The New York Times package reconstructing the stories around an avalanche in the Cascades has been called by some the best designed big web story ever. That encompasses a lot of great work, with much competition, but let's agree it's in the conversation and may be the best thing the NYT has ever done on the web. Jim Romenesko has a memo from executive editor Jill Abramson saying the Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek interactive feature has been visited almost three million times. Many of the viewers were newcomers to the site, and they started arriving in big numbers from social media before the Times ever put the story on its home page (or in the printed paper.)
“Beautiful” and “brilliant” were two words used an awful lot by readers and rivals both.
The story was born in the gifted hands of John Branch. The Sports and Graphics desks soon saw story-telling opportunities well beyond the print paper. Ultimately, the effort came to include the talents of Ruth Fremson, Jacky Myint, Hannah Fairfield, Joe Ward, Jeremy White, Xaquin G.V., Graham Roberts, Josh Williams, Wayne Kamidoi, Sam Manchester, Ken Plutnicki, Michael Roston and Lexi Mainland.
All that work produced a wildly new reading experience.