A little over a week ago, PBS’s MediaShift website carried an interview with Jim Gaines, who is part of the team behind Flyp Media – one of the few, truly online magazines that I’ve encountered (ie: a ‘magazine’ allowing consumers to interact with a story in a variety of ways – through interactive elements, graphics, maps, video, still images, audio pieces, etc.).
Gaines’ interview addresses a lot of the concerns that I’ve heard expressed by magazine professionals over the years, but more importantly, it speaks to an optimism and frontier mentality that is now influencing multimedia journalism – a belief that forms can be blended and hybridized to create truly cross-media narratives. Exciting! Also, a little intimidating for journos frantically adding new skillsets.
As an example of cross-media content, check out Flyp Media’s piece on Yoko Ono and John Baldessari being honoured at the Venice Biennale. This piece combines typical print magazine side-bar elements (such as timelines and backstory pieces) with text, photos, videos, audio and interactive, mouse-over triggers to enrich the content.
While I am wary of touting any media resource as the be-all-end-all, I have been very impressed with Flyp Media’s understanding of our changing media consumption habits, and was pleased to read PBS’s MediaShift interview with Gaines as it offered context to my experience with Flyp.
NOTE: Despite my best intentions, this post began as a long-form essay on the changing nature of print magazines and the history of digital web magazines, my involvement with them, hurdles for the industry, the development of cave painting, time, breathing, etc. I cut out 90% of that rant, but may save it for another time as it all feels relevant but perhaps not critical to this post.