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Archives: October 2007

Bring music to life with interactivity

Do you know what a shamisen sounds like? Do you know what it is?

If you don’t, this simple multimedia project will help you become more familiar with the banjo-like Japanese instrument.

Have a musical instrument, singer or band that would make an amazing multimedia project? Get it, them, him or her into a recording booth and upload the audio files onto the web or in a Flash project. Create a replica of the instrument or take photos of the musician to make the project come alive.

Now Play It has video tutorials that teach users how to play guitar chords from their favorite songs. The site includes from an impressive lineup of artists like Radiohead, Coldplay and KT Tunstall (who actually does the teaching herself.) The chords are shown in the foreground while the music video plays. You’ll be rocking out in no time.

Buckle’s virtual drum set is a killer way of learning how all the different sounds come together. The interactive project shows how basic drumbeats are constructed and allows the user to make a few beats of their own with a few clicks of the keyboard.

When you’re ready to put it all together, you must check out this fun animated band. Each individual band member can be selected to make a catchy samba tune. The site is in Portuguese, but a língua da música é universal.

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Create brilliant multimedia projects from the mundane

For his “Faces of New York” project, Simon Hoegsberg asked random New Yorkers of different ages, races and genders what they thought about their faces. The results are surprisingly introspective. Said one woman:

Essentially I would say I have made a drastic change the last three years. Age caught up with me. Good times caught up with me. Wild parties caught up with me. And what I see now is a truly aging woman. I no longer see the spontaneous, witty, charming… I see an elderly woman. And I find that difficult, but in a way very freeing.

For “The Thought Project,” Hoegsberg stopped 150 strangers on the street over the course of 3 months and asked them what they thinking just before he approached them. The results range from the great mysteries of life to how to score something to eat.

Private and Public is a stunning collection of photographs of passersby taken from the same spot (Marble Arch in London) over the course of a year. The faces are sad, pensive, romantic… and captivating.

Is the wiki is the most important tool in the newsroom?

Wikipedia has published its 2 millionth article since its inception in 2001, according to Reuters. While there are still doubts about accuracy, there is no denying wikis playing a major role in how information is distributed on the internet.

The wiki, which got its name from the Hawaiian bus system, can be used both internally in a newsroom, or on a news site. Martha Stewart has put the wiki to good use with her recently announced Marthapedia. Stewart is short on details, but the wiki, which is still in development, will be an encyclopedia of tips from Martha Stewart as well as user contributed information.

Wetpaint brings entertainment junkies to create wiki entries on their favorite tv shows, movies and video games. Check out this Heroes wiki from Entertainment Weekly as well as the Project Runway and Halo wikis.

Rifling through yellowed scraps of newspaper or blurry microfiche in the newsroom library can be a drag. Instead of stuffing clips into file folders or hunting through multiple internal webpages for a oft covered subject or source, try creating wiki pages for themm. WikiSpaces and pbwiki for businesses are paid services that are best used for newsrooms who want to share information among reporters. All the information is there on one page and since the information would come directly from the newsroom, there is little chance of it being inaccurate (unless of course the story was inaccurate to begin with.)

PikiWiki knows that the story isn’t always told with text. Its drag and drop feature lets users add pictures, video and text onto a blank canvas. TV newsrooms can use PikiWiki to aggregate reportage on a specific subject or reporter. The service is currently free, but will likely monetize sometime in the near future.