Category Archives: The Multimedia

Multimedia examples from the web and beyond

BBC video & Guardian film art

The BBC News site offers a number of videos, mostly clips from earlier TV broadcasts. One particular video, Large Solar Flare Captured on Camera, exemplified the quick delivery format popular on the site. The solar flare story was short and to the point with very little substance, and seemed more like a piece to whet the appetite rather than satisfy someone hungry for the story. Also, this story seemed to come out of nowhere, with no links to other relevant material and only a brief explanation of the event (the flare) itself. The piece could have benefitted from interviews with NASA professionals, experts in the field, or even just a glimpse of the reporter detailing the story, as opposed to just voice over. Interviews and additional material may have been featured in the TV broadcast, but a little more could have been done for the web content.

The Guardian seems to put a little more effort into its video material. A mix of editorial types, the Guardian online seems to favour more artistic film styles as well as cut and dry news or how-to videos. Gaddafi’s pipeline a livedraw animation by Peter Blower, exemplifies the Guardian’s inclusion of unique material, lacking from other news sites; the animation is like an editorial/political cartoon come to life.

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Online news sites: some comparative shopping

The Onion: scroll is too long on homepage and the site is a little too cluttered with information and ads. Because the site functions as a news source as well as a store for Onion merchandise the pages become too crowded with t-shirt ads; all Onion products should be advertised on a separate page.

New York Times: homepage looks like the frontpage of a newspaper so kudos for that, but the type size is far too small for the human eye to read accurately. There’s a reason why the packed newspaper format works better in an actual newspaper. The best aspect of the site is the links at the left side that again look like the contents area of a newspaper (love it). On the pages, like WORLD, the organization is a bit too jam-packed, as three columns on a computer screen is too much, especially since the middle column of information looks out of place – all squashed in there.

Sunday Times: love the homepage! Like NY Times it organizes its info into columns, but the width allows for better readability. The font is large and easy to read, the story links are set into blocks relative to sections, i.e. Business, Sports etc. However, it was difficult to find an RSS feed on the page, I’m not even sure if the Sunday Times has one. I like the links to the other Times sites, and overall this site has the best design thus far.

Montreal Gazette: now for some news from home! The website design is rather dull, the scroll on the homepage is a little too long and it feels as if the links and become repetitive when scrolling. For instance, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a ‘Headlines’ section in the middle of the homepage when most of the info and top stories have already been presented earlier in the scroll – poor planning there. But, unlike the Sunday Times it’s RSS feed is visibleat the top of the page.

courtesy creative commons

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Chinese New Year Traditions: in brief

I set about to learn what customs, traditions and foods were important for Chinese New Year. Being of Western heritage I was relatively unfamiliar with Chinese New Year celebrations, and even though my home town, Montreal has a small ChinaTown I had never visited during New Year. I interviewed my friend and fellow exchange student at Westminster Yumei Lee (or Peggy as we call her), who generously helped provide answers in Cantonese (as she felt more comfortable speaking in her native tongue) and translated her responses into English for use as subtitles. This video is as much Peggy’s as it is mine.

Check out these other Chinese New Year related videos made by yours truly

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Google Reader

Google Reader allows me to connect to a variety of online sources, news & personal sites. In my view it has a lot in common with twitter in that I can in essence ‘follow’ sites through RSS feed. Although some sites I visited did not have RSS feed applications, most did and I was to able click and follow right away. I like the immediacy of the news, as I’m following sources like BBC and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) online.

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Tracking oldies on the net

Quotes/Anecdotes/Sources – Interview carers at Friends of the Elderly charity to assess the level of aged using the Internet: how many over 65 have accessed the Friends of the Elderly site? Do carers assist the elderly with going online?

Stats/Expert Analysis for UK(2010) and Wales (2006) relative to elderlies use of the Internet and Technology

Stats/Expert Analysis for US (2000) elderly and the net

Senior dating sites

AARP

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AOL absorbs HuffPo: merger tweeted

Late Sunday, AOL announced a merger with online news source Huffington Post. The media coalition has HuffPo president, Arianna Huffington, heading a new media division that will oversee Huffingtion and AOL content. AOL acquired the news blog for a whopping $315 million, the most ever paid for a blog, Arianna announced the merger just 6 hours ago on twitter, but the buzz is already growing.

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The Oscars via video diary

Oscar season is upon us once again! The nominations came out a few weeks ago and the Academy’s choices are obvious, for the most part; with Black Swan and King’s Speech dominating the competition. Last year’s Oscars, saw changes to the traditional format of the event, most notably the inclusion of more films in the best picture category – in an effort to increase TV viewership. This change, however, seems misguided because having 10 nominees means the ceremony itself is actually longer (with all the interludes throughout the event introducing each film) and considerably more rushed.

Anne Hathaway and James Franco host this year’s Oscars, an interesting choice as neither actor leaps to mind when thinking ‘Oscar host’. Although whenever I think of Oscar host my mind wanders back to the good old days of Billy Crystal…I’m not sure France or Hathaway can pull off a Crystal-esque Oscars, but the hosting has declined in quality over the past few years, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the duo have in store.

My (concise) Oscar predictions:

Black Swan – Best Picture

Colin Firth – Best Actor

Darren Aronofksy – Best Director (Black Swan)

Natalie Portman – Best Actress

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