The Absurd Intellectual calls Bill Dedman’s latest effort “an investigative slideshow.” Dedman, an investigative reporter for MSNBC.com, has posted a story consisting of 47 slides and some 2,700 words on Huguette Clark, the reclusive, 103-year-old daughter of the scandal-plagued Montana mining magnate and U.S. senator William Andrews Clark.
Can you tell a complicated story using nothing but pictures and captions? Yes, says Dedman, though, in an interview with Poynter, he admits that some “complexity” is lost. Nevertheless, it has been a hit with readers. Dedman tells Poynter:
The page views so far are 78 million. There are 47 slides, so that’s the equivalent of more than 1.6 million people reading every slide. Not that it works that way, of course; some people dipped in and out. In all, 2.2 million unique users (computers) went to the slide show.
Dedman also describes what he sees as the difference between a good slideshow and a bad one: “I’m not a fan of slide shows that are created just to generate page views. If you have 10 reasons the Red Sox are going to be better this year, just tell me the 10 reasons; don’t make me click through 10 slides to find out. The readers know they’re being manipulated.”