Next month I am due to give a talk to second year media communications students at Bath Spa University. The students are tasked with creating a discursive piece of content using different media. So, rather than writing a 2,500-word essay they have to produce a piece of work using different media to get across their message.

Using different media to create something new resonates with me because I used to do a lot of DJing. I used to listen to tunes and go in search of the original breaks that made up that tune. For example, this Coldcut remix of the Eric B and Rakim’s Paid in Full . . .

. . . is peppered with breaks. You can hear them all in this Youtube playlist. Here’s Dennis Edwards, whose track Don’t look any further provides the bassline.

In the DJ environment, my craft was all about putting things together and creating something new. I used to love playing a tune and then following it with the original and then another version of the same tune. Occasionally I’d put together instrumentals and acapellas to create something new.

This probably explains why I like playing around with different formats to tell stories. My crowdsourced story of a socially connected workplace is a good example.

So, as I ponder my forthcoming talk I want to share a few ways in which combining media has led to something new. The message here is that by mashing up content in all its various forms you can create something new and eye catching.

Song into flowchart

Here the lyrics of Bonny Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart are transformed into a flowchart. [Credit: http://jeannr.tumblr.com]

Bonny Tyler Flow chart

Two songs and videos into one new music video
There are many, many mash-ups on Youtube. Here’s one combining the song and video of Psy’s Gangham style with the song and video from the film Ghostbusters.

Data into music

I’m not going to begin to explain how this works but read more about how 36 years of Voyager spacecraft data has been transformed into musical duet.

Book into animation

Three hundred pages of Dan Pink’s book Drive has been transformed into 11 minutes of animation.

APIs into maps
Trendsmap mashes up Twitter Trending Topics with Google Maps to give a real-time map of Twitter trends across the globe.

Comic mashups

Comic strip creator Dilbert lets users create their own punchlines to his comic strips. Have a go here.

Vine mashups
Is it possible to create a video mash-up in six seconds? Of course, and you can see plenty of examples of such Vines here.

Do you have any favourites? Please do share them in the comments!