Interactive storytelling on the web – I’m specifically thinking about audioslide shows – has a bit of a chequered history, it’s often been touted as the next big thing, but few content providers have really embraced it. There are cost issues – Flash development isn’t cheap, and then there’s the bandwidth to think about, but the same issues apply to online video, and, from a personal perspective, I think that well-made audio slideshows can have as much impact as online video: image quality is almost always better, and the audio is usually more focused.
There are other reasons why it’s worth doing audio slideshows: interactive content, like video, attracts much higher CPMs, and production costs are falling – tools like Vuvox and Soundslides or even jquery and content slider obviate the need for expensive Flash developers, so ROI now looks much better.
Anyway, enough blah, here are a few of my favourite audio slideshows and audio slideshow producers:
Bombay Flying Club : The Afghan Diaries
The Bombay Flying Club is two Danish and one Canadian multimedia journalists, who, in my opinion, are leaders in the field of interactive storytelling.
The Whale Hunt
Jonathan Harris’ Whale Hunt is often talked of more of as art than reportage, however, I think it sits well here as it tells the story of a Whale Hunt conducted by the Inupiat Eskimo family in Barrow, Alaska.
An audio interview of one of the residents of LAs skidrow with associated images from NPR.
Chucking-out time in UK pubs.
Evidence of my Existence
Finally, just in case you thought all of this multimedia journalism was terribly glamorous, photojournalist Jim Lo Scalzo talks frankly about his career and the toll it has taken on his personal life. (Contains some graphic images of the dead and dying.)
In the next post in this series about interactive storytelling I’ll take a closer look at the tools used for capturing and publishing the content using in multimedia journalism.