In these dog days of August, we could all use a little refreshment, right? What could be cooler than some skin-tingling multimedia projects? Check these out and tell me what you think:
1. Love Letters to the Future. Xenophile Media and Greenpeace launched this stunning project last year, leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (December, 2009.) The multiplatform initiative featured an online “open stage for the public to share messages of hope for the future so that children of today and tomorrow will know we cared about the planet.” People from 128 countries contributed love letters and the top vote-getters were encoded and placed in a waterproof, shock-proof time capsule, so that they could be played on any device 100 years from now, assuming there’s still human life on the planet.
Watch this powerful trailer about this innovative project and its immersive, interactive gaming component in which Maya, a character who lives in the dysutopian future sends cryptic messages back to us, urging us to take action now. Guaranteed to give you chills.
2. Syracuse Diners is a clever and fun hyperlocal project served up by a multimedia journalism class at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. It includes a super-cool video clip embedded in a 360-degree panorama, along with video, text, maps and blogs about 13 diners in the Syracuse area. The team also dished up a mobile “App-etizer.” The site is sure to bring back memories of diner meals past; but visitors beware: you might just get cravings for french fries and a chocolate shake. Anyone up for a road trip? Click here for a taste.
3. A Story Like No Other is a website and iPhone app developed by the Louisiana Office of Tourism to engage visitors in the state’s rich African American history. “They blazed many trails, now follow their footsteps…For centuries, African Americans in Louisiana have changed the world with their ideas, art and action. From street corners and marketplaces to churches, cafes, universities, and beyond, come visit the places that have inspired generations of Louisianans to add their unique flavor to the nation and the world.”
In this post-Katrina and presently-BP-oil-spoiled region, it’s good to be reminded of the powerful history and culture that the Gulf Coast has gifted to our whole country. The project is still a work in progress but it’s beautifully done and worth exploring, which you can do by clicking here.
4. AnthroPosts. Do you ever come across a little slip of paper accidentally left behind in a library book, a neon-colored post-it on the bus seat or on the ground? What do you do with it? Do you read it then throw it away? Do you imagine the people who wrote it or received it, their reactions, their stories, their lives?
Anthroposts is a site that aims to “find community from forgotten notes.” This cool artsy project collects and sorts and analyzes bits of ephemera found all over the world, creating an interesting picture of our small, mundane, daily lives through our lists and notes to self. More compelling than the content itself is the many ways site visitors can peruse these messages, supported by a subtle soundtrack of people reading them.
So, what do you think of these projects? Do they inspire you? Cool you down on a hot summer day? The four projects mentioned above are all quite different, but all use multimedia, cross-platform engagement and storytelling approaches worth noticing (and, perhaps, stealing).
Have you found any fascinating projects lately? This blog is a two-way street, so please point me in the right direction.