Snowy Boston through mobile journalism

The article by Mashable writer, Colin Daileda, on the snowfall that smothered Boston on Feb. 15, 2015 effectively uses mobile journalism to tell the story. The story includes first-person perspective videos from Vine and an embedded tweet by the National Weather Service Boston regarding the record-breaking blizzard.

(Tweet credit @NWSBoston)

The tweet adds a sense of urgency and timeliness to the story, which was published on Feb. 15, the same day the tweet was sent out. Thus, when audiences read the article, they discovered close to real time that the snowfall was a historic amount.

Also, the story gives viewers a vivid impression of what it was like for Bostonians making it through the blizzard. The article incorporates videos from Vine that Daileda personally captured, which show multiple snowplow trucks clearing the frosty streets of Boston.

(Vine video credit Colin Daileda.)

A video of a Boston pedestrian wearing a thick coat scurrying across the chilly street illustrates how freezing the weather was.

(Vine video credit Colin Daileda.)

Also, Vine videos can attract attention because readers don’t have to physically click on them for the videos to play. By simply scrolling down the article, the embedded videos begin to play automatically on a loop without sound. Vine’s built-in video play system makes it convenient for readers to watch the videos, as well. Therefore, the videos encourage audiences to click on them to turn on their sound, as well as continue reading the article.

(Vine video credit Colin Daileda.)

Another aspect of the article is that the story can readily be shared on social media. Buttons to share the article on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are easy to find on the page. There are also icons to add the photos in the story to Pinterest. Mashable takes full advantage of social media to not only enhance its stories, but to also promote them.

One of the photos in the story showcasing social media share options. Photo credit Kieran Kesner for Mashable. Screenshot by Jimin Kim.
One of the photos in the story showcasing several social media sharing options. Photo credit Kieran Kesner for Mashable. Screenshot by Jimin Kim.

Thus, Daileda took what would otherwise be a mundane weather-related story and turned it into an experience for the audience. The multimedia and mobile journalism aspect of the story with the Vine videos and embedded tweet give readers a strong sense of the intense snowfall.

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