In an earlier post about the sudden appearance of a raft of digital fly fishing magazines, I suggested the most common online magazine format — which mimicked paper magazines (sometimes even requiring you to flip pages) — was simply an interim step.
Which led to a few “WTF?” emails.
The operative concept is that new media initially duplicates the media it replaces — a reflection of our resistance to change instead of an acknowledgement of what’s really possible.
I couldn’t pinpoint what was coming, but a lot of us cast envious glances at the groundbreaking New York Times’ Snow Fall avalanche story site.
It seamlessly combined words, pictures (big ones), special effects, video and a bunch of other goodies. Unfortunately, it cost a lot of time and money to produce.
Years later, technology has advanced to the point that even lowly marketing types are looking hard at what I uncreatively called “Big Story” technology in this blog post.
My web guy and I are still looking for the right place to pitch a Big Story project, but Chi Wulff thinks it’s time fly fishing moved into the digital era.
If they pull it off, I’d suggest they’ll be the first to move fly fishing into the “real” digital era — where media is freed from the expectations (and the shackles) of the past.
From Chi Wulff:
As a team, overall we’re passionate supporters of the digital magazine format which has become so pervasive in fly fishing (North American > world) these days, though as publishers of Swing the Fly we’d be the first to admit there are some rather profound limitations in the digital magazine format when it comes to long form storytelling; limitations that frankly are long form deal killers given today’s technology.
They’re calling their effort The Paspartu Project, and while the website basically puts you in contact with them, I am looking forward to their efforts (full disclosure — I’m not involved).
Various news media are using “Big Story” tech already (see The Sea Washed It Away by The Weather Channel). So it’s not new.
But it should prove interesting. I’ll leave you with what I wrote on my writing blog:
Combining video, audio files, still photography, words, graphics and other relevant bits is not easy.
Obviously, you need someone to shoot all that video and still photography, write the story, extract the telling quotes, create the graphics, write and record (or find) the music, assemble the narrative and create a cohesive whole.
And that’s the short list.
A few screenwriting or directing skills wouldn’t be out of place. And it’s probably not going to happen quickly (the now-famous New York Times Snow Fall avalanche story site reportedly took 12 staffers nearly six months to create).
I find this kind of amplified storytelling interesting. But I also sat down with a pen and paper and sketched the costs of creating even a basic Big Story for a client.
Not cheap. Not even close.
Still, we’re seeing glimmers of a way forward — a larger online canvas for writers, artists, journalists and marketers.
One more thought. How do you integrate advertising into a Big Story — at least in ways advertisers will recognize (remember, they suffer a bigger resistance to change than even readers).
See you kicking the tires on what comes next, Tom Chandler.
There was a time when a hole in my schedule might be plugged writing an article for this blog (like the fishing report and Gierach book review I owe you slobs), but these days, a free couple of hours might find me at the sandwich shop buying a meatball sub to split with M2, who — being the younger kid — doesn’t get nearly as many solo outings as her older sister.
She can’t cast and frankly, she’s a danger to herself and others when she lays hand on a fly rod, but taking her fishing (this her first time) is still a remarkable amount of fun.
At least until she announces it’s time to make poopie.
Fun, it seems, is never wholly without cost.
Still, stealing her away from pre-school two hours early feels like a hard-earned jailbreak to both of us.
No trout were caught — and I knew that was probably going to be the case — but I did take advantage of the visit to note my little creek is already showing some bones, and this in the midst of our typical roaring “runoff” period.
See you at the sub shop, Tom Chandler.