Flyp Magazine: Multimedia Storytelling for the Digital Age

Flyp Magazine: Multimedia Storytelling for the Digital Age
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 28 august 2009

The other day, we highlighted some of the ways that magazines are diversifying their business models to remain both relevant and solvent as more and more of their audience moves online. We suspect (and hope) that print and by extension, traditional storytelling will always have its place, but there is clearly a shift towards multimedia narratives – combining video, audio and other interactive features – taking place as more publications bolster their reporting with additional content available online.

While this trend is most noticeable among print magazines that are attempting t0 adapt their product to the web, there are also a number of lesser known “publications” existing solely on the web that are pushing multimedia in a more integrated format. One such publication is Flyp Media, a flash-based publisher of “magazine-style” content that is producing original journalism, as well as looking to collaborate with other media outlets and advertisers, using the Flyp technology platform.

We spent some time on the Flyp site and our initial reaction was in a word, mental. But that’s not necessarily an entirely bad thing. Though the platform was a bit confusing and overly saturated with content for our tastes, it did provide a rather immersive experience, giving the illusion that we were “leaving” the web temporarily, which is important for an online audience with a suspect attention span. And quality of reporting aside, we certainly felt like we emerged with a lot of information on molecular gastronomy, whether or not we retain any of it is another question.

So while it might not have convinced us to put down our copy of the New Yorker or abandon the relative sanity of an old-fashioned blog even, it does make a compelling case for what the future of storytelling might someday resemble. For now its biggest challenges appear to be finding a savvy enough audience and achieving the right balance and mix of content so the process of “reading” doesn’t feel so fractured and downright exhausting.

MediaShift recently sat down with Jim Gaines, former editor at Time, Life and People and now with Flyp, to get his thoughts on where he sees Flyp and the entire industry headed. We felt Gaines’ explanation of the multimedia creative process was a particularly interesting:

It’s a lot more collaborative, it’s a lot less hierarchical, it’s flat. It’s everyone sitting around a table — the director of videography, the art director, the reporter, the writer, the researcher, the designer, the animator — all thinking through what is the kernel of this idea. So you do this meeting before you’ve even started the story and then after all the media is back. And you think about how to build this thing.

MediaShift: Magazines Need to Embrace Multimedia Storytelling in Digital Age

[image via Southernpixel on Flickr]

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