Friday, December 14, 2007

Must see multimedia

We're involved in a journalism blog carnival this week, and I thought I'd take time to point out this multimedia project, "13 Seconds in August," by the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the victims of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse. I stumbled onto it, and all I can say is "Wow."

The project allows you, through a tagged aerial view of the bridge, to click on any vehicle and read about or, where video is available, hear from the victims. But another aspect is terribly important, in my mind, and that is that the paper makes clear it is a "living document" and is soliciting information from users who may know something about others involved in the collapse for whom there is little or no detail.

The paper does by asking you to e-mail one of two people. The first problem is that if you click on those links, you get a 404 page error (at least I did in Seamonkey). It appears the links are directing to a page, not to a "mailto:" link.

I think an e-mail form would probably be the better solution, and I would like to see a moderated comment link. It would be enlightening to see what others had to say.

The e-mail glitch is not minor -- annoying users and readers, especially in the instant-gratification age, is not good. But it should not detract from what overall is a fantastic project that should be used as an example of what the new medium allows us to do.

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