consulting / hope for the future / Multimedia views / Training

Opening up Pandora's box

compRecently, I was on a plane flying back to St. Louis from a two-day workshop at The Daily Toreador at Texas Tech. (I say 2-day – thanks to the airlines and the weather, it was a little less, but that’s a story for another time).

Thinking back on it, I just realized the feeling I usually get when I do these workshops – it’s like opening Pandora’s box. Because I never just talk about audio or video. I always walk through all the other free and easy to use online tools that are available to tell a story online.

I’m so used to seeing all these tools and seeing possibilities to use them that I guess they almost seem mundane in a way.

but when I unpack them in front of a group of students who have never seen an online timeline, or known how easy it is to create a map or edit a piece of audio, I get a glimpse of the magnitude of the vista that is out there for some young journalist who wants to explore online storytelling. It can be intimidating.

That’s why I always repeat the advice I first gave several years ago – pick one thing and learn how to do it well. Don’t worry about the entire river, just find one current to surf for a while. After you’ve got a handle on that, then move to something else.

Everyone will settle on something different, but the crucial part is to get going.

This weekend, I’ll be in Phoenix for ACP’s National College Journalism Convention preaching the multimedia gospel again.