In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of multi-media content. There are many ways we communicate ideas: in writing, through audio only, using still images, and with video (combining audio with video). Only our imagination limits what we will see, hear, and feel in the future horizon. However, content delivery can be costly, proprietary formats can prevent you from reaching your audience, and intellectual property can prohibit the customization you desire. I just read the following on an Adobe website:
“While PDF [Portable Document Format] is increasingly becoming the vehicle for exchanging information in an interactive and universal format, multichannel delivery is more than simply providing an electronic version of a print manual. Multichannel delivery focuses on providing users with content that can be consumed through the channel of their choice (e.g., print, PDF, EPUB, HTML, CHM, etc.).” (1)
I thought to myself, “BINGO! This author won this round of the game.” Our information and the presentation of that information does not need to be locked together. Portable documents—capable of being carried or moved about or usable on many computers with little or no modification (2)—should allow the intended audience access to the author’s information. The media used to carry information from author to intended audience should not hold ransom or adulterate this communication.
Points to ponder when considering media distribution:
* Can your media be distributed using a certain vendor’s channel?
* Do you agree with the cost of using this vendor’s channel to distribute your information?
* Does this channel (file format or container) allow you to distribute your content to your target audience in acceptable and accessible ways?
* Are you technologically at liberty to present your information using multiple distribution channels?
* Will legalities permit you to use this channel to reach perpetually your target audience?
(2) “Portable” Defs. 1 and 3. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 9 May 2017.