My last post on ‘Creating a Transmedia Narrative‘ ignited a lengthy discussion in one of my LinkedIn groups. It seems that some of my readers thought that I was trying to establish that transmedia narratives follow different narrative norms/ no longer need to be based on traditional conventions of telling a story. This is not what I was trying to say. I merely pointed at parallels found in successful story worlds, narrative universes that withstood the test of time and continue to invite producers and audiences to expand their stories across different media. In order to last for decades or
As the concept of transmedia storytelling becomes increasingly mainstream it is important that we do not lose ourselves in continuous debates on what transmedia storytelling is and what it is not. It is relatively easy to theorize and predict with no end; what is considerably harder, however, is to turn all this transmedia theory into practical advice. Granted, we are still experimenting a lot with what works and what doesn’t, but I do believe that it is important to begin to compile transmedia successes, basic economic mechanisms, and common-sense into manuals, guide-books, and/or best-practice sets. What follows is my attempt
Today saw two very important and very similar announcements by two key players in the entertainment industry: YouTube announced the launch of Merch Store, a tool that allows artists sell their merchandise, concert tickets, and more, whilst Amazon declared that it will also start publishing – both digitally and physically – starting with 122 books coming this fall. These two revelations come only six months after Netflix announced its plan to enter the original content business, and less than two weeks after YouTube publicized its original content deal with Tony Hawk and Warner Bros., amongst others.
Today Facebook announced it’s new layout/complete overhaul. Great summaries of the most important changes can be found at Yahoo! and at AllFacebook.com, but the question that remains is: Does the new design offer any transmedia opportunities? After all, it was also announced today that Facebook has now got over 800 million users – an immense audience, and even better possibilities of targeting particular niches due to Facebook’s unparalleled user profiling.
When it comes to stylistic platform potency, there are certain aspects that determine the best use of each platform in transmedia storytelling. Unlike its economic counterpart, however, stylistic platform potency concerns itself mostly with how a narrative can be told most effectively, and more specifically, how it can be most meaningful to its audience. “How does this particular medium communicate?”
You may already have come across the term ‘platform potency’ in the ‘Transmedia Defined‘ section of this website. Platform potency is a pretty big concept so I’d like to explain the term in a little more detail. Platform potency is a media platform’s ability to convey a certain narrative (or part thereof) to audiences in the most effective way possible. Platform potency is determined by each platform’s defining characteristics, mostly format (e.g. length, voice, narrative structure) and audience reach (e.g. mass vs. niche).