We've been at this multimedia thing for a few weeks now. Let's see what we've learned.
We learned it's not rocket science, brain surgery, or financial accounting. Putting together movies and audio slideshows is, overall, pretty simple. Because of the heavy population of Macs in the newsroom, our weapon of choice has to date been iMovie. Its an intuitive program with easy to use editing and bells-and-whistles. Audacity has been a put to good use as well.
Secondly, we've figured out the best format and look for publishing online. The, well, less than awesome site isn't exactly multimedia friendly (seriously, is a multimedia archive too much to ask for?) but we've found the best format and size for what one can only hope is the soon to be former site.
Finally, we've learned how to fix things. Need to flip a movie, no problem. Struggling with the audio, we can change that. Want the audio without the picture, got that. In the spirit of Woodstock, we've just kept trying, seeing what works.
Looking ahead now. We're going to need a how-to at some point, maybe even a (gulp) handbook. Just basic things - have a voice recorder going when you're taking video, you never know when you'll need the extra tape. There's no such thing as too many photos, just keep going. And everybody's favorite - hold the camera with two hands.
We also want to explore different medias. Okay, we got the audio slide show and the video down. At the risk of stepping on TV's toes, we could try broadcasts - writers talking on camera about a story, podcasts or something interactive. We've gotten our feet wet, let's go tread water now.
We knew when we started how multimedia adds to stories, how increasingly important multimedia is to a newspaper, website, even a reporter's portfolio. We knew there would be plenty of opportunity (thank you, greeks) for interesting stuff. And we knew incorporating this stuff was going to be a long process. But we're probably about a fourth (alright, fifth) of the way in and we're doing alright.
I mean, ya know, considering who's in charge ...