Multimedia, when broken down, is the use of two or more forms of media to convey a message or enhance artistic expression, but how does it enrich our messaging practices and capabilities? The utilization of multimedia in items such as a blog take the standard written page and illustrates it in new ways, making work come to life with various visual elements that further emphasize the content of the textual material. It oddly reminds me of Harry Potter and the moving photos in the Daily Prophet. Though our current paper-based newspapers fall short of such liveliness, in a sense, we can achieve moving news through the use of online multimedia.
Commonplace media choices are images, like photos or infographics, because after all, a picture is worth a thousand words (Smith, 2013, para 9). A photo can convey more than any written word can like this one, the iconic 1989 photo of the unnamed man who in an act of defiance stood before a force of Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square (Widener, 1989).
Videos and slideshows can be effective when wanting to disseminate a longer message or a greater amount of material. Oftentimes slideshows are used when there are numerous photos involved as it greatly decreases the amount of space needed on a page to showcase all the images (Smith, 2013, para 12). If given a choice between reading and watching a video, most people would choose the video, which is why this choice of media, if done right, can easily make content much more visually appealing (Smith, 2013, para 13).
Another great tool is audio, like podcasts. Audio media affords the continuous flow of information regardless of local. Driving commutes and work schedules can make it difficult to experience other forms of multimedia that require visual attention. Audio content can also appeal to demographics suffering from vision disturbances and disabilities (Smith, 2013, para 16-17).
Everyone is a different style learner just as everyone has different esthetic preferences, therefore there is no one right choice of medium as different multimedia techniques will appeal to certain masses over others. Since I am a sucker for a good crafting blog, lets use one of those for example. While some can understand a text-based step-by-step guide, for instance, a crochet pattern, others may prefer the implementation of multimedia elements such as photos, audio clips, slideshows, or videos in order to help enhance the understanding process and learning experience all while appealing to different learning styles such as visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. In order to select the most effective multimedia tools one must bear in mind their audience, their message, and their ultimate goal in order to choose the best elements that harmonize the media with the content.
Widener, J. (Photographer). (1989). Tank man [Photo]. Retrieved from: http://www.newslinq.com/40-powerful-photographs-ever-taken/
Smith, M. (2013). Why multimedia blog content is good for your site. Retrieved from: http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs/detail/why-multimedia-blog-content-is-good-for-your-site