With most writing, your words will appear on the page in a linear format. It used to be that the interactive nature of printed documents was limited to looking at the table of contents or index and choosing a page number. Multimedia writing differs in that the components can be accessed through different ways. For example, visitors may link from a site index to see only the specific page they want. This ability to choose is what makes multimedia so dynamic. The reader gets to choose what comes next, instead of the author. It allows the user to interact with the information, rather than just read it.
The only thing that has heightened the new multimedia wave is the technology available to create it. With the advent of more powerful computers, new applications have greatly expanded the presentation formats available. The applications are not limited to just the printed word, either; multimedia can be presented on video or in other formats. The scope of applications is almost limitless.
On the Web, this new technology means that people can jump from place to place by following links that connect two relevant bits of information. But it doesn't stop there. The links can take visitors to relevant pictures, or sound files, or video files, or virtually anything else that can be displayed on a computer. For this reason, much of the Web has taken on a new flair.
The Web certainly went through its growing pains as people experimented with this new medium. Pages started out simply, due to technological limitations. Soon, the technology evolved, and Web page designers were then able to implement different elements, such as colored text or background images.
The concept of “multimedia” can be taken further. Even office presentations using software such as Microsoft PowerPoint use a similar approach to convey information. (The interactivity is just sometimes more limited, that's all.) Corporations can use interactive brochures to provide information to their shareholders, or as reference materials for staff training initiatives. The application combinations of multimedia writing are seemingly limitless.
In the years since, the technology has evolved further, providing a dynamic medium that can be used to disseminate virtually any kind of information. For example, news sites like