Blog: Multimedia Tools
A picture is worth a thousand words. That statement holds true for blogs. That is one reason why it is important for a blog to contain multimedia elements such as photos and videos. A primary goal of many bloggers is to obtain novel readers with each blog. For a blog to be successful, it has to provide quality content for its readers (Smith, 2013). Multimedia elements are part of providing a quality blog for media consumers.
There are many multimedia tools available to blog creators. They include tools to make photos or videos such as Windows Movie Maker, flip video and iMovie. Audio tools include Animoto and Garage Band (Educational Technology Resources, 2016). These multimedia elements can enhance blogs, but care must be taken since show some multimedia elements may be more effective for certain types of blogs than others.
A good way for a blog to attract new readers is to show up on search engines and be posted on social media sites. Search engines look at other media such as video and photo titles (Smith, 2013). Additionally, users of social media tend to post videos or photos, not necessarily text. Leveraging good quality photos and videos within a blog may be a good way to obtain novel viewers.
Dog lovers have probably seen the I Heart Dogs blog posts on social media (Palmer, 2016). This is a blog that is written to raise money for shelter dogs and does contain a retail section. The site claims they were able to feed 300,000 shelter dogs in the month of December (Palmer, 2016). The content is rich with many videos and engaging dog photos. The videos and photos are easily shareable on social media and the links usually have interesting dog stories when on clicks on them. This is a good example of leveraging engaging videos and photos to drive people to a blog.
Oftentimes trends or maps of data are much more understandable in an image form. These infograms are also likely to be shared on social media and draw people to your blog (Smith , 2013). Do You Believe in Dogs (Cobb/Hecht, 2016) is a more scientific blog that makes use of charts and graphs to drive home points. This blog is written by two scientists to asses and discuss dog behavior and cognition. Below is one of their blogs and how they leverage the use of an infographic to make a point about poll results. This graph is much easier to read than the poll results would be if they were just listed in text form.
Multimedia techniques are very useful if one is blogging in order to advertise or promote a product or other service. Audio and video enhancements to a website increase the memory for advertisements on a site (Sundar, 2000). When one has both text and photos about a story, they are bidirectional input (Sundar, 2000). This means they are receiving input about the story in two sensory pathways and it makes them more likely to remember a story. This holds particularly true if a blogger wants a media consumer to remember an advertisement (Sundar, 2000).
This engaging photo below is from Little Things (Little Thins, 2016). This blog contains sections for parenting food and dogs. It claims to be the third largest Facebook publisher and to reach 19% of the digital population (Little Things, 2016). This blog creates revenue by obtaining advertisers. They have an entire tab dedicated to the demographic they are targeting and how many novel hits they receive a month. It is clear Little Things leverages are multimedia content to drive readers to its site and obtain advertising dollars.
Bloggers need to be cognizant about what their blog is about and what its purpose is in order to use appropriate multimedia tools. A study showed that adding multimedia to a website with news actually decreased the memory of news on the site (Sundar, 2000). Certainly this makes the argument that if a blog is more news or scientific oriented, a blogger may want to decrease the amount the multimedia elements or limit the multimedia elements to explanatory graphs. The author of Dog Food Advisor wants his blog on pet food to be viewed as a reference for pet owners to learn about pet food. Since his content is more news and science oriented, he has opted not to leverage many multimedia elements. This may be a benefit if he wants his readers to remember the details of the news he posts in his blog.
Blogging has become a competitive area to vie for the consumer’s attention. In order to be successful, most bloggers need to consider leveraging some type of multimedia element. Before using the tools, one does need to consider what type of content will be most beneficial for their blog.
Cobb, M. and Hecht, J. (2016) Do You Believe in Dogs Retrieved on February 9, 2016 from http://doyoubelieveindog.blogspot.com/p/about.html
Educational Technology Resources (2016) Multimedia Tools Retrieved on February 8, 2016 from https://aartechresources.wikispaces.com/Multimedia+Tools
Little Things (2016) Retrieved February 9, 2016 from http://www.littlethings.com/category/pets-2/
Palmer, S. (2016) I Love Dogs Retrieved February 9, 2016 from http://iheartdogs.com/
Sagman, P. (2016) Dog Food Advisor Retrieved February 8, 2016 from https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/blog/
Smith, M. (2013) Why Multimedia Blog Content is Good for Your Site Retrieved on February 8, 2016 from http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs/detail/why-multimedia-blog-content-is-good-for-your-site
Sundar, S. (2000) Multimedia Effects on Processing and Perception of Online News Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Autumn 2000; 77, 3; ABI/INFORM Global pg 480