful to send out the videographer/photographer with an audio producer… Audio is the backbone to multimedia.
Lexi Mainland gently reminded me that the original Emmy winner was the ground-breaking series One in 8 Million. It was an engagement series where we asked fellow New Yorkers to suggest potential profiles. In addition, the series is a great example of where audio led multimedia and informed the fantastic photography by Todd Heisler.
We talked a lot about creating white papers for the tools we developed. The Times‘ interactive timeline for example could easily be a white paper for licensing out the technology.
Of interest, former senior multimedia producer Zach Wise went on and continued to do amazing work after leaving NYT which included developing Timeline.JS.
Al Tompkins, of the Poynter Institute, often says, “People will tend to remember what they feel rather than what they know,” and I think we’ve lost some of that in some data visualizations.
I’ve cited Al a number of times before. And suspect that I’ll continue to do so. It’s such an insightful thought. The quote is actually: “people always remember what they feel longer than what they know” from his book “Aim for the Heart.”
A Times interactive piece in which we were tried to explain artificial intelligence included a feature that allowed people to play rock-paper-scissors against a computer… Likewise, an interactive about distracted driving allowing people to drive through hurdles and gates — every so often a text would show up and you had to text a response.
Just wanted to provide the links to these interactive pieces and give credit where credit is due.
Both pieces were primarily produced by two amazing journalists: Gabe Dance and Tom Jackson. I miss working these guys. Gabe now leads the interactive team at The Guardian US. Tom makes awesome iOS games with his brothers.
Alma: A Tale of Violence by Miguel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère won in the Interactive Documentary category of the multimedia contest. It was a good choice.
This interactive documentary was produced by the interactive firm Upian. They also produced the widely-popular Prison Valley interactive in 2010.
Five years from now, we’ll look back at Bear 71 and think, “Of course that’s how you navigate.” Bear 71 has introduced new paradigms of interactivity that producer and user are exploring together.
Seriously, if you’re not familiar with the interactive work from the National Film Board, set aside some time today and check out their work: NFB Interactive.
One of our designers at Second Story did a design pitch all in motion graphics… He put it together in a day-and-a-half. That’s the kind of skill-set that I’m blown away by.
This guy: Swanny Mouton. True baller. But also one of many talented individuals I get to work with everyday.
Pete Brook covers art and photography for Wired.com’s Raw File blog.
Speaking of talent, check out Pete’s Prison Photography. Compelling and important work. I had the pleasure of seeing their installation at PhotoVille in New York last year.
Hope this was helpful.