Monday, November 29, 2010

Tools for Transmedia part two – ThingLink

There are so many services and tools out there that could be used to enhance a transmedia property, enable creators to implement new solutions or just plain make it easier to do what you want to do with your story. A service that could be a good tool to implement for producers and creators alike is ThingLink, a venture from Ulla-Maaria and Jyri Engeström (of Jaiku / Google fame).

ThingLink is a fairly simple tool, allowing you to tag photos. As the ThingLink ppl say themselves, it’s ”a product identification tool that makes it easy to add clickable tags to any image on the web and share the tagged images on social networks.” What it means is that it enables you to use elements in pictures to help you tell more of a story in a quicker, better streamlined and more logical way than for instance hyperlinking stuff.

It looks something like this:

ThingLink is mostly geared towards advertisers and brands, which might want to have an easy way to forward interested customers to “more info” or “webshop”. But as I see it, it is a tool that can and should also be used for transmedia storytelling.

It’s a very handy tool if you as a creator want to keep a part of your story that you publish online to be based on, for example, just one full screen picture, ThingLinking your audience to different aspects, different storylines etc. It’s also possible to get a mass-tagging version of the tool, although I would feel the impact of one high-res, full screen, detailed image would be more attractive than a number of pics. It could be the entry point to everything you're offering online, or just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle - the ease with which you can implement it makes it a good tool.

I just have one small favor to ask of the developers - please include some sort of stealth mode, so that you can implement the tagging but without the spots on the picture. That would turn it into a great big Easter Egg hunt, which from a storytelling perspective is oh so much more fun!

And, yeah, it’s free to use btw. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination and creativity.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tools for Transmedia part one - Storify and Shadow Cities

There are a growing number of services and tools available for people who want to create transmedia projects, tools that not only give creators a new way to get their stories out to people but also juggles the creative parts of peoples’ brains (in a good way, I might add!) Here are two quite different ones, Storify and Shadow Cities.

Storify is a ”real-time curation service” that lets a user build his/her own story from a number of sources (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc) and insert own comments to create a kind of a story around a subject. It’s easy to handle – what I found is that the most time-consuming part is finding the most meaningful content and arrange them so that the pieces fit together nicely and logically. In a way, it’s very much like writing a blog post, but more handy in many ways – not bothering with embedding, searches possible through the same interface etc.

A brief video explaining the concept:

As for using Storify in a transmedia project, a couple of the things that immediately sprung to mind were, for instance

• curating the storyworld, by being able to in one place give people access to the different narrative strands in a logical and informative (and why not entertaining!) way
• encourage users to use the service to glean new information from seamingly non-connected pieces of content (could be as crude as the classic ”take the first letter of every sentence in the five articles written on the subject and see what they combine too” or something more elaborate)

There are, I’m sure, a number of other ways to use Storify in a transmedia setting. It’s an easy tool that gives quick results that can be easily distributed to a huge number of users/followers. That in itself should be attractive to transmedia creators!

The other service is from the other end of the spectra. The iPhone game ”Shadow Cities” was launched by Grey Area of Finland a little over a week ago. It’s a game that uses OpenMap as the basis, and then puts a magical layer on top of the real world, a layer where the user participates as a wizard of sorts.

You sign up as a wizard for one of two sides; the Animators (or ”Hippies”, as the opposition usually calls them) or Architects (affectionally called ”Drones” by some of the Animators). Then the battle is on, to conquer Gateways that give you energy, to fight and catch Spirits, to Research new Mana Potions, to advance in levels and gain new Spells, and so on. Through Beacons you can jump anywhere in the world, even though the game is only realeased on the Finnish App Store as of yet. (It’s GPS-based, so where ever you are in the real world, that’s where you are in Shadow Cities when you log on. Turning on the app in a crowded place in a big city can very well land you in the middle of a serious magical fight… which is great fun! )

Now, the background story is flimsy to say the least. I do not think anyone has any idea about why we do what we do (yes, I’ve been playing it since it was released, addictive it is, yes!) apart from the need for there to be a struggle between two opponents for there to be the necessary competition. There are also some flaws in the game mechanics, but these are being corrected (hopefully) continously, so there is bound the be many improvements over the coming months.

This game does juggle the transmedia creative brain quite a lot, I must say. If the game engine would be licensable, there is no end to the fun we could have with this app. Think of being the Harry Potter of the real world, throwing ”real” spells as you move through the physical world, fighting monsters and evil stuff along the way (or be a Death Eater, if that’s your thing). Or connect it to something like TRON or The Sorcerer’s Apprentice or suchlike; why not the Underworld property or just about any story where there already is implemented the idea of a ”layer” on top of our regular world.

Do check Shadow Cities out, when you get the chance. Here’s a short explanatory video to give you an idea of what it’s about (mind you, playing it for a week, there is a lot less running around and a lot more farming Gateways....)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Transmedia - the jigsaw puzzle

From the first time I laid my eyes on Robert Pratten’s picture defining transmedia (slide 6 here), it made sense. When we started out creating formats some five-six years ago, interactive television was the rage. In Finland, where I work, MHP (Multimedia Home Platform) was the chosen platform for set-top-box interactivity. What baffled me from the beginning was the limits imposed on creators and users by that platform. It was like being taken back in time to the days when, as a teenager, I was excited about installing Windows 3.1 on a 386. The possibilities were not only decidedly not endless, they were very few to start with.

From the outset, we have worked along the principles that what we create and combine should make sense. Much as a narrative in any regular tv series, movie or documentary, the human mind is used to stories being told in a certain manner. You can tweak this manner of telling; if you do, however, you’d better have it thoroughly planned and tested from the start, and know what you’re doing. The end result might very well turn everyone away from the story you’re trying to tell otherwise.

The same applied (and still applies) to interactive television. What is created must fit logically with all other parts of the narrative, so as not to deter anyone interested in the story. With MHP-interactivity, this was nearly impossible. The slow connection, the weak processors, the slap-on effect… all added up, so that in the end we had to compromise the story, in order to be able to implement the interactivity. The end result? Working interactive television, yes, but nothing to write home about in terms of exciting end result.

Going back to the jigsaw analogy, I can see that what we were trying to do back then was to make a jigsaw puzzle with an axe as the only tool. End result? Four square pieces that a 3-year-old could fit together in under ten seconds. Yes, it was a puzzle. Yes, it fit together logically. No, it was not exciting. No, it was not what we wanted to do.

Looking at transmedia and the state of interactive platforms and possibilities today, not only do we creators have access to a multitude of tools that give us the possibility to make the most intricate jigsaws we can imagine (while of course risking that 90% of the populace give up halfway through the 10.000 piece puzzle, leaving the jigsaw in a box in a closet somewhere), we can also choose material to work with almost freely – heavy materials for stories that should stay put, light materials for stories we want to be spread. We can also hire the best artists possible to paint our jigsaw to be an absolutely beautiful creation. And it is increasingly possible to send some tools to the users themselves, letting them play around with the jigsaw and create their own pieces, or paint pieces we deliberately left unpainted with pictures of their own.

There’s never been a better time to make jigsaws!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Transmedia - the Story, the Experience and the Needs

When Paul Burke commented on a post of mine a week ago he mentioned that there is a subtle difference between the story and the experience. That thought has been nagging away at the back of my head for a bit, so I decided to elaborate slightly on the matter.

At MediaCity, we have a number of very competent people working at our UX laboratory, doing research into user experience. Looking at stuff they put out is always enlightening, even when it doesn’t touch on your project directly. They’ve been talking a lot about the Needs of people and these Needs connection to User Experience. In my mind it feels very true, that taking these Needs into account while developing transmedia will result in a better User Experience in the end.

The Needs in question are six different ones (out of ten, developed by Sheldon et al); Autonomy, Relatedness, Competence, Stimulation, Influence and Security. My colleagues did a study last year, available here, that looks into these different Needs with regards to using interactive products and media. It’s a good read!

So, to look at these Needs and how to apply them to a transmedia development process,:

- Autonomy. This is a Need closely related to ”being real”, being oneself. Also to the flexibility of the product – can I use it anywhere, as it suits me? One good example right now is the as-of-yet only available in Finland iPhone social game Shadow Cities; I can play it anywhere at anytime over my iPhone, connected to the real world via OpenMaps, and it really enhances my Autonomy IMHO.

- Relatedness. The Need to feel connected to a bigger whole, a group of friends, the place where you grew up… basically, your place in the world and in the story (and in the storyworld, of course!)

- Competence. The Need to master stuff, to feel that you can handle what’s thrown at you. No matter if it’s cracking a code on a website or just finding the website in the first place; it’s the feeling of being competent and up to the task. (I.e. don’t make it too hard for people to master your challenges!)

- Stimulation. The Need that is most closely connected to creativity – the interaction with others or with media (or with the challenges you pose them in your transmedia narrative) spurs people on and stimluates them. Given the opportunity to express oneself brings out hte creativity in people. (Leave sandboxes for people to express themselves in!)

- Influence. The Need that is about reaching out to others, to communicate, to feel connected. Your users will want to be part of a whole, but also be able to influence that whole in some way.

- Security. This last Need is closely connected with experiencing that things work the way they should. A coffeemaker fills this Need, as it always works. It also fills the need in a different way, as it is a familiar machine, thereby strengthening the feeling of Security. The feeling that everything is as it should be. Conclusion: you might very well include things that don’t work, or hoax people, or make things be NOT as they should be – but plan for that and be aware of this need, Perhaps your users need a sancturay somewhere?

Feel free to expand on these ideas – I know many of them are applicable to our work right now, so I would imagine they could help some others on the way as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creating a Transmedia Symphony

I re-read the article in Wired on transmedia today, and found it as good a read as the first time. Coming to the last paragraph I read Jeff Gomez’s comment about transmedia and the birth of a new Mozart, ”We are going to see visionaries who understand the value of each media platform as if it’s a separate musical instrument, who’ll create symphonic narratives which leverage each of these multimedia platforms in a way that will create something we haven’t encountered yet.

This rings true for me as an analogy of what many of us are trying to create. The question that popped up in my head was, however, “but hey, how do you create a “normal” symphony?”. Lo and behold, a Google search later I found this wikihow on, yes, how to create a symphony. After reading it, the analogy rings truer still. So, to translate the creation of a “normal” symphony to the creation of a transmedia symphony, these would/could be the steps to take:

1. Before considering creating a transmedia symphony, you most know a lot of the theory behind the storytelling and the structure, as well as the analysis of audiences and the different media platforms. If you have done this, follow the next steps.

2. Be inspired. Take some time, relax, bring som inspirational material with you somewhere and create. Wherever you are, when the ideas suddenly pop up in your mind, write them down, no matter how small. Keep letting life inspire you until you have a bunch of these ideas. Try to make your ideas connect with people on an emotional level.

3. You’re going to need some good writing and scheduling software. Set up your project thoroughly, with all the different elements in place from the beginning. In this way you can see how they fit together, and where strengthening is needed. The base of the project is the story and a couple of platforms. Unless you’re taking on a massive Hollywood project you shouldn’t need to worry about every possible platform and outlet. It’s all up to you, what you want your project to look like and how you want it to be perceived.

4. When you’ve selected the platforms you want to work on, go back to your ideas. Expand on them, build the world around them, put them in the middle of some context and think about how you would like to introduce them, and how you will digress from them as the narrative rolls on. Which ideas would be best at the beginning, or in the middle of the narrative? What should be the grand finale? Slowly add onto these ideas and interlink them. Make sure to stay within logical boundaries and watch for errors that would throw an audience off. This is of course unless you really feel you want some of these. Many creators throughout history have sought out theoretical guidelines, but if you encounter an opportunity to do something which breaks the rules but really feels right to you in the context of the piece, you might want to leave it in.

5. Eventually you will have a number of different, fleshed-out ideas going on. Try to get them all work in the same context, yet have their own unique style. You will use this to develop the different movements of your work. Keep expanding on these ideas, adding subplots, side characters, and so on. Watch and study other great transmedia projects to hear, see and feel how they progress, to help give you ideas of your own.

6. Eventually each idea will become a decently long plot. Do a walkthrough of all the different parts of your project. Does it flow right? Change and fix anything that does not feel right. Remember the interlinking of the different parts and how they should exist in the same story world and fit logically in the same context. Keep refining your project until it is complete.

7. This creative process may take a while, but by this step you should have a fully developed transmedia project down on paper. Take it to a group of people you know closely, or perhaps a group of students, and narrate the project to them, or ask them to partake of any material you have produced so far, like written text, graphic novels, online portals etc. Observe them partake of your idea. Did they experience it like you expected? Were their reactions the desired ones? Make sure you have the possibility to write down comments and reactions on the spot.

8. Go back to your transmedia mess and make a second draft with the comments and reactions taken in. Repeat these two steps until you are satisfied.

9. Take it to someone in the industry. It depends on your idea, but could be anything from a broadcaster to a production company, from a publisher to a telecom operator, depending on your idea and the platforms you’re concentrating on. Rehearse your pitch well, and reel them in with your great story and magnificent execution.

10. If you get traction and commissioning (or at least adequate funding) - Voila! Time to unleash your transmedia symphony on the world!

...and after writing this down, the analogy still rings true. Granted, there might be a lot more involvement from different sources from the beginning - brands, partners, tech etc - but if I start developing a new transmedia idea, this could work pretty well! There is also other aspects, like the need for a viable business plan etc, but we're talking symphonies now, so I omitted those :)

(Credits go to the Wikihow users who wrote the original post: BoldStepFixer, Gewg, Johnny, Nicole Willson, Maluniu, BR, Sarah Eliza and KP, wikiHow user(s) Isabelle C, Getmoreatp, Geena04, J424, Tryme2 and Anonymous.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pitching transmedia

(disclaimer: there are as many pitches as there are ideas, and as many ways to pitch them as there are people to pitch them to. With that in mind, I hope you get something out of this post.)

I’ve met a number of people who subscribe to the notion that what people do for a big part in their life is pitch ideas. It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking of – marriage proposals, what to cook for dinner, where to go on your next trip, when your kids should be doing their homework, what club to go to on a Saturday night – it’s all about how you pitch it.

Part of my job description (well, actually not part of my job description, but anyway) is to pitch; i.e. the ideas and the projects we work on have to be pitched successfully to get the necessary funding in for development work, the developed ideas must be pitched to participants, partners etc to go into successful pilot production, and the finished format must be successfully pitched to get a commission in the end. Lots of pitches, lots of different targets and goals.

What I have found challenging is pitching transmedia concepts. There is the issue that transmedia is a relatively new concept and hard to grasp. The people I mostly pitch to are executives and commissioners from more traditional media, television predominantly. Many of our projects have a strong TV connection still, as there is a still a lot of funding to be had from that area, and also, of course, because it's still a powerful media to tell stories in. These people know their line of work very well; they can ”see” the idea executed in their mind, they have an innate feeling for revenue streams, they know what would make a good show and what would require work, sometimes too much work. But ”seeing” transmedia is different, and I belive it needs a different approach to pitching the ideas as well.

The challenge is to tell just enough of the brilliant transmedia project for everyone to feel that they're hearing something unique and thrilling, that they simply have to be a part of and take part in. As transmedia projects often are complex workings, dependent on careful planning and execution, the full explanation is a lot to pitch and a lot to grasp. Personally I am a big fan of the elevator pitch - getting the idea down to a 30 second pitch that'll explain it to anyone. If I can't manage that, my idea needs working on.

This post is an attempt to gather some thoughts on the subject. Better pitching leads to more great ideas being commissioned, which we all want, methinks.

(There are a great number of other aspects as well, like for instance how to get in touch with the right people to pitch to, how to follow up on pitches etc. For some run-downs on pitching in general, have a look here, or here. I'll stick to the transmedia part for this post though.)

I’ve polled some people on their thoughts with regards to pitching transmedia, people from slightly different corners of the transmedia field. I asked about what they regard as the most important aspect when pitching a cross media/transmedia property. The thing they, and I, all agree on is the importance of getting the story through in a compelling and exciting way. Mike Monello, of Blairwitch Project and Campfire fame, told me that for him, it’s ”always the story through user experience. Technology only in the context of a specific tactic, and only if necessary. The storytelling that interests me the most isn’t complete without the audience/user, therefore it’s their experience that brings it to life.” (Q:s and A:s were done over Twitter, which explains some omitted words ☺ )

I will most definitely agree on the story being the thing that should hook the audience to your pitch. When I started out, I pitched badly. Really really badly. We were so proud of the tech we had included in our formats that we skipped a large part of the story, in order to explain how nicely all Java-interactivity and set-top-box-interactivity, along with the mechanics of the show fit together. After a dozen pitches during one hectic MIPTV day, I grew tired of the blank look on people’s faces and decided I needed to change my approach. So, yes, the story!

One drawback when pitching transmedia is that there are not that many comparisons you can make. When pitching a script for a movie, you could go for "It's like Godzilla meets Titanic, in space!" which sort of gives everyone an idea of what it's about (hmm, I'd like to see that movie btw :). In transmedia, possible comparisons are fewer, which leads to you having to stress the points that are easy to get and that hooks the audience immediately - so if you do not have those points and hooks, you really need to think about developing them!

The guys over at and their interesting and potentially brilliant project Resonance are on the same track. ”[It’s the] story x 3. Must be good enough to engage & sustain across the platforms. [The] story hooks the reader. Tech … reels them in. ;)”

I like the notion of using tech to reel in audiences; using tech as a means to an end is what the content creation business is / should be all about. There quite a few instances where tech takes the more important role; this in turn leads to great examples of how to implement tech, but more seldom to content that engages an audience.

Thirdly, Dr Christy Dena, one of the pioneers in the field and the author of ”Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments.” listed the following points (which may change depending on the client, and are based on the project being unreleased as of yet, as Christy pointed out):

1) Start with story - theme, logline, synopsis, characters
2) A walkthrough of the experience (or part of it - the beginning & perhaps end) from the perspective of the audience
3) Aspects of innovation - the design principles, audience strategies etc
that sets this project apart as being well conceived (which includes a bit
of context)
4) The team - who are the awesome people involved
5) Timeline - what stage are we at, how much longer to go, what the
milestones are, when marketing will happen, when revenue intends to happen
6) Business strategy - including measurement
7) What we want/their role

Again, I’m definitely inclined to agree. These points make sense, especially if you are pitching the idea to a possible partner or financier that you belive has the potential of having a large impact on your project. In my opinion, the points also apply all the more if the person you are pitching to has at least a basic knowledge of the workings of transmedia and the benefits of a transmedia approach to a project. These points should naturally be a part of anyone's development work as well. It's a good way to test your idea, to try to do a walkthrough from a users perspective. Also, it's very easy to forget the last point - to have a firm grasp of what you see your role together with the ones you are pitching to. If you don't know, who will?

If you however have a 10 minute slot with an acquisition executive of a global production house, I would suggest you stick to the story, the hooks and the grand finale. Hook them and reel them in, make sure you get the go-ahead to approach them for a longer meeting with more executive staff involved in the near future. It’s always easier to say no than to say yes, if you are being sold something (like a transmedia project). But with a good enough story to hook them, you know they will not want to let it go easily. Make sure you’re interesting and exciting, avoid spaced-out and technological.

Finally, a couple of things: as Jeff Gomez suggested, always bring something tangible. A flyer is OK, a graphic novel or a comic is even better. Something to give your idea, your format, more of a physical presence. Just make sure it is up-to-date and repesents your idea properly. I don't think you need to have a drama-based idea to make a graphic novel either; make an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire into a graphic novel, from the view of a participant, spice it up a bit and you have a great piece of fiction, which explains your game show.

And, when the questions about ”but how do we make any money on this transmedia stuff then?” start piling in, make sure you’ve read up on Robert Prattens slides on Measuring RoI for Transmedia.

I feel there is a lot more to say on this subject, but I'll stop here (for now :). I'd welcome comments, as there are a lot of people better at pitching than I am, and with a better track record of interesting projects. Hopefully we can make the task of pitching transmedia a slightly easier one :).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Transmedia - the story of the story

I find it exhilarating and exciting to follow the current flow of interesting discussions and even more interesting projects and examples of transmedia bouncing around the Internet these past few weeks. Suddenly it seems like everyone is talking transmedia, from a great number of angles.

So, having read some tweets and comments on current transmedia projects today, I found myself sitting staring vacantly into space, my mind trying to grasp some thought that just did not want to be grasped. Irritating in the extreme, as I'm sure you all agree.

The glimpses I could see of the thought implied that it had something to do with the core and underlying premises of transmedia. I finally gave up and decided to start writing instead, hoping it’d show up.

After a while, it did. And with it, and in the sentences before this one that gave the setting and the background of it’s arrival, it brought the meaning of transmedia. It’s not the story you’re telling. It’s the story about the story, that gives your story meaning - that’s transmedia.

In that sense, we actually don’t need media. So, in the most simplified sense, there’s nothing for the transmedia to trans- around from and to.

OK, so we have no trans- and we have no –media. What’s up with that? I found myself thinking. Wasn’t it namely transmedia that I’ve been happily embracing for the past year or so?

Actually, I don’t think it’s transmedia I’ve been embracing. I have not, for instance, been embracing the production of storylines on three different media, stemming from the same storyworld but adding to each other rather than copying or duplicating each other. Or rather, I have, but that has rather been a by-product.

What I’ve been embracing is the thought process and the development process of creating more than you need, just in case (and there is always the case). The process of not saying ”this is enough, we don’t need more than this” but rather ”hey hang on, let’s elaborate on that for a bit”. The process of building the story, and at the same time the story of the story, to enable new stories and explain and expand on old ones.

It’s like you’re planting a sapling and nurse it to be a massive tree, trunk and all – even if audiences just pick the fruit, i.e. your stories, the stories would not be there to be enjoyed without the work before.

At this point, the elusive thought let out a sigh and went away, mission fulfilled. I will continue to grow the tree tomorrow, and at lot of other trees as well. See, the telling of the story, that tells of the story, that's work that's never done.

Until later.

PS. A couple of good blog posts from the last week or so - Simon Pulmans post reviewing and commenting on Brent Weinsteins presentation at the PGA Transmedia Masterclass some weeks back was a very good read, and a reminder of things to remember while developing. The post about hoaxing in transmedia, by @poburke was also a mighty interesting one, good comments and all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Transmedia sans fiction

I'm a big fan of @Jeff_Gomez, as you've probably noticed. He really opened my eyes to the powers of transmedia at The Pixel Lab in Cardiff last summer (and he also helped create the Magic The Gathering card game, which I thoroughly enjoyed playing back in the day :) .*

I've enjoyed listening to his visions and his presentations (a great and touching video from the TEDxTransmedia conference can be found here, and a review of his Cinekid presentation last week here) and firmly believe that more and more properties and stories will go the way of transmedia, for the better of all story-interested members of mankind.

One aspect that I'm struggling with at the moment is when a development project strays from the path of fiction, or never originated as fiction to start with. As with the examples Jeff talks about in the links above, well executed transmedia projects in the vein of Avatar or Pirates of the Caribbean have a rich story world to build on, to create stories in, just as it should be. At the same time, this is almost a prerequisite for creating these types of transmedia projects; you need that fictional world, well built and stable, to be able to tell your fictional stories that complement each other and build the world onwards.

The challenge, as I see it, is to figure out what happens when you base these in the real world, omitting or at least limiting the fictional elements. Is it still transmedia? Or are we then reverting back to cross media (if that indeed can be considered reverting?). If it is still transmedia, is it possible to base it in the real world and still create a good transmedia narrative?

My opinion is that this is more than possible. What you need to do is to create the narrative superstructure in as great a detail as when you create your fictional world. Just because what you're creating is based on the real world, doesn't mean you can take it for granted that everyone perceives this world the same way as you do - not even your collaborators on the project. When writing this narrative superstructure, the mythology of your project, you need to explain the essence of, say, London, as represented in your project (if London is a part of your story of course) in as great a detail as the essence of Pandora is explained in the Avatar mythology. You also need to be able to explain this essence, via the descriptions and the mythology, to each and everyone involved in the development and the production. I believe this is the only way to avoid mishaps in the production (such as people not realizing what you want to get out of the narrative, what feelings you want to convey, how you want people to interact etc). One hour spent on the mythology will save you five hours in execution; production and editing.

This will also assist you a lot when bringing new people into the development and/or production team. Finally, I agree with Jeff on one point he has been making; if you feel the need to make some material to explain your project, a graphic novel is a great way to go. And if you base it in the real world, so what? Who wouldn't want to be in a graphic novel??

* see Jeff's comment below; the honor of creating MtG goes to Garfield and WotC.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A guest post and a couple of questions

I wrote a guest post for ReedMIDEMs MIP blog; it's geared towards the typical MIP-goer; i.e. a TV executive with a fair amount of years in the biz, just hearing about the term "transmedia" for the first time and wondering whether this will be a hype that'll fade away in a couple of years time, or something that they should take note of and start acting on.

I'm for the latter, so that's the angle I'll try to take in my guest posts. Not in a "do-this-or-be-DAMNEDFORALLETERNITY!!!"-way, but rather just to tell people what I know and show good examples that other's have done. Transmedia - or whatever you want to call it (I came up with the term "Sansmedia" the other day, since I'm fervently waiting for the day when we get rid of all "platforms" and concentrate on the stories being told) - is in my opinion the way forward, and I hope many others will recognize this as well.

I do, of course, as everyone involved in the transmedia business probably does, welcome a discussion on the subject. I started thinking about the multitude of people who are not aware of transmedia, who do not care about transmedia and probably never will. So, is transmedia a fad that'll fade? Will it merge with something else? Is it a phase we will go through on the way to finding an even better way of telling stories and engaging people? What do you think?

(I'll put my 2c in, in just a bit :)