Another Unique Way to Publish

Microsoft’s Fuse Lab has made available an interesting web application called “Montage“.  I’m playing around with it at this point, trying to find solid examples of where I’d seriously use it.  For the time being, it is a really unique way to publish information.

Is it a tribute to the fact that web users need to have information constant and fluid that drives the design?  I could certainly see it as a way to show off collections of photos.  But, I put it to a further test.

Use of Montage is pretty simple.  Give it a concept and let it pull the resources that it finds from the web and place it into a montage.  Graphics and stories flip in and out as Montage tries to give you the big picture.  The content is hot linked back to its original source so that you can check it out.

So, what’s in the news?  How about a search for “Metrodome”.  That seems appropriate for this Minnesota Vikings fan.  Here’s a snapshot of some of what is returned.

Now, this is just a screenshot of the information displayed at a point in time.  To view the active montage, please click here.  Since the stories are pulled from seemingly random sources, choose your search terms wisely if you’re displaying them in public!

Layouts are initially prepared at random and you have the opportunity to shuffle them until you find one that attracts your attention.  But, if that doesn’t work, each of the widgets can be customized.

Split the widget, delete it, change the animation type or even edit it to find more content for that part of the montage.  In true Microsoft format, once you find something you like, you can pin it in place.

This is a cute little way to read and/or display your content.  I’d suggest giving it a try.  Head over to its home and type something that’s headlining the news and see what’s generated for you at random.  That’s a great first start but then start to dig into the flexibility that you have in customizing the display and you may well be hooked.

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2 thoughts on “Another Unique Way to Publish

  1. Doug, you can actually get pretty sophisticated with your montages if you’re willing to put the time in. As for valuable montages, they’re really good at aggregating content so anywhere you want an aggregated view of something they’re useful. Here are a couple of examples I’ve built:

    Seattle Traffic
    Ski Washington

    The other thing you can do is sort of chain montages together (via linking) to create slideshows and multi-page magazines:

    Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
    Rock Star Magazine


  2. Montage seems similar to We used Primal! as a tool with Grade 9 students to help clarify research topics and provide links to sources.


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