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3 creative platforms for multimedia storytelling


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Multimedia journalism is the future of the trade. Images and videos are slowly replacing words everywhere and, despite old-school journalism still survives for a niche elite of readers, the vast majority of it is now visual, 3D or video-based.

Major publications have already embraced this, and some examples can be found in The Guardian’s Firestorm and The New York Times’ Snowfall.

For the survival of good-old storytelling then - enhanced with multimedia elements - we have selected tree creative platforms for you to develop your brand-new forms of journalism.


3 - Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a powerful web and mobile platform for creating and managing your content in a meaningful and well-designed way.

Ideal to create social graphics, web stories, and animated videos, the platform will guide you through the whole process.

You can either start a new project from scratch or with an exiting “remix” content curated by Adobe.

The software will guide through the choice of your title first, overall style and font. You can change those elements singularly, too.

You can merge videos, photos and text flawlessly and through the Adobe Spark web platform anyone can have access to creating, viewing, editing, and consuming content.

Since everything is stored in the cloud, you can access all of your projects at all times across any platform or app. You even get curated feedback on view-counts and “appreciates” on published pages.

However, this also represents the only major downside of the platform. Because the content is 100 percent hosted by Adobe and is always visited through its unique Adobe Spark link, the embedding of the page will never be completely successful.

You can embed a Spark page, but it’s not a true embedding of all of the content. Instead, an image and text will be embedded as a post preview, and a click on the embedded content will take you to the actual and full Spark Page web experience.

However, Adobe Spark is completely free, and this greatly adds to the platforms’ value.


2 - Storify

Strongly encouraging user-generated content (UGC) and citizen journalism, Storify is based on the idea that anybody can do journalism.

While this could be true up to a certain extent, it is out of doubt that the platform’s powerful features can be used by journalists to interact with people and reach new horizons of coverage.

Similar to a blogging platform, Storify lets anyone write or upload images of original content, and publish them as stories or posts through simple editing tools.

Storify however is a new concept in the sense that it gives you tools to integrate other people's voices into your own posts.

Add posts from Twitter, images from Instagram and Flickr, and videos from YouTube and thread them into your post.

You can even create a story told entirely by others—a powerful technique to shape an idea, concept.

Each story that you create needs a title and optionally a subtitle. The body of the article can include your own content or use additional tools in the area called "media" on the right to search for socially shared content to fold in to your story.

Worried about breaking authorship and rights deriving from using other people’s content? The site always preserves the attribution and metadata for everything you "borrow" and quote. It also has a built-in tool that lets you notify the original sources of the work that you're citing them, so you’re covered.

As with most socially aware sites, Storify lets you follow other users, and they you, to explore new storyboards being created.

Storify is free platform, and you can start using it here.


1 - Shorthand

Probably the most famous platform for multimedia storytelling, Shorthand is used by media giants such as the BBC, Fairfax and The Telegraph.

Founded in 2013 by Wotif’s Graeme Wood, Shorthand is today a high-quality publishing platform that incorporates multimedia features such as text-over-photos, animated maps and graphs, and several imaging tools.

Stories created in Shorthand can be edited without any coding requirements, and once finished can be hosted by customer servers or through Shorthand with a custom domain.

The platform is pretty straightforward to use, despite its massive multimedia library. Underneath the Title section you can start adding in additional sections to build up the structure and narrative of your story.

There are three section types you can use, Text, Text Over Media and Image or Video. You can delete a section if you change your mind, and insert new ones above and below.

When you're ready to publish your story, click Review & Publish. You’ll see the tweets the platform auto-generated from your story, and select which you wish to send, and schedule the timing between each.

Once you have published your story, you can also grab an embed code and display it flawlessly within your own website.

Shorthand provides a free-trial period of seven days, following which you’ll be able to discuss a tailored paid-for plan with the team.

Are you using these platforms? Would you add any other to the list?

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