Thursday, September 10, 2009

A 30-year magazine veteran fights to keep storytelling relevant online

When's the last time you were told a great story online?

(Probably not in a long time.)

I recently interviewed Jim Gaines, a former editor of Time, Newsweek, Life and People, who wants to change that.

He's taking a magazine-style approach to interactive multimedia storytelling with a new venture, FLYPmedia.

I interviewed him for SmartPlanet, CBS' new site about smart technology, business, people and ideas.

Though FLYP is still in its infancy -- it reminds me of some of the work I did as a digital media student in journalism school -- Jim made some interesting insights as a 30-year veteran of magazine publishing moving toward the Web:

  • "There are publications that are in print that don’t need to be in print and could be much more exciting in a digital frame."

  • "Text is not the most the important element. It’s really a navigational device that leads people through the media."

  • On producing interactive media: "It's like jazz. You all kind of stimulate each other. And it turns out better than anything you could have done yourself. When a video editor makes a great piece, it changes the story. When an animator does a great animation, it’s the same effect. It raises the game."

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