Teaching, Tools

Interactive Group Brainstorm: What is Multimedia Journalism?

What is multimedia journalism? That’s the question I planned to ask my class (WRI 430) to begin the semester. To have a “multimedia” discussion, I wanted them to be able to interact directly on screen. I needed something that would run in a Web browser because campus IT policy doesn’t allow us to install software in the lab.

I did some initial searching for free online mind-mapping tools, but didn’t have time to dig through all the options. I needed to bounce it off someone, so I asked for help on Twitter:

Recommendations for free web-based brainstorm/mindmapping service supporting multiple users simultaneously?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

(Tweet embedded using Blackbird Pie.)

I got a response from a contact I met at a Twitter meetup in Tijuana: @darleneluquin. He recommended MindMeister. We hopped on Gmail chat to coordinate a quick test to see how the real-time collaboration played out on screen. Sure enough, it worked like a charm, identifying each update by author as it was happening. (Thanks again, Jose!)

What is Multimedia Journalism?

In class, we broke down “multimedia journalism” into two parts, starting with a discussion of journalism. As students mentioned an element out loud, I asked them to add a node to our collaborative mind map. You can see how the map developed in this video:

(Video captured using Screenflick.)

In their own words:


  • A fresh piece of information
  • A way of organizing information for the public
  • Relevant to people’s daily lives
  • Factual
  • Human interest

Output through media:

  • Audio
  • Photo
  • Video
  • Charts
  • Social networking
  • Links
  • Text
  • Online
  • Interactive
  • Slideshow
  • http://www.darleneluquin.com Jose Luquín

    Hi Nathan, it was nice for me as well, to be able to test run that exersise, I was looking forward to use it on a real scenario; so now if We are in need of conduct a live brain storming / mind mapping session now we know what tool to use.

    Saludos a Rosario y les debemos una cena, asi que pronto les esperamos dar noticia para ponernos al tanto y platicar una vez más con ustedes.

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  • http://Website Leng Caloh

    Brilliant! I’ve been wondering about a collaborative web-based mind-mapping tool… Might be good for our team planning, too.