Photo and book by Anne Hart
How do you find work in the field of multimedia? Multimedia applications are spreading rapidly. In the early days of multimedia, only about 1.8% of the fastest-growing companies are high-tech themselves, leaving 98.2% to the applications of high-tech.
That's why the instructional and infotainment multimedia markets require so much how-to writing. There are opportunities in multimedia for writers of fiction too, as the medium requires original stories with multiple choices of branching narratives and a variety of endings for different age and interest groups. Here are some suggestions on how to break into this growing business.
1. Find a new, small multimedia company and ask to be a writer or "content producer" there. Put your writing on CD, DVD, flash drive, or other type of back up technology used for instructional purposes or infotainment. Join all the multimedia societies and associations to find prospective employers, and advertise in the multimedia magazines that you're in the market looking for writing work.
2. Attend multimedia conventions and volunteer to be on the panel of speakers on the subject of writing for the multimedia markets. Or help out on the panel of speakers on multimedia writing by selecting speakers. Best of all, teach a course in multimedia writing at the local extended studies program in any college or adult education class, workshop, webinar, podcast, video, or seminar, so people will recognize you as an expert. Call the college and ask for the course development programming director. Then submit a proposal on teaching a one or two day course on how to write for the new media markets.
3. If there are no multimedia conferences or panels in your area, rent a room in a college and ask 4 - 8 speakers to volunteer to talk about multimedia in an all-day conference. Offer them a chance to present before a captive audience and to sell their products and services or at least demonstrate them. Invite executives, entrepreneurs, students, as well as the public at large to take a free or low-cost course on multimedia and the future, writing for the new media, and other media formats.
Don't charge more than $20 a person on your first outing -- if you have self-published writing guides to sell or are seeking a publisher yourself, hold a free presentation in a local bookstore. If you don't enjoy public speaking before a live audience, you can make a video podcast (vodcast) of your talk in front of a camera, record it and upload it to any Internet website that takes videos of varying length. Or post online an audio MP3 file of your talk as a podcast. Check out sites that ask for video or audio talks, such as MP3 audio files or various types of video files that change as technology evolves.
4. Watch the trends and follow the baby boomers as they pass through the python in locating markets for multimedia writing. Transport your skills because your skills or ability is your only job security in the electronic writing market. Contact online news publishers and offer a continuing column on what makes people tick at work, particularly in the new media industries.
5. Many employers subscribe to online news and trade journal services for their employees. So articles on behavior and trends or new products pertaining to the workplace are consumed. To read up on the evolution of trends in multimedia, subscribe to research firms' studies on "hot industries" within multimedia that are developing or will develop in the near future. And make sure to always look into the application of technology as well as the production of technology.