Last week I spent two days at this year’s re:publica conference (#rp12) in Berlin. re:publica conferences focus on all kinds of issues around the web, in particular on blogging, social media, and digital media’s effect on society. This year, re:publica’s topic strands included law & politics, education, innovation, civil action, health, and entertainment, and how each of these areas have been impacted by recent developments in digital media.
Last week I had a very interesting conversation with Kathy Franklin, President Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment. Kathy has a long-standing background in franchising after having worked at Disney for almost eleven years and now heading the franchising efforts for James Cameron’s Avatar. During our chat, Kathy pointed out a very important challenge for traditional franchise development in the face of transmedia: Until recently, the goal of developing franchises was usually monetization through repurposing, whereas the concept of transmedia storytelling focuses primarily on the (more costly) expansion of the story itself. While this was, of course, no news to me,
At last night’s Transmedia LA meetup, Kent Nichols, Partner Outreach at blip.tv, shared a few very important ground rules for producers trying to self-distribute online. Kent is a videomaker and producer himself, and some of his projects include the award-winning series Ask A Ninja as well as the all-new The Guilty Crafter. blip.tv specializes in serialized online content, and as Partner Outreach Kent helps producers (for free!) to identify the right set of practices to find an audience online, an more particularly, to find their critical mass.
With the advent of each new medium came an inherent scare for the producers of the ‘old media’: Would this new medium kick them out of business? So far, all ‘old media’ were able to survive in the long run, if only after making some adaptions and after accepting a certain decline in their audience. Rather than being replaced by newer forms of communications, existing media were faced with increasing competition in the market place for information and entertainment.
Why transmedia? (Note: This is the first part of my ‘Why Transmedia?’ series. Please click to access Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.) Well, first of all, because it’s FUN. Depending on the type and intricacies of a transmedia universe, it can be one of the best puzzles you’ll ever solve. In a good story universe, you have an immense number of stories and characters inviting you to learn about them, and in a good transmedia universe, this learning happens on many different media platforms where the unique properties of each platform are deliberately used to allow the consumer