This Washington Post infographic is really cool. It is a high resolution photograph that maintains a decipherable quality (Look! Beyoncé is giving Debbie Wasserman Shultz the side-eye! Al Sharpton is mid-sneeze!) even as you zoom in closer and closer. Wash. Po. tagged the famous attendees in the balcony and elsewhere, but there is also a tool for Facebook users to tag themselves or people they know. The image pans out as far as the standing section. This feature is great in every way – it’s a unique idea that was executed with remarkable technical skill. It also incorporates the reader in a simple, seamless way. I think when media watchers talk about increasingly engaging ways to bring people news, and how that sort of innovation will could save journalism, they’re probably referring to something like this.
By contrast, this AJC multimedia piece hardly qualifies as such because it is so bland. It tracks the flurry of bills considered on “crossover day” – the final day for bills to pass over from the House to the Senate, the busiest day of the session, and likely the only day more than 30 members actually show up to the state House. While informative, it lacks style, resembling a plain Excel spreadsheet. I think even in the short space of time between when session adjourned last night and this morning a more imaginative piece could have been thrown together, especially considering AJC reporters probably had sound knowledge of which bills would be considered. The lines look clickable, as if they would take you to a link with the bill, but that isn’t the case. Even that basic feature is missing.