Posted by: tjholmesjr | May 7, 2009

Multimedia Isn’t Going Anywhere

Multimedia makes the Web fun, interesting, and appealing for viewers. It gives people different ways to view news through photos, videos, sound bites, or user-generated content. But most of all, multimedia makes the Web interactive.

Multimedia is essential for online journalism in Web 2.0. Graphics can make a story pleasing. I know I don’t want to click a link for a story and only see text. I dread it. But if I see a couple of tables with statistics or photos on the side, I will be more inclined to read it because it catches my eye.

Along with photos, videos and sound bites, user-generated content is becoming more popular today. The hit television show American Idol is one example for people to text in to vote for what they want to see next. There is an ESPN commercial that makes fun of the user-generated content that has become so popular of recently.

Another form of user-generated content that is spread all over the Web is posting comments on certain Web sites. These comments allow readers to voice their opinions and they can be posted on online stories or videos from The Orion to ESPN to the New York Times. Even though people can do this through letters to the editors in circulation newspapers, the advantage of people doing it online is that it appears immediately for the next person to view and initially has no chance of being thrown out.

User-generated content is everywhere even in sports. On “College Football Live,” which is one of ESPN network shows, they have a segment contributed to only user-generated content called “Sound Off.” It allows users to post videos just like in YouTube! but one video is played on television during the show. Even more, members of ESPN.com can comment on the videos people can post.

I believe multimedia is essential to Web 2.0 and is needed for people to continue to enjoy online reading. With photos, videos, sound bites, and user-generated content, only the sky is the limit for the amount of multimedia in the online journalistic world.

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