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Meograph Makes Multimedia Storytelling Simple and Fast

Up until very recently, creating interactive, multimedia stories of professional quality has been difficult and time-consuming. But that started changing this summer when Meograph launched.

Meograph helps you quickly assemble rich media in an interface that resembles a video player, based on a series of simple prompts, such as who, what, when and where.

“You can record a narration, add a map, upload photos, embed video and links,” says founder Misha Leybovich. “And we help you turn it into an interactive video-type format. With Meograph anyone can produce multimedia content.”

Among those now doing so are journalists and teachers.

In a café last week, Leybovich created a “narrative” for me in a matter of minutes. It’s quite easy to assemble narratives by embedding YouTube videos, add small bits of text, links to other articles, and photos.

One cool feature allows you to zoom in or pan out on the photos. You cannot shoot original video with it yet but that capability is coming in the future.

Leybovich and his team of eight built Meograph quite quickly.

“We started building it in April; it took three months to get into beta, then we released it, and now we are releasing updates every week. A few thousand people have tried it out so far.

“We've talked to journalists, who say they increasingly need to be able to take simple elements and turn them into multimedia stories. So the ideas for audio narration and embedded links came from those journalists."

Leybovich is convinced Meograph will solve a major pain point in media today.

“This is the future of digital media and content creation. To be able to easily put together an original piece of media that leverages other media that already exists. That repurposing of other media is key.

“Journalists have traditionally collected and analyzed information,” he continued. “But the collection part has been disrupted. People now take photos and videos of every event, and Tweet them, so you don’t necessarily need to send a journalist to get a picture or video. But you do need someone to all pull that media together and help people to understand the context.”

This is the “curation” role that content creators have been gravitating to in the past few years.

Meograph doesn’t actually serve the videos, which would increase costs, but serves JSON files instead. There are default constraints on the audio narration (ten seconds) and the video clips (15 seconds), though you can override them if you wish.

The company is building a mobile version now.

“If you think about it, Meograph is perfect for use in the field,” notes Leybovich. “All the content will be geo-tagged, time-stamped, and you can add narrative and captions as the event is happening. It also can be watched in real time.”

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