The Story of an Avalanche and the Future of Digital Content

On December 27, 2012 the New York Times introduced the world to a piece of multimedia journalism that redefines storytelling.

Sound too strong? Then you haven’t experienced “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek”.

I say, “experienced” because this isn’t simply a story you read. It’s a story that you are immersed in, literally (and virtually). With its beautifully written narrative, amazing graphics, photography, and breadth of compelling video content, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” has blown the creative and technological doors wide open in the way stories can be told and how quality content can have an amazing impact. You have to visit the link above to get the full impact, but this video is a captivating piece of the full story.

This story will have such a big impact because it sets the high bar for what is possible in online storytelling – combining the best in writing, design, multimedia and web technology.  Just check out a couple of the stats in this memo from executive editor Jill Abramson:

  • In the six days after Snow Fall’s launch, it received more than 3.5 million page views
  • The page had 2.9 million visitors, nearly a third of whom were new visitors to the Times website
  • The project was shared by more than 10,000 users on Twitter
  • At its peak, as many as 22,000 users visited Snow Fall at any given time
  • More than half a million visits went directly to Snow Fall, and more than half of those direct visits were from new Times users (or readers who hadn’t visited the site in a long while)

Have you seen other examples of major news outlets using new technology and various forms of media in a unique way?

Andrew Harris is the VP/Creative Director at GY&K

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