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"If you must Snowfall, please Snowfall in moderation"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by imjustagirl, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member


    Agreed 100 percent on virtually everything this guy wrote. The Times lost me within one minute with the weirdness of scrolling, then having your screen go black and a video start. I had to take my time to click on "skip video" just to read a story.

    Also, this:

    So what do you guys think? Are we running the risk of giving Snowfall treatment to any long story, limiting the impact and losing reader interest? Does it become blase at some point?
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Excuse my French, but the videos are really fucking strong.

    The Times hasn't done one since Snowfall, right? This is months later. I've only gotten to page 2 and haven't really read the words yet because I wanted to see the videos. Elite quality.
  3. This...
    But I drop off in less than five seconds if it's video.
    Unless boobs are involved. Then I may tolerate a commercial.
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Question wasn't about the Times. It's about media companies as a whole.
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Oh, well, excuse me.

    If you're a media company that can pull this off the way the Times has, twice, go for it. Go big.

    The words-photos-videos-scrolling presentation is riveting when executed as beautifully as this was.
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    I don't think there's any doubt it can be done well.

    The point about the need for moderation, for selective use, for being discriminating about its use, cannot be overstated.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Selective use in which regard?
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    ESPN's Outside The Lines designs often distract, too. I dislike all these presentations. I want my words with other words.
  9. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    The NYT's "Snowfall" package is the high point in the transition of the newspaper industry into a 21st Century model, IMO. I don't think it's impact can be overstated, and I bet it will be taught in (what's left) of journalism schools over the coming decades.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    1,000 percent agreed.

    However, no one's saying anything against that. What I'm asking is if there is 1-2 of these a month in the mainstream media, stories that get sent around and go viral, does it lose its impact? If we just start shading pages and forcing videos and using moving graphics behind words ... does it all become too much that it stops being special and it's just "Oh, another one of these stories"?
  11. I enjoy it when it doesn't interfere with the reading. I thought Snowfall was an excellent complement, improving my experience, but in some cases -- and I haven't read the entire thing -- the jockey story gets interrupted by the multimedia. The components are terrific, but when I just want to read, I find that distracting and a little annoying.
  12. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I am. Projects such as Longform.org, Longreads and Instapaper all use the printer-formatted version of these stories because they load better onto tablet readers and phones. Handheld devices are the present, not even the future anymore. These formats are glossy and shiny and nice when you have a computer sitting in front of you that can process information easily and a mouse and keyboard to control it with. On a touch screen, the user experience is clumsy. Everything is about user experience these days. Videos that play automatically are backward-thinking, forcing people into a product they didn't intend to experience.

    I don't doubt that journalism schools and journalism thought projects will continue to largely gush over these innovations, but they rarely have the reader's best interests in mind. Grantland got it right with its bare-bones interface.
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