No sooner have we all mastered blogs, podcasting, video-blogging, e-zines, and the latest social media networks like Pinterest & Instagram, than along comes new stuff to get our heads around like mobile app creation, Hangouts on Air, data journalism and Augmented Reality.
Digital journalist, Benji Lanyado, knows this better than most and has been in the vanguard of many new technologies and techniques.
It was Benji who, three and a half years ago, pioneered the concept of the TwiTrip for the Guardian newspaper when he created live interactive travel features by turning up in a destination and asking his twitter followers for suggestions on what to do and where to stay.
It was Benji, again in 2009, who showed us the potential of augmented reality apps.
It was Benji who last year first highlighted Drone Journalism.
And yesterday he reminded us there are always new ways to tell stories, with the launch of his Interactive Story service.
The concept is not entirely new. Some digital publishers have produced similar content formats, but usually one-off projects or presentations outsourced to digital art houses or large web development agencies. What’s unusual about Benji’s service is that he can produce these interactive stories by himself in just a few days.
You do see these things every now and then in newspapers who have big interactive teams, but I wanted to create a model where you can create an interactive story quickly and cheaply and offer it to more or less anyone.
Benji, who describes himself as a ‘Journalist & Developer’, has created his new format, which is designed to run on mobiles as well as desktops and across all browsers, entirely from scratch.
I left the Guardian a few months ago (although I’m still working freelance with them) because I actually wanted to learn how to code properly. It’s not complicated coding but it’s robust and works on iPads and PCs, Android phones and all browsers. Even on old versions of the Internet Explorer browser, which is wonderful!
Is it a format that other travel writers, content producers and tourism organisations may be using in the future? Benji thinks so:
I think it’s an inevitability that we have got to move beyond plain articles and videos and podcasts and galleries. They’ve been around for a century in digital terms. 99% of articles and blogs are copy-image-copy-image, and if the blogger is a bit more techy, maybe a video. This format draws all that together and makes it more fun. The reader can play around with it, drill down into this part of the story or that part, and move forward & backward within it.
Essentially what it is doing is building a website… for a story, or just a picture.
Do you think we will see more interactive storytelling like this?
- 2 November, 2012 @ 18:06 [Current Revision] by Alastair McKenzie
- 2 November, 2012 @ 18:06 by Alastair McKenzie