Sunday, February 21, 2010

Addition by subtraction

Tracy Boyer at Innovative Interactivity offers a good summary of what must have been an interesting talk by Brian Storm, founder and president of MediaStorm, at the University of North Carolina recently. Two of the bullet points pulled out from the talk offer terrific advice for creating better presentations online -- and maybe in other venues as well. Boyer cites Storm as saying (among many other things):

  • We work from a subtraction process … we take out what isn’t interesting.
  • We use text because it is the non-emotional way of giving information. Viewers read the text in their own voice.

I love the idea of strengthening your work by looking for whatever isn't interesting, and removing it. And, while I'm a big fan of the power that interactive multimedia can add to a story, the idea that there are some things best told in text -- best experienced by the readers via their own voices in their own heads -- is a really under-appreciated aspect of journalism in the contemporary age.

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