Multimedia. What’s all the fuss???

Multimedia can be defined by any combination of two or media, such as sound, images, text, animation or video. Multimedia. Using multimedia is an effective way to enhance any message. Through multimedia the author is able to use interesting sounds as wells as stimulating visuals that will draw in a wide array of audiences. This is another excellent tool that anyone can use to further a message in a manner that is very appealing. Like everything there are advantages and disadvantages to using multimedia. Below are some highlighted examples of things you can expect when using social media.


Advantages of multimedia:

  • Effective learning tool
  • Stimulating
  • More appealing than traditional text only messages
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages of multimedia:

  • Can be expensive
  • May not be compatible
  • May not be easy to configure

If the pros outweigh the cons and you decide to go ahead and use multimedia in your message, you’ll need to choose the avenue of multimedia you wish to pursue. There are a variety of different multimedia avenues to consider. Podcasts and videos are two that have seen increased growth over the past few years and could be extremely beneficial to furthering your cause. Recorded events or live video links are also a good way to reach out to your desired audience.

First lets take a look at podcasts. Yaro Starak offers a very unique definition of what a podcast is. He states that the word podcast originates from the words “broadcast” and “iPod” What is a podcast? This may possibly be the newest form of multimedia and quite frankly the most underutilized. Podcasts are a common amongst commuters. Several of my colleagues listen to podcasts every morning on their way to work. It provides a change of scenery from morning radio or loud music.Blog_Podcasts

You can never go wrong using videos as your multimedia tool. Videos offer visual stimulation and are typically easy to follow. It is also a very efficient means to get a message across. In todays busy society it may be more fitting to display a video rather than expect someone to stop and read text.

These next two examples are an offshoot of videos. Recorded events or live video links are great tools. A recorded event such as a prestigious speech can really hit home with people and can enhance the message you are trying to promote. Live video links are also important because of the technology many of us utilize on a daily basis. Personally I always have either my phone or laptop with me and often times, like now, I have both. And as Wi-Fi continues to spread and price of cable or satellite continues to rise, more and more people may be utilizing phones and laptops to access information. The World Cup took place over a year ago but I vividly remember watching all games of the United States on my laptop. It was more convenient and substantially cheaper to stream the games on my laptop rather than watch them on a television. For a live video link to be effective it would require some promotion on the part of the author. Give the audience ample warning of when the live video will be available and provide consistent reminders.


Consider the message you are trying to send along with the audience you are trying to reach to determine the impact multimedia may have. Maybe you are unsure of how to incorporate it. My advice would be to start small if you have any reservations. Utilize a short audio clip or something of that nature and see the response you get. You may realize this is what your message has been missing all along.










5 thoughts on “Multimedia. What’s all the fuss???

  1. Catchy title-
    Is the fuss about multi media use is growing in popularity? You present a nice summary of the basic pros and cons about basic multi media use. As Shirky discusses in Chapter 10 social networks/activities are mainly latent and only a few of those that are tried are successful. Failure is an essential element of social behavior and the use of multimedia tools. The use of social tools lowers the cost of failure and enables greater risk taking by users and experimentation. However, as you point out, determining who your audience is important for the success of multi media used as marketing tools.

    It would have been nice to include podcast links to health issues or broadcasts and ways that it could be made more useful to a wider audience.
    Only time will tell which of the abundant multimedia choices will be favored by the majority of users and which will fade.

  2. Great post! I do love your point about podcasts. I myself and most of the people I know listen to at least one if not more podcasts per day. There are some great ones out there but I really feel it’s helpful to have a radio or broadcast background. Podcasts by NPR are generally in the top downloads section or ones from famous people. I’d love some good public health podcasts that were also entertaining and good at storytelling.


  3. I like the pros/cons format of the post, easy to see what your main points are at-a-glance. I like the example of the World Cup, probably a lot of people who don’t realize the importance of multimedia can relate to this example. Almost everyone I know was using their computers last year to catch the World Cup at work/home/on-the-go.

  4. Great multimedia reference post! I liked clear pros/cons format and nice images. As you have mentioned, I’ve also noticed more frequent use of events live streaming by non-profits. One interactive app that comes to mind is Periscope. It allows chat, Q&A, statistics (number of views, retention rate, level of support (“hearts” received). Sharing presentation slide show post:

    Also live streams are great way to publicize your web-site as you incorporate the link on web-site and promote access. According to Digitell’s research, up to 30% of people who attended a live streamed event proceeded to attend the live physical event the following year. Reference can be found here:
    This technology has a promising outlook for fundraising, supporters and friends rising, rallies and other announcements and broadcasts worldwide.

  5. Nice post Colin! I really liked how you broke down multimedia and presented the pros and cons for someone to easily understand what they may want to consider. I also really liked your two examples, audio and visual, of multimedia that are an easy place to start for someone. I completely agree that Podcasts are totally underutilized as I am listening to a different podcast every day. My common choices are “Freakanomics” or “TED radio” because they encourage me to think about the larger world that I may not interact with every day. I think a podcast would be a great way for a nonprofit to share their message and mission. I also think your idea about recording a live event and posting that video is a great simple way for a nonprofit to start. Just as you mentioned about the World Cup, watching videos and events is now easier live streaming than it is watching on TV. You can watch it anywhere you are from your phone, tablet, or laptop. I think this would be a great way for nonprofits to connect with individuals that may want to get involved or donate and be a part of an experience that they may not physically be able to go to. Great post Colin!

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