Feedback website “Finding the Frame” launches


Finding the Frame, a website dedicated to giving feedback to newspaper multimedia producers and video journalists has launched.

My post in Mastering Multimedia last month,  “Video at newspapers needs to improve,” resonated with many people. I received lots emails from producers who vented their frustration at not being able to get feedback on their multimedia stories.

After a brainstorming session over a few beers, Brian Immel, a former multimedia producer and programmer at The Spokesman-Review, graciously agreed to build a website for the sole purpose of connecting those who need feedback on their multimedia, to professionals willing to share some time and knowledge.

Here’s how it works

The plan is to have onboard as many “expert” volunteers as possible that have solid foundations in video storytelling, audio slide shows or Flash projects. This pool of reviewers will peruse the submitted links of multimedia in the “Story Pool”. If they decide to comment on a story, it will then become public on the Finding the Frame home page where anyone else is free to give added feedback.

So why do this?

While most publications have driven head first into the online world, multimedia storytelling is still in its infancy at many newspapers. Unfortunately, not all people tasked with producing multimedia received adequate training or had the financial ability to attend a multimedia storytelling workshop. Many multimedia producers are self-taught, having picked up bit and pieces of knowledge along the way.

When I judge a multimedia contest, I often get frustrated at seeing the same problems in the execution of basic video and audio production fundamentals. Many photojournalists are struggling with how to tell an effective video or audio slideshow story that is different from the traditional still picture story.

Our hope is that Finding the Frame will begin to address the need for feedback and in turn, help multimedia producers improve their storytelling. Just read some of the comments by reviewers so far–you’ll be impressed. The professionals that have signed on as reviewers are the some of the top in the industry. If they critique your story, please thank them for giving up some of their precious time to help out a fellow visual journalist.

What we need

What we need is for enough producers, multimedia editors and photojournalists who have a solid experience with multimedia storytelling to step forward and share some of their knowledge with those that are looking for constructive, honest feedback.

So if you feel you have something to offer, we would really like you to join the pool of reviewers on Finding the Frame.

So go check it out and give Brian and me some feedback. Create an account. Upload a link to a video, audio slide show or Flash project. Be patient, as it might take some time for your story to get reviewed

I am not sure how many people will upload stories, so let’s take this slow at first. It would also be helpful if non-reviewers could give some feedback to others by commenting on their work.

If you would like to be added to the reviewer pool, register your account, making sure you create a profile and upload a photo of yourself or avatar, then email me at cmulvany@findingtheframe.com with the request.

This website is for you. We would really appreciate your support and feedback.

5 thoughts on “Feedback website “Finding the Frame” launches

  1. Colin:

    Really appreciate your efforts on everyone’s behalf.

    I agree with you on doing one right and well, but how this site could grow is really cool too.

    Thanks.

    Mike

  2. Good idea. FYI – suggestion to add an RSS/atom news feed to the new web site.

    Thank you

  3. Colin:

    Your timing of “Finding the Frame” could not have come at a more critical time in our industry.

    Multimedia departments across the country are caught somewhere between loosing their entire editing and production staff with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars of equipment and software sitting on shelves or just trying to justify the ROI (return on investment) of having a staffer produce either video or audio-slide segment while other stories go without a visual each day.

    The majority of senior newsroom editors adopted the path of multimedia not for the wonderful storytelling opportunity but for the possible revenue stream it might have provided the web. When those numbers were not met the toll was absorbed by photography departments across the country.

    In my case two-thirds of my former staff is gone, most of those had made a very early commitment to audio-slide and video. None have found new staff jobs and are freelancing which allows for little time to spend on multimedia. No multimedia work other than non-audio slideshows (an outdated theory of hit-per-click with no revenue attached) has been produced in the past year.

    Having said that, and being one of the many looking for new opportunities in our industry, I feel that we have a wonderful opportunity to rebuild from a new and more solid foundation which is focused on solid technical ability and compelling storytelling.

    As new forms of electronic delivery are developed and publications focus to sell multimedia products we will see resurgence in quality video and audio productions.

    I appreciate the time, commitment and patience that you and your colleagues have made towards the rebuilding.

  4. I think the problem is content not style. It doesn’t matter how professional the video is
    If the content does not interest. Job one find a good story.

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