Tag Archives: visual storytelling tool

Nieman: Zeega, ‘like Storify for multimedia’

The Nieman Journalism Lab has a post on Zeega, a storytelling web app that it describes as “like Storify for multimedia”. The people behind Zeega, which is not yet public, describe it as a whole different medium rather than simply new software.

Nieman describes the concept:

The still-in-alpha software feels like Storify for multimedia: As you travel across the web, use a simple bookmarklet to collect media fragments — a Flickr image, a YouTube video, a track from the Free Music Archive — and dump it into a project bin. You can share your project bin and invite others to collaborate on the story. The editor interface is simple: Select a few seconds from a video, cut it with a few seconds of another video, drop in a music track, and suddenly you have a little story. You can even prompt the user to call a number or send a text message, delivering a surprising bit of audio in return. The output is pure HTML5, no Flash.

The post also has details on the team behind Zeega and how this summer there were awarded a $420,000 Knight News Challenge grant.

Co-founder Jesse Shapins tells Nieman how he feels hacks should seek to collaborate with hackers and how journalists should develop a better understanding of the possibilities and limitations of specific technologies.

“I do think you should have a culture within journalism of creativity around interaction, around the ways in which code works, and what the code makes possible. That doesn’t mean making a journalist learn to write every single programming language that exists. If they’re able to have a rich understanding of the creative possibilities, they can creatively approach the projects that they create.”

There is more on how Zeega makes interactive storytelling simple here.

You can now add SoundCloud recordings to Storify

Storify and SoundCloud have joined forces, enabling those curating social media to add recordings posted on the audio platform.

Users of Storify, which allows you to drag and drop content from social media, including Twitter, Flickr and YouTube into stories, were already able to add AudioBoo recordings.

The addition of SoundCloud adds possibilities for journalists and those curating stories using Storify. Although the audio platform started out as a music sharing and commenting site, SoundCloud is increasingly used for spoken word.

The integration of SoundCloud in Storify provides a tactile experience in digital news consumption, particularly when using a tablet, and allows users to read and listen to stories, utilising SoundCloud’s visual commenting system to jump to a particular point in the interview or audio.

Journalism.co.uk added SoundCloud recordings in this Storify of news:rewired created on the day the audio platform was first enabled as a source. Both platforms were present at the conference, where Storify co-founder Xavier Damman (pictured above) suggested “journalists should be re-branded as information engineers” as they make sense of the noise of social media by filtering it into stories.

In order to add SoundCloud go to Storify / Settings (below your name icon in the top right hand corner) / Sources.

Breaking News becomes a Storify source

Storify has partnered with Breaking News, the @breakingnews Twitter channel and news site, which is owned by MSNBC.

Storify, which allows users to create a narrative using tweets, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Audioboos, Slideshares, Facebook status updates and more as sources, will now include the option of adding Storify as a source.

You can add Breaking News as a source by going to settings within your Storify account. A breakingnews.com logo will appear alongside the images representing the above social networks and allow users to drag and drop content from Breaking News.

Breaking News in the Sources settings

Storify has also added a ‘Storify’ button allowing visitors to its site to take a news story and start to build a timeline.

Storify on BreakingNews.com

There is a Storify on the partnership here.

Storify launched in public beta in April, and was last month named winner of the Knight-Batten award for innovations in Journalism.

Microsoft’s Photosynth as a storytelling tool

Speaking at yesterday’s Association of Online Publisher’s (AOP) editorial technologies event, Microsoft executive producer Peter Bale extolled the virtues of Photosynth as a new visual storytelling tool.

The experimental, but publicly available tool, was used by CNN in its coverage of the Obama inauguration to thread 100s of photos together. These create a scenic panorama but can also be drilled into using additional feature Deep Zoom:

Screenshot of CNN's inauguration website

Within MSN its being used five or six times a week and the team are learning more about its capabilities with each use, Bale told Journalism.co.uk.

The product is being deployed commercially e.g for motoring sections to show car interiors in high detail. MSN also used PhotoSynth to display professional and user-contributed images during the recent heavy snowfall in the UK.

“What we’d like to do a lot more of is multiple crowd-contributed pictures where you can get several hundred or thousand people contributing a picture of a similar event, stitched together in a communal panorama,” he explained.

Photosynth works in combination with Microsoft’s alternative to Flash, Silverlight, which Bale says is ideally set up to enable map mash-ups and overlaying other content onto the threaded images.