July 16, 2013
Dog Ear Consultants
Most of you are familiar with last year’s groundbreaking New York Times story “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which ushered in a new form of digital storytelling for the journalism world. The article is arresting, with a set of digital enhancements seamlessly designed into the narrative flow, making for a fast-paced, visceral reading experience. If you haven’t read it, go read it now.
The story garnered more than 3.5 million views, the reviews were unanimously glowing, and the knee-jerk reaction among writers was, this is the future of journalism. Except there was one small problem: behind-the-scenes examinations revealed that the Times dedicated six months and a team of 11 editors, photographers, videographers, designers and programmers to the creation of the story. Who has time for that? Especially for one story. After those reports, the feverish inspiration rippling through the journalism world quickly sulked away to become an aw-shucks sort of envy.
Now, seven months later, the inspiration has returned. (At least for us.) The founders of the impressive multimedia storytelling site The Atavist (another site you should subscribe to) have launched Creatavist, a brand-new platform that anyone can use to create digitally enhanced longform stories. The pricing is relatively modest at $10/month to create and publish unlimited stories and ebooks on your own domain, or $250/month for one branded iPad/iPhone app (although distribution of said app may have its own set of charges through the app store.)
The software launched just last month, so we’re anxious to see how it’s received. In the meantime, check out a few examples of the its capabilities posted on the Creatvist landing page. (The Whitey Bulger piece is particularly impressive.)