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title:Multimedia and the World Wide Web - A European Perspective

Ken Friedman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Leadership and Strategic Design
Norwegian School of Management

Multiple Views of Multimedia

Multimedia involves more than using computer technology to deliver combinations of images and sound. It is a variety of tools for delivering information, education and entertainment in useful and useable forms.


title:Conclusions and recommendations

Product definition

Process-dependent features

This product is different from most other existing information in services. Aside from considerations of quality of content and its design, its viability is highly dependent on integration of several processes involving its information providers and users. These process factors can be summarized as:


title:Costs to users of obtaining information

The section Trends in dissemination of electronic information describes the trends in the dissemination of electronic information, in particular the contrasting tendencies to produce "information for free for everyone" and "information of high value for those who can pay". In assessing possibilities for cost recovery in a volatile commercial environment, there are no clear answers to how much a user should pay for online access, or what they should get for what they pay.


title:Income generation/Not-for-profit

The sections Constituency sensitivity and Economic viability set the context for the development of the envisaged product within a "not-for-profit", "public interest" environment. Nevertheless, whilst they are genuine non-profit organizations, the consortium partners derive their income largely using typical market behaviours in the commercial domains of publishing, consulting and sale of services.



Neither UIA nor WCMC itself ‘markets’ its existing information products in any conventional commercial sense. In the case of UIA, its reference products are marketed globally by the Munich-based academic publisher K G Saur, a member of the Reed group. UIA independently publicises its products on the Web, in journals (it’s own and others) and at international meetings. In the case of WCMC, its electronic products are freely accessed, hence ‘marketed’, through user search and access on the Web; books and reports, usually cooperatively produced, are marketed by IUCN and others.


title:Interactivity with CD-ROM and Web users

UIA is especially interested in the interactive possibilities offered by software such as FolioViews to allow users to "modify" and "annotate" data supplied in read-only format, by working through read-write overlay files specific to each user. These facilities have already been made available on the UIA CD-ROMs, allowing users to supplement descriptions and to add hyperlinks. The next step would be to enable simple online transfer of selected portions of user data to the data providers as comments or data updates or supplements.



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