Transmedia, the Future of Storytelling


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In the podcast Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready?, author Andrea Phillips provides a fantastic introduction in this podcast and in her new book, A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling. A previous written excerpt can be found at, The Future of Simulation Games: Transmedia Storytelling.
This is a transcription of the podcast.

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Transmedia, the Future of Storytelling

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast Transcription Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Sponsored byThe Future of Storytelling - Transmedia Guest was Andrea Phillips Related Podcast: Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAndrea Phillips is an award-winning Transmedia writer, game designer and author. Her work includes a variety of educational and commercial projects, including The Maesters Path for HBOs Game of Thrones with Campfire Media, America 2049 with human rights nonprofit Breakthrough, and the independent commercial ARG Perplex City. Her indie workincludes the Kickstarted collaboration Balance of Powers, theTwitter horoscopes of Madame Zee, and the forthcoming serialTransmedia project Felicity.Andrea is a co-moderator for the first community of ARG players,the Cloudmakers, and a Fellow of the Futures of Entertainment.She has spoken at SXSW, MIT Storytelling 3.0, the Power to thePixel/IFP Cross-Media Forum, ARGfest, DIY Days, and FITCStorytelling X.1, among others.Andrea cheats at solitaire (a victimless crime) and Words WithFriends (which is less forgivable). Consider yourself warned.Transmedia Storytelling is a story experience both for and with anaudience that unfolds over several media channels. AuthorAndrea Phillips provides a fantastic introduction in this podcastand in her new book, A Creator’s Guide to TransmediaStorytelling. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Transcription of PodcastAndrea Phillips: Youre talking about training. The classicalternate reality game has actually been used in training, forexample, military scenarios for quite a while.I dont remember if I mentioned in the book or not at all. Even atCisco theyve run a couple of sessions of a game called TheHunch, which was an internal training initiative meant at least, insome sense, to make sure that all the Cisco employees were atleast fairly familiar with Ciscos product and their capabilities.But it was wrapped in this fun sort of puzzle-hunt narrativewrapping, if you will. And it made a lot more interesting than justa seminar going over specs.Joe Dager: Welcome everybody; this is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business 901 podcast.With me today is Andrea Phillips. She is an American TransmediaGame Designer and writer. Shes been active in the fields ofTransmedia storytelling and alternate reality games in a variety ofroles since 2001.She has recently authored the book "A Creators Guide toTransmedia Storytelling." I would like to welcome her, and I feelashamed that we dont have four different kinds of media to startout the podcast with.Andrea: Oh its fine. One of the things I have been saying latelyis that not everything has to be Transmedia. Its OK forsomething to stick to one media if it does the job in just that one.So I think were perfectly good here. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: When I first think of storytelling I think of the country styleof storytelling with the storyteller standing on stage doing a fewcatcalls and such. Is this just now the electronic version?Andrea: In a sense, it is. It can be that simple, the one creatordoing all the hand puppets essentially with ten different Twitteraccounts and what have you.Or it can be tremendously more elaborate with a six figure budgetand 10 different platforms and huge, huge teams of dozens ofpeople trying to get something out the door.It all depends on what you are trying to make. As with all kinds ofa story, its as simple or complex as you set out to make it.Joe: What encouraged you to write the book?Andrea: Well, let me tell you a little of history here. Ive beeninvolved in Transmedia in one way or another, as you said from2001.First as a consumer and later as a creator myself, and in 2005 orso, I started a blog talking about some of the things that I wasfinding in my creation process; on just things that struck me.Trying to explain to myself what I was doing and what workedand what didnt. A couple of years ago, I started a series on thatblog that was writing for Transmedia, talking about things likecharacterization and what worked and didnt work and conveyingaction and so on.And what I was doing was trying to approach the topic as amatter of craft, if you will. Not this high level structural stuff, notthe business angle, but craft. What works, what doesnt, why?How you use the tools of Transmedia most effectually. I wastrying to start a conversation, because theres not a lot ofconversation out there about these topics. Only a few creators Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsare really talking about this stuff out loud. Most of that is in thehalls at conferences. Quietly, in little groups, whispered. Becausewe all sign so many NDAs and we all have so many proprietarysecrets, that no one really wants to talk about it.I find it really, really frustrating as a creator not to be able to talkabout this stuff and share experience and get better. I startedthis series and people were telling me, "You should make a bookwith this stuff in it." So I thought maybe I would make a bookwith this. I happened to say on my website, "Hey, I think Ill tryto turn this into a book this year."Someone introduced me to a lovely gentleman who turned intomy agent, who sold the book to my publisher in very short orderand the rest, as they say, is history. It does come down to thatimpulse to talk about craft, start a conversation about how to dobetter at Transmedia. Because it is a very importantconversation, we havent had that very often so far.Joe: My first thought about it is that Transmedia is a marketingcampaign. Its using all the tricks of social media and creatingthis reality show product. Is it that? What really is it?Andrea: It can be that, but it doesnt have to be that. This is theline that we are walking along right now, because for Transmediacreators, most of our money comes from making marketingcampaigns. Ive made a fairly nice living for myself lo these pastyears, very largely from marketing campaigns. But, thats not theonly thing to do. You also see independent film directors likeLance Weiler are making things that are experiences. Theyre artjust as much as theyre marketing.Were actually starting to see interesting things happening evenwithin marketing, where its not all marketing, if you will,anymore. Its not all about the call to action. Its not all aboutmaking a sale. Its increasingly about building relationships andproviding experiences in an effort to make people think of you Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsmore kindly. Which is all that branding really means? It meanstrying to make people think about you in a kinder way.I guess there is a real blurring of the line between originalentertainment and marketing at this point. Such thatTransformers the movie was in a sense marketing just as muchas any of the rest of it was. The line is almost completely gone atthis point. Was Old Spice marketing, or was it entertainment?Does it become more entertainment and less marketing becausea million people watched those videos? How do you even decide?Joe: I think its tough because marketing has moved from beinga medium to get the message out, more as a medium ofengagement. Storytelling is the only way to engage peopletotally.Andrea: Absolutely, 100 percent. Ive been talking a lot latelyabout how were in a war for attention. Marketers are fighting forthe same attention that entertainers are, and lets face it, thatpeoples jobs and families are fighting for.Every one of us only has a limited amount of attention to give. Nomatter, what kind of message youre trying to put out there,whether its an entertaining one, whether its advertising ormarketing, or something completely different and personal, youhave to try and make it worthwhile of somebodys attention.In the case of Transmedia, what youre doing is, once youhopefully create something that people care about enough to givetheir attention to in the first place; youre expanding that toprovide more opportunities to keep their attention on you. Everyminute that you let someone forget about you and focus theirattention on someone else is an opportunity for them to findsomething else that they love more than you, and maybe notcome back to you next time. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIts perhaps a really cold way of looking at it, but I really thinkthat this is a true thing. If somebody loves you and you dont givethem more of the thing that they love, eventually theyre going tofind something else to love.Joe: Is there short stories, for Transmedia storytelling? Andnovels? Is there that much of a breadth of nomenclature instorytelling, or in Transmedia?Andrea: Definitely. Theres a ten minute alternate reality game,or Transmedia experience if you will, called "Mime Academy" putout by No Minds Media. Its a very, very short Transmediaexperience.There are also some very short experiences being put out byFourth Wall Studios right now. When I wrote the book, theyhadnt yet launched any products, but now they have very shortstory called "Home,” which is a Transmedia ghost story. Theyhave a web series called "Dirty Work.” Each of which can betaken as a 30-minute piece of entertainment. Theres anincreasing series, I believe there are three episodes out now thatyou can pursue.Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are projects like myown "Perplexity,” which ran for two years. In the course of thosetwo years, I wrote a quarter of a million words. I was one of ateam of four writers at that point. We had a weekly newspaper,and characters were blogging at least once or twice a week. Wehad a least three or four characters that were doing that, so therewas this persistent ongoing volume of content over time.Thats definitely two ends of the spectrum in terms of size. Thereare also different kinds of depth, if you will. You see, TV showslike "How I Met Your Mother", that isnt the full-blown Transmediaexperience; there arent the character blogs and so on. But youdo see one-off little websites and videos that add a little bit of Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsenchantment to the story at hand. They make it just a little bitmore fun. Just a little bit funnier.Amazing, actually, amazing, the scope of work that can happen,because there is no limitation, any structure can potentially work.Joe: I tried to explain Transmedia Storytelling to a couple ofpeople before the podcast, to get some feedback. The definition, Iused was it’s like an electronic soap box. Theres a story, it canbe a story in itself -- so it can be entertaining, and you can watchthe individual show -- but it goes on.Is that fair to say that, or am I limiting it somehow?Andrea: No, I think its fair to say that, and I think one of thefirst things that you have to realize when you start makingTransmedia, is that any given story is by definition a partial truth.Im talking about fiction as if it a true thing here, but bear withme for a minute.Any story is the product of a bunch of choices.There are always going to be things that happened before thestory that you probably havent included because maybe theyreboring. There are always things that are going to happen afterthe story, that youre probably not including because its eitherboring, or its anticlimactic. And there are going to be things thathappen during the course of the story that youre not putting onstage or on camera or on the page, because its disruptive to theflow of your story, its not relevant at the moment, it just doesntwork for one reason for another.Youre choosing in the storytelling process. Youre choosing whatto focus on, and what not to focus on. Sometimes those thingswould make for a better, deeper, richer story if you did includethem -- but you cant, because you only have 90 minutes for yourfilm, or you only have 100,000 words for your novel. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsOne of the great opportunities in Transmedia is to take stuff thatcould make your story better and richer, but doesnt fit-- whathappens before and after, the stuff that happens offstage andmake that happen, make it real.Joe: Isnt this just how Disney built their empire?And were taking it in and putting into a different wording here,and calling it something -- this is kind of a micro-corporation ofDisney, isnt it?Andrea: Yes and no. Actually, I think that Disney were realpioneers in experience design, and the more I learn about howDisney has put together their theme parks, all the kinds ofthinking that go into them, the more impressed I am with theirabilities at experience design.When youre walking around Disney World, the Magic Kingdom ifyou will, they have different music in different areas. They havethe speakers perfectly calculated so that as you walk by, younever hear the music clash, but they fade. The music from onefades into the other, so theres always a steady bass line ofmusic.It just perfectly follows you, so that the music changes and youcant ever put your finger on where it became the theme fromone area versus another. Thats just such a tiny thing really, sucha tiny thing, but it adds to the depth of the experience so much,just to have that happen and not have to notice that it happened.I really, really do admire their experience design.Anyway, to get back to your greater question though, I thinkDisney is definitely, and has always done a lot of the kinds ofthings that were doing, but Disney has done it in a kind of cleanand sanitized safe way. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsOne of the things happening in Transmedia right now is findingthese grubby, more dangerous-feeling places for Transmediastory telling. Disney and Disney property would never be tellingthe story where you steal a bust for the Joker. Disney wouldntprobably ever tell the story where you receive a threateningphone call from an angry robot because its not fitting with theiraesthetic.But, if you branch out from that clean kind of aesthetic, you findall kinds of different mechanics and possibilities to tell a storywith, and its just incredible at how much there is that peoplehavent even tried yet.Joe: I think that will go on as technology increases too...Andrea: Absolutely. And the thing that floors me is that when Istarted in this world, we had this idea of creating a person as ifthey were real even though they werent. Creating this feelingthat they were a real friend of yours, and when we were doingthis, social media as we know it now wasn’t invented yet.Twitter hadnt been invented, Facebook existed, but you account to get a Facebook account; it wasnt for grownups.A lot of people ask me in interviews, "Where will all of this be infive years?" My stock answer is that I cant tell you where well bein five years because I have no idea whats going to be invented.Its going to change everything in the same way social media haschanged everything for storytelling.Joe: Let me go to some of the basic concepts of it. One of thethings I thought about when I was reading a book: Do you haveto first construct a story, or do you look at the media and think itcan tell a good story? What comes first, the story or the media?Andrea: I dont think theres a right or a wrong way to do it. Ithink there are definitely projects where you know what mediayou have to use, and then youve structured the narrative around Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsit so it works most effectively within those media. And then thereare opportunities where the idea for a story is in your head, andyou examine what platforms would and wouldnt work.Theres not a right or wrong way, its a matter of what works foryou. In the same way, there are writers who write a novelstraight from the seat of their pants and there are writers whomethodically plot everything out in an outline ahead of time.Neither one is more right.Joe: Well it seems to be intertwined with gaming a lot, the sameconcept of engagement, interactivity. Is there similarities? I meanyou do you have challenges and rewards and things like that inTransmedia?Andrea: You know; its not even a matter of challenges andrewards. The big similarity between Transmedia and gaming isthis idea that you as an audience member are affecting theoutcome of the story. Now, thats not always literally the case inTransmedia. Theres a lot of the illusion of interactivity where yougive the idea, the impression that the audience is effecting whatshappening while not actually letting them change anythingsignificant. Shady trick if you will.The interesting thing is that when you have the audience feelinglike theyre the ones in charge, like theyre affecting the outcome,you can paint with a broader emotional palette than you canwhen youre telling just a flat story. Theres a benchmark ingames about whether theyre real art or real media. Can theymake you cry? Has a game ever made you cry?I think its a bad question, really, because, sure, games couldmake you cry. I have games that have made me cry. And gamescan make me laugh. Movies can make me laugh and cry. But thepower of a game, the power of Transmedia is interaction. I havenever yet had a movie that made me feel proud. I have never Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemshad a movie make me feel guilty for what happens on the screenbecause it wasnt my doing.But when it is your doing, when youre the one that is sending thewomen to her death or helping her overcome a terrible obstacleand escape the bad guy, and then you feel something that amovie cant do. That just blows me away. I think Transmedia isactually also related to games in this idea of puzzles, I guess, andchallenges and so on. Its more of an emergent property of theplatforms that Transmedia uses. It doesnt have to be like agame, but I think its a lot more fun when its like a game.Joe: Well, can you choose different paths to go in the story? Dopeople get that option?Andrea: Well, it depends on the story youre telling. I mean,thats sort of the thing about Transmedia, isnt it? Everything is,"It depends.” Because Transmedia is a blanket term, and thestructures that you can use under that blanket term are sovaried. So Transmedia could be a web series and a graphic noveland on top of that, a Twitter stream, and the audience is neverever, ever going to be able to change what happens in the webseries or the graphic novel, and the Twitter stream is just forcharacter to let people have a little back and forth, right?Or you can have that same structure with the graphic novel andthe web series, and the Twitter feed where the Twitter feed istelling things as they happen and then the web series is a recap,if you will, of whats already played out on Twitter... and thegraphic novel is actually created by one of the characters as adiary, and thats a completely, completely different structure,even though its still the same pieces.So, you can do anything. It gets; it gets not frustrating, exactly,but it gets exhausting just to think about all the things that youcould do. And Im going to sound like a broken record, because Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemstheres no right way and a wrong way unless youre trying toachieve a specific purpose.And then theres a right way and a wrong way for only whatyoure trying to do and whether its going to work.Joe: Well, I took from the book that you were not a big fan ofusers developing content basically. Tell me if I read that wrong oranything?Andrea: Oh, no, no, no.Joe: So, the storys got to be really well-orchestrated.Andrea: Definitely. Definitely, and youre right; Im really not abig fan of user-generated content. Because Ive tried it, and ithistorically hasnt ever worked the way, I wanted it to.So I think that theres a lot of potential there, but Im not sure ifthat potential is tappable, you know, it might be the equivalent ofoil sands, where it would be so expensive to get it out that itsnot even worth your time and trouble.Joe: So were not at the activity level, I remember going to aplay, and I forget the name of the play now, a wedding-type playwhere the audience became part of the wedding.But Transmedia storytelling isnt necessarily like that, right?Andrea: Its not necessarily like that. It can be like that, but itdoesnt have to be like that.Joe: Because you really leave yourself wide-open to the twistsand turns and whether you can complete the story.Andrea: Yeah, definitely. One of the hallmarks of Transmedia,actually, its not just as a creator youre not bound to one specificstructure. But youre also not tying your audience to one specifickind of consumption. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsSo even at that kind of dinner theater, you can just show up andkind of watch, and eat your dinner, and not really participate orinteract.A lot of people will engage with a Transmedia story just like that.Theyll watch videos, and look at a Twitter feed every now andagain, but theyre not really, really going to engage in a deepway, and thats OK.The bulk of your audience will probably be that person, and thatsfine. But at the dinner theater, theres also going to be theaudience member who is dancing with the bride and crackingjokes with the groomsmen and trying to start a fight between themothers-in-law.In Transmedia, there are also going to be audience members likethat, who are going to be trying to get the fullest out of it. Thefun thing is, for you as a light participant, even in the weddingdinner theater, the audience member who is trying to start thefight between the mothers-in-law is becoming part of theentertainment for you.By that same token, in a greater Transmedia experience thatsplaying out online, any audience member who engages at thatreally deep level kind of becomes a part of the entertainmentthemselves for everybody else thats watching at a more casuallevel.Joe: You end up excluding someone because of technology? Ordo you have to frame it, so they can catch up or how do you dothat?Andrea: This is a really hard thing. Its one of the true, truechallenges of using social media and digital media at all.Basically, you are going to exclude people because of technology,whether you like it or not. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsYou can try really, really hard to make non-Flash websites, limitto platforms that, you know, would work on a mobile phone, forexample.But at the end of the day, simply by choosing to use digital mediaat all, youve already excluded some people. And you kind ofhave to make peace with that, one way or the other. And thentheres a secondary problem with timing, with playing things outover real time. You create a sort of archive, eventually, of contentthat people arent really going to want to go back and look at.So its really, really good practice to provide on-going summaries,you know, "get started quick" guides, where... you cover just sortof most of the important on-going plot points so that an audiencemember can jump in without feeling like they have to do hours ofhomework, catching up on a back story before they canunderstand whats going on.Joe: What is a "story bible?" Is that what you explained there?Andrea: Actually, a story bible is meant more for the creatorsand not for the audience at all. You may find that the recaps thatyou provide for an audience are sort of abbreviated story bible.But a story bible is basically a complete summary, Cliff Notes, ifyou will, of your story. Who the characters are, what theirimportant motivations are, what the places are, important thingsthat are happening in your story and are going to happen in yourstory one day.And the idea for a story bible is that, if you have to hand off yourcreation to someone else, they know everything important in yourhead and can hit the ground running, instead of trying tosecond-guess "Wait, were these brother and sister, were theycousins? Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWas this character or that character secretly the heir to thethrone?" They wont have to guess, or come back and ask you,because it will all be written down neatly already.Joe: A story bibles kind of having this room that has a familytree in it, and maybe a persona of this person over here, andthen the storyline and how its transgressed through the time andthe different media you used so its kind of a war room style.Andrea: Absolutely. Family trees, and timelines, maps, if thatsnecessary for the kind of story that youre telling. Diagrams ofeven relationships between people, and descriptions of what thecharacters look like, everything that you can possibly need, sothat if Im filming the movie, but youre writing the graphic novel.We wont accidentally say things that are completely incontradiction with one another.Joe: These stories, should they be constructed along a certaintimeline; I know you can have a never-ending story, but I mean,but most of them do have a certain timeline, theres some finalityto them, dont they?Andrea: Definitely. I loved doing Perplexity; I loved the idea ofdoing a story forever, but it does become extremely exhaustingfor the audience. I find there is a sort of spot that most projectsare sticking to now where theyre somewhere between three andtwelve weeks long.Eight weeks seems to be pretty standard at this point. I dontknow if its because it works best if its the budget that mostpeople can get, but it seems to be a pretty comfortable length formost people.Joe: You suggested throughout the book is to understandinteractivity and feedback loops. In the process methodology Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsworld, the feedback loop is talked about all the time. Can you tellme how a feedback loop is built into a Transmedia story?Andrea: Well, I mean the whole thing is sort of feedback loopsisnt it? You put a piece of content out there, and I mean its afeedback loop for you and for the audience. You put a piece ofcontent out there, and your audience looks at it and reacts to it.At the same time, youre watching what your audience does, andyou react to it in the next piece of content you put out there. Soyoure influencing what the audience is doing but ideally, theaudience is also influencing you.In terms of pacing and maybe even what you decide to do next.Not every project is super interactive like that; the ones that arebecome vastly more powerful for the audience and the creators.Because both of you wind up getting a sort of better experienceout of it. Because youre listening to each other -- its a bit likesalsa dancing.Joe: So transmitting a story isnt necessarily, you build this bigblock of eight weeks of all these automated things that take placeand happen. But to create the more interactive ones, you mayhave all eight weeks put together, but youre tweaking it as yougo on and continuously pulling in new features.Andrea: Im a big fan of having a sort of spine. A structure yougo through no matter what, with certain milestones that youregoing to hit along the way. Beyond that the real power in theproject is this interaction, this back and forth, and the tweaking.If theres a minor character that the audience is really respondingto find a way to give them a bigger role.Maybe some other character was going to perform a certain task,but since the audience likes this guy so much you have him do itinstead. Or if there is someone whom they really hate you haveto find a way to make that character sympathetic or else cutdown on their role if theyre supposed to like them. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIts so much more fun to do it that way. I know that there areprojects where its basically all on autopilot. For reasons of scalesometimes you do have to put a lot of things on autopilot, but ifyou can do it the other way, it is so much better for everybody.Joe: Well, the problem I see in having it so interactive and doingit the long way sometimes do you just draw a blank? Maybe youhad a hangover on Thursday and you just cant think of anythingto do. I mean are there days like that where the creative juicesarent flowing?Andrea: Oh my goodness. I guess there are days like that.Heres the thing, the secret to being a creator is putting in thetime no matter what. You dont have the luxury to wait for feelingthat juice; you have to do it no matter what. So as a professional,you just have to put something out there. You put your best craftinto it; you put it out there. Maybe youre not super inspired,maybe you feel like its not very good.The sort of amazing secret is that two years later when you goback, and you read that, you cant even tell, which were the dayswhen you were feeling it and which you werent. Its all the same;its just a matter of mood, and mood doesnt really affect thecraft very much, as long as youre trying to use your tools to thebest of your ability.Joe: I think thats a great point. I like that because I think thatit is so true. Could you recommend a Transmedia story that Icould follow, or the audience could follow, to kind of get a casestudy to learn about in a short time?Andrea: Right now, Im a really big fan of a project going oncalled the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Essentially its Pride andPrejudice updated to the modern day, and its primarily a webseries. But there are Twitter profiles and Tumblrs for thecharacters. And if youre not the sort of person who likes to goand follow Twitter and Tumblr, theres a sort of main hub site Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswhere the really important Twitter interactions are storified foryou.So you can just go and read them and catch up all in one fellswoop. Its just brilliantly done; the structure is great. It can bereally easy if you want it to be easy, and it can be reallyimmersive if you want it to be really immersive. And its light, andits funny; the actors are fantastic. I really recommend taking alook at it. It would be a great introductory Transmediaexperience.Joe: Well, Transmedia is not for everyone. I mean what are thelimitations? Where would you say, "dont go there? You have astory, but just put it in a book just put it on a web site." Wherewould you tell someone that its not for them?Andrea: There are times when its just not what you want to do.And if its not what you want to do thats perfectly OK. As I sayup front, if all you have in you is a book, and you really dontwant to make it interactive, and you really dont want to make agame out of it, then thats OK. People still like single mediumstories. They will always like them; they will always exist.Theres definitely always going to be a power in just readingRomeo and Juliet.Then there are things like a creators guide is not a Transmediaproject because there is a utility to the audience in simply havingall of that in one place and not having to search everywhere forfragments of information that I could have just put in the book.But even beyond that I think you may be asking toward my sortof ethical quandaries.There are certain kinds of story about serial killers for example,things that are a little too real and scary. Where I would persuadeyou to at least have second thoughts about how you put it intoTransmedia. Because there have been a couple of lawsuits even Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsand unfortunate incidents. Where people who knowingly orunknowingly were participating in a Transmedia experience hadbad things happen to them over the course of that experience.If youre going to be putting a piece of content out there in theworld, bear in mind that not everyone who comes across it isgoing to know that its part of a fictional experience or a createdexperience. So its not ordinary for someone walking down thestreet and seeing a flyer for a missing girl to think, "Oh this mustbe a game," instead of thinking, "oh thats terrible. Remind me tolock my door when I get home."Joe: So you bring up a good point here, Transmedia is just noton the web.Andrea: No, its not just on the web. And having sort of live andin the real-world experiences or events is a great tool in theTransmedia toolbox. There are some creators who do somereally, really edgy stuff along those lines. In the book, I have aninterview with Yomi Ayeni, who is a British filmmaker thats donesome very intense, like Eyes Wide Shut kind of feeling eventswith audience members. You have to be very, very careful whenyou provide that kind of experience to make sure that people notjust feel safe and like youre taking care of them, but that theyreally are safe and nobody is going to get hurt.Joe: Because whats real and what is not can be very difficult todistinguish for many of us?Andrea: Oh it absolutely can. I mean if it were easy todistinguish between what was fictional and what wasnt on theInternet, then Snopes the site just wouldnt exist; we would haveno need for it. And we wouldnt have all of these cases of peoplereporting on Onion articles as if they were really real. The fact is Imean nobody needs to feel ashamed or embarrassed by it. Thefact is it is often very hard to tell where that line is on theInternet. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAs creators, we have to recognize it isnt always easy to tell, andwe have to make sure what were putting out there either isntgoing to falsely persuade someone that its true. Or at least thatif they do think, its true, then nothing terribly bad can happen tothem. I mean if you put up a website for a fake restaurant, thentheres not a lot of harm that can come from that.Joe: All of it seems like this big reality show thats in there andthat its just a way that were that is enabling us to engage withour audience deeper and on a richer experience level.Andrea: I would say that’s a good analogy. I mean in a sense, ifyou do a great Transmedia experience, youre putting the wholeaudience into the show and making them feel like they are a castmember.Joe: What would you think someones first step should be inTransmedia? I mean how would you recommend them to startlearning about it and moving forward?Andrea: Just to start making something, because the only wayto really become comfortable with it is not sitting there andthinking about it for a long time. Its actually getting out thereand putting a piece of content in front of an audience and seeinghow they take it and then moving from there.Joe: How could you help me distinguish someone that knowswhat Im talking about in Transmedia?Andrea: How can you distinguish? Thats a tough question. Andits tougher even than you know because I think that there are alot of people who are really, really smart and could give you somegreat advice, but have experience that is mainly theoretical oracademic. And thats not necessarily a bad thing, but if you weregoing out trying to hire a Transmedia team, I would want to see aportfolio. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI would want to see not just websites, but diagrams of how theaudience was interacting in the experience. I would want to see acase study that showed not just what was so great, but alsosome things that they didnt do so great. Because if they saythat, everything is fantastic, that means either everything wasfantastic, which is extremely unlikely because no project is everperfect, or it might mean that they dont have the confidence.Or worse, they dont have the vision to know what it is they didget wrong. And thats very dangerous, every creator should knowwhat didnt work with every project and be willing to talk aboutwhat they would do next time to make that better.Joe: Is there a book website?Andrea: A book website, but I have bi-linksin there to Amazon. Theyre shipping it already. The Kindleedition has started shipping. Barnes and Noble also are shippingit. I believe its going to be bookstores on Friday, June 22nd. Imvery excited, but you know, Chapters and Powells, basically allthe bookstores have its very, very exciting.Joe: I didnt know I got that early of a copy.Andrea: Oh, you did.Joe: And I do have to tell the audience that I read it cover tocover. As I mentioned to you earlier, there are about 14 to 20sticky notes sticking out of the side of it and the top of it. Iearmarked pages, so it was a very good read, and it left mewanting more.Andrea: Oh, thats wonderful.Joe: I think it is definitely a creators guide, because its causingme to create something. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  23. 23. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAndrea: Oh, thats the best thing you could have possibly saidto me. You have totally made my day.Joe: I would like to thank you very much. Is there somethingthat you would like to leave the audience with? Besides buy thebook, which I encourage them to.Andrea: Id just like to leave it on the note of; its such anamazing time to be creating anything. Really, its such anamazing time, and if youre not in the trenches actually gettingyour hands dirty and trying to make something, then absolutelyget on that. Because its fun, its so much fun, and I promise itwill make you happy.Joe: OK, well I want to thank you very much, Andrea. Podcastwill be available in the Business 901 iTunes store and theBusiness 901 blog site. So thanks again.Andrea: Thank you. Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901
  24. 24. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Business901 Phone: 260-918-0438 Skype: Biz901 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: Website: Twitter: @business901Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing inbringing the continuous improvement process to the sales andmarketing arena. He takes his process thinking of over thirtyyears in marketing within a wide variety of industries and appliesit through Lean Marketing and Lean Service Design.Visit the Lean Marketing Lab: Being part of this community willallow you to interact with like-minded individuals andorganizations, purchase related tools, use some free ones andreceive feedback from your peers. Marketing with Lean Book Series included in membership Lean Sales and Marketing Workshop Lean Service Design Workshop Storytelling with New Media – Are you ready? Copyright Business901