Missionaries have been taking photographs to tell their stories as long as there have been cameras. The advent of digital photography and the Internet brings those images into people's homes almost instantly. And yet, in many ways, they are just an extension of the classic rotary-magazine, Kodak slide projector.
One company that is offering to change that is VuVox. VuVox brings some great tools to the table, one of which is still in private beta. Their goal is to expand and extend the content that you may have already gathered. That content might be photos, videos, music, text or whatever. VuVox helps you create and publish interesting, interactive presentations of that content.
Their simplest tool makes creating interesting slide shows a snap. In fact, I made the below show in about 5 minutes with their Express option.
First, VuVox allows you to tap into your existing content either online or on your desktop. You can tap into your Flickr, Picasa, Facebook or any RSS photostream for images. I went to one of my Flickr tags and copied its RSS feed. Then I pasted that into the VuVox express input box and selected a style. It generated a slide show based on the feed and the options I selected. Once you've created your slide show you're given the options of emailing it, embedding it or getting a permanent HTML link. I was having so much fun that I created a slightly different style and embedded it on the front page of my website.
But VuVox also has more powerful tools to offer. Another tool is called "Collage," still in private Beta. Collage was developed with photojournalists in mind to help tell their stories. I could explain it, but Dane Howard, CEO of VuVox does it much better. Check out the below interview with Robert Scoble.
If you don't have time for the interview, at least look at this collage from the San Jose Mercury News. It was created to tell the story of small-town Willow Glen. Within the collage you notice embedded audio, video, HTML links and text on various hotspots created. If you want to see how Mercury News photojournalist Richard Hernandez did it, look here.
Imagine telling your ministry story with a tool like that! Since it's all created with Flash, you could embed it in your blog or web site, or even use it in a table-top kiosk on a speaking tour. With tools like this you can create powerful presentations that can be taken almost anywhere.