Saturday, December 29, 2007

Interactive Multimedia Events (Wilson 1993)

Some of the key ideas in Stephen Wilson's 1993 article as they relate to the themes covered in this blog:

- engagement in live interactive computer events can't be taken for granted. The technology and new methods alone don't guarantee engaging, quality experiences

- creating successful interactive multimedia events requires the creator/practititioner to deal with challenges in "time design", coordination of the different media types and layers (for example, text, images, verbal interaction), and the kinds and styles of choice-making that participants can make

- getting past the initial excitement and rush of using a new media form, where novelty and flash seem to create the value in and of themselves, requires persistence. There is almost invariably disappointment when the novelty wears off and the promised utopia doesn't come as automatically as it first appeared:
Those currently developing interactive multimedia and those thinking of entering the field need to carefully assess the current hyperbole surrounding it. On the other side of the excitement and high expectations could easily be disappointment and premature abandonment of culturally important lines of inquiry.

Much of the work with Compendium over the years has, in some ways, been a revitalization of the initial excitement over "design rationale" and argumentation-based hypertext in the early 1990s. As we've written about here and elsewhere, when it appeared that constructing issue maps required work out of the ordinary set of skills, the research community mostly dropped it.

I haven't found any further writing by Wilson in this area but I'm hoping to find more.

See further notes on the article here.

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