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Packaging styles for dummies

by TrickyScribe
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Contrary to the general misconception of being a way of pouring one’s heart out, content writing has turned out to be a huge market and has created umpteen job opportunities for wordsmiths.

With the an ever increasing need for web content, internet writing requires a completely different approach for writing stories compared to writing for print media as it includes the amalgamation of different types of multimedia as on the web, visual narratives take precedence over that of plain text.

This would mean creating a balance of videos and audio elements, generating hyperlinks and using relevant pictures along with the text. It all comes down to packaging your stories while writing for the web.

Stories are, generally, written in either a linear or non-linear format. Former being those with a defined beginning, mid-section and end, while the latter are those out of structural boundations.

The fine line dividing the two comes down to giving the reader a choice when it comes to reading the write-up. Packaging styles need not adhere to one single story but can compile several stories with a mixture of audio-visual aids. Keeping these in mind, a writer can understand digital story packaging better.

Here are some contemporary story packaging styles compiled in ‘The Principles of Multimedia Journalism: Packaging Digital News’. Through these, content writers can improve their methods of writing content for the Internet and make it more interesting.

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree is the one in which the main part of the story takes the form of linear text. Alongside this, videos, photographs, infographics and audio clips are placed like knick-knacks on a Christmas tree.

Embedded multimedia

Embedded multimedia is quite simple but is just as informative as the other packaging styles. The main story in embedded multimedia packages is usually textual content written in a linear fashion. Additionally, multimedia elements are further integrated within the main story. The reader can view these while reading the story.

Ring of Fire

This story has four segments of text embedded with a video, photographs and maps.

The Kitchen Sink

This is viable for stories that have extremely comprehensive content and has multiple aspects of a story with different types of content ranging between text, audio and video. This approach relies on organizing the content in the best way possible by integrating several multimedia elements for a large amount of content.

Immersive multimedia

Immersive multimedia is a approach completely different to others and that takes the focus away from the textual content. Here, the story has a three dimensional representation immersing the reader in a virtual reality that tells the story. Similar to a videogame interface, it requires readers to take several paths to discover the entire story.

The elaborateness of it requires some professional technical assistance. Such stories are usually produced using different kinds of tools like interactive videos, Flash animation, JavaScript or HTML5. Nevertheless, it is a new and improved way to get the reader to interact with the story besides having to do it the other way around.

No plan survives action. They say. There is no hard and fast rule to follow. Writing for web is evolving and becoming increasingly interactive. Writers generating content for the web can implement these techniques and build on their existing styles to craft better and newer ways to write for the web.

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