A Brainstorm of Ways to Sell Facts to the Multimedia Industry
Books by Anne Hart.
Multimedia applications are spreading rapidly. Only a decade ago, about 1.8% of the fastest-growing companies were 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 their writer. Put your writing on discs or thumb drives 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, 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, etc. 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.
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.
How to Find an Online Journalism Job on the Web or Sell Facts to Publishers
Online journalism is where all the video and electronic journalism graduates are heading. It's the journalist's place to be. So how do you get a job in video-making journalism on the Web? Head for the concept of publishing supported by advertising on the Web. It's a key theme in online journalism career development. Recently, 13 new journals are being released on the subject of electronic journalism job development and online journalism (as trade journals).
Commercial spin‑offs of the Web and Commercial Web lists are growing dramatically. The trend in Digital Revolution journalism is headed toward the maturity in the software designed to make the WWW a news kiosk for computer‑based and home-based writers with access providers.
New products require new writers to repackage the product and write tutorials as well as the news about the tutorials and products. They're coming from new companies designing for online publishing today what PageMaker and Ventura Publisher did for desktop publishing in the eighties.
Software programs now can integrate all parts of a publisher's home pages online. Like a desktop publishing editor, the digital writer now creates a page by combining news stories, pictures, headlines, photos, and rules onto a single computer file. This creates new job opportunities for the journalist worried about finding work in a publishing world where daily newspapers are merging and contracting.
On‑line page format jobs require a creator of web pages using formatting languages that are either hypertext HTML or some new higher octave now in design. This new journalist is a multimedia producer who combines words with hypertext links, formatting (rather than computer programming or coding) each page with links to many other documents, images, and web sites.
The jobs for online journalists require knowledge of software and programs that evolved from programs that sprung up in the nineties such as SuperWeb or WebSite. Jobs for home page managers or webmasters, web hosts, etc. are truly new roles that were not in existence last year. The task of this job is to track where individual pieces of home pages are on the local network server as well as throughout all of cyberspace, including many other Web pages that link one idea to another. Why stare at a computer screen all day if you can use an audio screen reader such as Jaws, Windows Eyes, or any other software that arrived in the last decade?
Journalists must now train in the Big Five computer applications: telecommunications, word processing of an advanced nature, digital photography, spreadsheets, databases, and geographical information systems. Online publishing careers for journalists and trained writers: those who majored in communications, journalism, creative writing, English, professional writing, and scriptwriting, or related subjects like writing in a foreign language or technical communication/writing or even technical illustration and digital photography or multimedia studies can find jobs in online advertising on the Web, photography, audio, and online reporting.
Electronic journalism can be about being a news reporter in hypertext or creating photojournalism with digital photography online. The skill level for general assignment reports has been raised to a higher octave. Training must now be in computer‑use of html as a writing tool for creating Web pages that give people information for decision making.
Classes in writing hypertext fiction and poetry were offered for credit even more than a decade ago by distance learning from the New School for Social Research in New York, and free hypertext writing classes were taught back then at a variety of online locations. You might search the key word 'hypertext' to see where it evolved since a decade ago to start your informational search.
Computer applications for journalists is a desperately‑needed course in many colleges and writing schools or online. Start by contacting the various societies for Professional journalists.
Newspapers are going electronic and need online journalists to work either at home or as staff in the office. To find out more research the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. If you can't travel in person, inquire about tapes of former conferences. Attend a variety of conferences from your home by the 'Net.
If not, a trip down to the many conferences on online journalism offered by a wide variety of organizations and institutes there might help you to start networking or job hunting for writing and editing or photojournalism jobs online. Digital journalism offers an electronic, online and often home-based career for writers with staff jobs in the various cities. The news is going online as well as features and columns, books and theater, in a variety of publications. Numerous jobs are pointing in the direction of digital writers, but the pay varies a lot with the publication.