I love reading. When my imagination takes hold the words seem to take on a life of their own and the story becomes something real. Sometimes the story gets lost in today’s technological world. The bright moving graphics, photos, and videos can take away from the experience. However, this is not always the case. Many times, if used correctly, they can enhance the experience.
Take the page the New York Times did for the Tunnel Creek Avalanche. Not only does writer John Branch bring the story together through his words, but the maps, personal interviews, and interactive components allow the audience to experience that fateful day as if they had actually been there. The whole page comes together and makes more of an emotional impact on the viewer. Yes, just reading the article by itself would have painted a vivid picture, but having those added elements takes the story and enhances the experience.
After reading the page in its entirety, I was left with a sense of “I must know more!” Who were these people? What is the airbag and does it really help increase the likelihood of survival? I looked up more videos of people who had survived avalanches, the new technology, of people who were waiting to be rescued, and those who narrowly escaped an unexpected force of nature.
Here is a vine showing how one airbag works:
Here is a video shot by a snowboarder who just manages to outrun an avalanche:
And for those of you with a morbid curiosity, here is a video of a guy who gets buried under the snow waiting to be rescued:
Needless to say, when used in a way that enhances the story, multimedia tools can be very effective in the blogging world.