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March 10, 2013 / carlispina

Create Interactive Multimedia Content with Zeega

Zeega LogoMultimedia content is becoming ever more important online with images, videos, gifs and music appearing on a wider variety of sites all the time. Zeega is a tool that makes it simple to collect, combine, edit and share this content. Originally developed with an aim towards helping journalists to combine and share multimedia content, Zeega opened late last week to all users. It offers free accounts and once you have signed up you are ready to create projects within seconds with their drag-and-drop interface.

The first step in using Zeega is to add the Zeega bookmarklet to your Bookmarks Bar. Once you have done that, you can add content to your Media library within Zeega by clicking on the bookmarklet while on a page. Currently, Zeega supports collecting content from Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram, imgur, Facebook, Archive.org and Tumblr, as well as any URL that ends in .mp4, .mp3, .gif, .png, or .jpg. Once you have collected content from around the web, combining it is as easy as dragging it from the Media library to the right side of the screen. Each piece of content is a separate layer and can be edited separately. For images, this means the ability to edit the position, scale and opacity of the image among other things. You can also add text or color to your Zeega. If you are working with an image or silent video, sound can also be added to your Zeega by adding another layer. Sound components can be cut down to a shorter length and looped if you only want to include a small portion of the recording and you can fade in or fade out the soundtrack if you would like. You can also add content from Google Streetview to your Zeega through a button above the layers. For more complex multimedia projects, you can also add popup layers that can pause the main Zeega when a viewer clicks on a specific element in the frame. Content can be set up to play simultaneously or sequentially if you want to create a longer project that plays as a presentation. Once you have completed your Zeega, you can preview it to make sure you are completely happy with it before publishing it. Published Zeegas have a unique URL and the application also makes it easy to share your Zeega via Facebook, Twitter or by embedding it on another site with the code provided.

I found Zeega very to easy to use. They provide helpful videos including a great overview video that pops up the first time you access your account (personally, as someone who rarely watches demos before first trying a tool, I could have done without the autoplay upon login, but the video was helpful). They also have a gallery of some of the best Zeegas created so far to provide inspiration for users. Zeega has a lot of potential for a wide range of situations, from creating gifs (or even audiogifs) to creating multimedia presentations either for the web or even to be used in place of slides during an in-person presentation. I can think of a number of ways that libraries could use it to create, mashup and remix content for their website and social media presence. I will be interested to see what users end up doing with it!

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