Announcing the beta launch of Multimedia Standards

After some teasing on Twitter (with the recently neglected #multimediastandards hashtag), we’re now ready to announce the beta launch of Multimedia Standards!

The site was created by 13 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Miami as part of Rich Beckman‘s spring 2009 Seminar in Visual Storytelling class. It’s built on WordPress using a heavily modified Branford Magazine theme. The main feature is an interactive grid, which includes audio clips from the interviews with an awesome group of multimedia professionals, built with PHP, JavaScript and Flash (for the audio player).

Multimedia Standards (Beta) - A comprehensive resource for multimedia journalists
A clean and simple home page, with The Grid front and center.

We began the project in late March and launched in private beta in May. Thanks to everyone for their feedback!

Here’s a slightly tweaked description of the site that I wrote for the School of Communication:

There are plenty of Web sites and blogs devoted to multimedia journalism, and many of them are great. But there’s no single hub to discuss, share, critique, rate and learn about the field including in-depth thoughts from industry leaders. That’s the hole Multimedia Standards aims to fill.

But what about the name: Multimedia Standards? The site offers none. Instead, we offer resources and opinions on everything from “what is multimedia” to “what is good multimedia” and beyond.

Users can listen to an international group experts in an interactive grid; submit and critique projects; find other sites on our resources pages and easily subscribe to them (we provide the RSS feeds); see upcoming events on our calendar; and read about upcoming contests and recent winners. User input, from critiquing multimedia projects to saving links in our Publish2 newsgroup (which feeds to the top-right homepage widget), is key and we plan to continue updating the site with more featured links.

The team

Each student gathered and edited audio and were involved in the planning and research of the site. The class included:

The site

We spent a good deal of time early on discussing how to best organize the site’s content because of the nature of the content. The sections/navigation include:

  • Summary – a synopsis of all our research from the interviews, including an overview of the topics discussed and thoughts on the future
  • The Grid – 10 questions and answers from our interviews; links to profiles, which feature the full interviews
  • Resources – RSS feeds featuring multimedia producers, commentators and related organizations
  • Submit/Critique – submit multimedia sites and projects for critiques and star ratings by users
  • Events – a Google calender with upcoming conferences, training events, etc.
  • Awards – information about upcoming awards and recently announced winners
  • About – credits, photos and links to individual Web sites, Twitter accounts and e-mail addresses

The Grid

Unfortunately, The Matrix was taken. So we went with The Grid, which features (A-Z):

  • Alberto Cairo
  • Leo Caobelli
  • Pamela Chen
  • Andrew DeVigal
  • David Dunkley Gyimah
  • Kim Grinfeder
  • Kenny Irby
  • Gary Kebbel
  • Tom Kennedy
  • Brian Storm
  • Will Sullivan
  • Ashley Wells

What can I do?

Your interaction is key to the site being more than just a static presentation of our work. For example, submitting and critiquing projects, adding events and more.

Let me know if you’re interested in learning anything more about the site; I’ll respond via the comments or write another post, if the questions warrant. Also, please comment with feedback. How can we make the site better?

Send comments to multimediastandards [at] gmail [dot] com

Looking forward, there’s a second round of interviews in pipeline, which will be used to create a second grid. Although I’ve graduated and won’t be directly involved with that, I’ll be sure to post an update when part deux launches.

3 thoughts on “Announcing the beta launch of Multimedia Standards”

  1. i love it – the grid is great would love to know more about the grid and how you decided to use this format – i like the nonlinear aspect of it and that you can pick and chose what you want when you want also that you went with audio only and a picture rather then video – can you talk about that decision too – one suggestion i would add another row where you can listen to their comments both vertically and horizontally at once rather then individually (there is flash & xml players when one completes it starts a new clip) and if you would/will make everything open source too – great job keep dreaming


    the turtle only moves forward with its neck stuck out

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