Digital narrative is being redefined with projects like Snowfall, Firestorm and, this week, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Bounced Around.
These stunning, intricate works are landmarks on the path to tomorrow’s journalism, but they also require more resources than most newsrooms can muster. That’s why tools like Zeega are so exciting. By meshing the curation power of Storify with the layout and design features of PhotoShop, Zeega allows users to piece together elegant, interactive narratives like these. Or join the Internet’s perpetual genuflection to cats.
Regardless of your end goal, Zeega is free and fairly straightforward to use. I’m especially fond of how it generates automatic citations for curated content, creating a trail of verification for viewers. Also nice: Zeega uses HTML5, not Flash, so it’s compatible with virtually every device.
If you’d like to give Zeega a try, follow these steps:
- Click here to go to the Zeega homepage and create an account.
- Click the blue “create new Zeega” button in the upper right corner of the homepage. You’ll see a user interface that looks something like this:
- The column on the left is your pallet. Use it to find publicly-available sounds, images and videos. You can also upload your own.
- Drag and drop those elements on to the black canvas in the center of the page. Elements can be combined using layers similar to those in PhotoShop.
- To add a new slide in your Zeega, use the “add page” button in the upper left. To add text or change the background color, use the buttons to the right.
- If you’d like an audio file to play during the Zeega, add one using the “soundtrack” button in the upper right.
- When you’re done, publish and share your Zeega using the buttons in the upper right.
Want to learn more? Poynter’s NewsU recently hosted a Zeega webinar. You can watch a replay here.