To write in the age of Multimedia


Because sound elicits feeling

Images elicit feeling

It is advantageous to use as many sensory techniques as possible to attempt to elicit what the author desires from its audience. Thus the power in multimedia writing lies in how one can read and have their imagination triggered with the aid of sound and imagery that enhances even further. It is all encompassing, or at least the author’s goal is to immerse the audience as much as possible, but in such a way that the reader is not overwhelmed. There must be a balance in sensory experiences because one cannot focus on the content if the design or other aspects are too distracting; yet there needs to be a design that draws in the viewer to want to explore, and explore with fluidity.

In this digital age it tends to be forgotten that multimedia is more than the Internet or video or any other technological platform. People encounter and interact with other media on the streets in the form of advertisements and street art discovered in the corners of the streets we walk everyday. Messages are communicated to us everyday and almost at every second. Messages are more than just words, but the stoplight and crosswalk signs that are communicating and commanding us to obey certain rules through their own media platform. The advertisements on every bus stop are perpetuating cultural norms or asking for our money in one form or another. The surprise discovery of street art found on a brick wall that wasn’t there the day before is also a message from the artist to any stranger who takes the time to observe.

Communication is constant and all around us. Narratives are told through much more than the words written on paper or spoken aloud. The beauty in multimedia writing is in the wide variety of different paths to choose from when telling a story. Now, each person’s narrative or message can be told in a unique way from every other’s.

To view another platform for story telling: My form of narrative

One thought on “To write in the age of Multimedia

  1. Naomi:
    Yes–I’m glad that you’re really thinking about multimedia more expansively: that it’s ultimately about the available resources for communication and these available resources are put into different combinations all the time.

    I do want to bring it back to the digital again, since you really do so in the awesome video you made to explain and illustrate your thinking (or is it better to say that you made to help immerse me in your thinking?). The name of your tumblr makes me think as well about digital multimedia–is the question of digital things being “temporary” something to consider as we design digital multimedia texts? Eventually, links break, servers die etc.–is this a problem? How do we plan or strategize for that? As designers, how might we incorporate that long-term strategy into our composing process?

    I think you also suggest another interesting conversation that I’ve been thinking about for a while–how does coding fit into a multimodal composing process? Is coding writing since it requires text and it aims to compose a complete product?

    Great work here! Really interesting thinking and great way to present your ideas! Keep this up!


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