Technology and Transmedia


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The slide deck from my StoryWorld 2012 presentation. Archived here as a repository of resources of some tech, websites and app that can assist with Transmedia storytelling as of October 2012 (expected to be outdated immediately)

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  • Hi, and thanks for coming. I’m Michael Annetta, the Program Director for TransmediaLA and you’re in the Technology and Transmedia “workshop” (more on that point later)\n
  • Before I begin, I just want to lay out some ground rules because we’re tight on time today, so by necessity, there are a few constraints.\n
  • The sad fact of the matter is that transmedia extensions of a StoryWorld are rarely heavily funded (although this is changing somewhat). On the other hand, creating an independent transmedia project doesn’t HAVE to be costly.So, our focus today will be a DIY, indie attitude toward the technology that can help with your transmedia storytelling and how you don’t need to have an engineering degree (or hire someone who does) to get it up and running. If you were here on Wednesday for Sean Bailey’s talk, think of it as the “two guys in the garage” concept. If you’re an indie or if you’re working with a studio or brand with some funding, this should all still apply.I’m a designer, not an engineer, so this is primarily how I approach tech in general. \n
  • These are the three areas that I want to cover, with an example and list of resources for each.I’m skipping a slide of a list of Social Media sites because I’m working off of the assumption that you know what social media IS, (I mean, I’ve seen your tweets this week) so I’d rather take time working through some tech that shows you how to connect with your social networks and your audience to tell stories.\nI’ll also let you know up front that I’ll be putting my slides online at the end of the presentation, so you don’t even have to take a lot of notes if you’re interested in reviewing anything afterward.\n
  • This presentation was listed as a “workshop” implying a hands-on approach to some of the technology that can assist with transmedia storytelling. My apologies in advance, but with only about 30 minutes to do a “workshop”, I had to constrain myself somehow.My choice was to dig deep on one, possibly two, technologies, OR go for breadth and attempt to present a resource of as many technologies as I could, and then demo the simplicity of a few. And, as I said, the slides will be online after the talk, so there’s no need to really take extensive notes (but feel free if you’d like).\nSo, why me? What’s my story?\n
  • As Program Director for TransmediaLA, I was approached to run this workshop and, as a designer, I’m not one to work in a vacuum, so I enlisted some help . .. \n
  • I emailed Scott Walker and asked for advice on how to approach this talk, and for those that might not be able to see his response, it says “Michael, the thing to remember with this Technology and Transmedia Workshop is that the attendees should really be technologically proficient. The first thing you should do is have them tweet a “Hello World” message to you at your Twitter account. Your Twitter handle is M_Annetta, right?”And indeed it is . . . so . . . \n
  • I’ve been here for three days and I know that you’re all on Twitter discussing porn and the definition of transmedia so I just want to take you away from that for a moment and ask you to Tweet this phrase to me @M_Annetta - “Hello World from #SWC12”\n\n<Wait for the Conducttr to play through>\n
  • <Wait for the Conducttr to play out>\n\nAny one who hasn’t gotten some more info?\n\n<Wait about 45 seconds and move on>\n
  • So, while that was hardly a compelling “narrative” in any way, shape or form, what I hope you were able to get in those few minutes was a sense of possibility for having a character, me, communicate with you in several ways and have that communication set up waaaay ahead of time. I used Conducttr for this short demo and I know that some of you may have already talked to Rob Pratten about this tool\n\n(If you’re already 10 minutes in, skip the next slide!)\n
  • If you haven’t talked to Rob, here’s his quick intro about getting up and running with Conducttr. <About 8 minutes to watch the video and send them to the site>\n
  • Or if you see Rob here at the conference, please go up and talk to him about this. It’s a really easy to use and helpful tool.\n
  • Some other tech that I don’t have nearly enough time to discuss, but will also help you connect your audience to your story. Also mention Fourth Wall Studios’ RIDES and that you can partner with them to have your story on the RIDES platform.\n
  • Everyone wants to extend onto mobile today, which means bringing your story to an app. But without a lot of programming experience, what can you use?\n
  • Demibooks Composer has a table set up here, so some of you may have talked to them or seen Rafiq’s brief intro before lunch today. I, myself, just started playing with this a few days ago when I heard about it and it’s darn easy to use. Here’s a story that I’ve briefly started <SWITCH OVER TO THE iPAD>\n
  • <Work through the demo on the iPad Skip it if you’re short on time>\n
  • Mobile devices are also good for AR (augmented reality) so I’ve included some great AR tools here, some motion comic applications as well as some game creation engines that will port to mobile. In the case of Unity, up top, I personally love it for game creation, but it’s also handy for interactive storytelling.\n<Hang on this one for a little bit>\n
  • Unless you’re very efficient, very talented and have a lot of time on your hands, creating a transmedia franchise all on your own is a daunting task. So, like me, you’ll need help - you’ll need a team. These may seem really obvious to people, but more and more, I find that how your team shares and communicates ideas and assets is imperative to the success of your project (hint: swapping versions of files back and forth across email is not the way to go)\n
  • So the one organization tool I’ve recently found that is currently in Beta is Murally. And it does a few things really well. You can consider it the love child of Pinterest and Prezi, the online presentation tool. Murally is like a giant, shared whiteboard that your whole team can use and post text, images, web links, video, etc. If there’s time, open up the webpage.\n
  • But some of the things it may not be great at are integrating task management and live chat, so here are some other sites that can handle those for you. And, yes, Google docs and Dropbox may seem really obvious, but I’ve run across more than a few projects lately where the participants could have solved a whole host of issues simply by keeping a running google doc open. I use them all the time.\n
  • Finally one last program because I was a little blown away when I saw it demoed and I wanted to share.\n
  • I saw this at the Game Developers Conference this past spring and my first thought was “this is not just for games, this is ideal for transmedia storytelling.” Articy acts like a Wiki or other database for organizing characters, events, locations, and props, but because it’s designed for game creation, it will also help organize plot points and branches of the narrative. Since we may not have a control as to which entry point a audience member might start our story, Articy can help you shape and define how the story unfolds for each person.\n
  • this is a screenshot of how articy allows for planning of branching stories as well as keeping track of all your story elements\n
  • Mo Resources! Mo Resources! Mo Resources!\n
  • One last thing . . . \n
  • I’ll be putting these slides up on my slideshare page this afternoon at and if you have any questions, please contact me through twitter, email or grab me afterward, I’ll be here for the rest of the day. Thank you.\n
  • Technology and Transmedia

    1. 1. Technology andTransmediaStoryWorld ConferenceFriday, October 19, 2012Michael Annetta, Program Director-TransmediaLA@M_Annetta
    2. 2. Ground Rules
    3. 3. Our approach today . . .DIYLow BudgetLow Barrier to entry Tech for those with limited technical skillsExamples and resources
    4. 4. What we’ll coverTech to connect your storyworldand your audienceTech to assist with AR and simple app buildingTech to assist in planning and organizing
    5. 5. What we won’t coverA hands-on approach
    6. 6. It was a bright andsunny day . . .When I was asked to run this workshop,I knew that I could use some help, so I contacteda friend . . .
    7. 7. To start on the road to“technological proficiency”Please tweet to @M_Annetta“Hello World from #SWC12”
    8. 8. To start on the road to“technological proficiency”Your mission, if you choose to accept it, should bearriving now with more instructions
    9. 9. Behind the scenesConducttr is the “unseen puppet master or conductor coordinating andtracking media and the Audience as intended by the Author.”No software to download or install - accessible via any Flash-capablebrowserYou must be a member of the Community and be approved to useConducttr
    10. 10. Hands On: ConducttrA short how-to sign up and get started withConducttr
    11. 11. ConducttrConducttr is now in Private BetaTo join the waiting list, register at the Communitysite ( and message Rob Pratten.
    12. 12. Some other Tech that helpsconnect you and your audienceIf This, Then That ( ( ( Nexus ( (
    13. 13. App Building
    14. 14. DemiBook’s ComposerDemiBook’s Composer( is the first of its kind where theinteractive story is authored on the device (theiPad) itself
    15. 15. Hands On: DemiBook’sComposer appPublish to Demibooks Storytime, their curatedmulti-publisher eBookstore on the iPad throughtheir PrintShop servicehttp://publish.demibooks.comTheir support community members get a specialdiscount price of $99 before October 24th. Youdont need to have a book project started to lockin this price.They’re here at the conference. If you have achance, go up and talk to them for moreinformation.
    16. 16. Other technologies that help youwith app building and AR(augmented reality)Unity ( Artist ( Chair’s Active Reader ( ( Makr ( Salad ( ( ( for Android ( By Cell ( (
    17. 17. Team Building
    18. 18. Technologies that helporganize your story and teamMurally The love child of Pinterest and Prezi Think of it as Pinterest for teams
    19. 19. Other technologies that helporganize your story and teamAsana ( Task managementHall ( File Sharing and chat/collaborationBasecamp ( File sharing and task managementWikis/Wikispaces ( Storyworld organizing. . . and then some somewhat more obvious onesGoogle Docs ( Asset sharingDropbox ( Asset Sharing
    20. 20. One last one . . .A tool for dynamically organizing your story world
    21. 21. Articy:DraftOstensibly created by Nevigo to help with videogame design, it’s ideally suited to help keep trackof your story world, regardless of the mediumArticy allows you to design nonlinear stories andkeep track of characters, locations, objects andevents.Windows only; You can download a free 30-daytrial at their site (
    23. 23. Even more resources!The TransmediaLA website hosts a Wiki filled withTransmedia creation resourcesYou can find this at under“Resources” and “TLA Wiki”
    24. 24. One last caveat . . .This presentation is in no way comprehensive andwill be outdated by the end of Storyworld 2012.And that is a good thing.The rules are that there are no rules and that youshould never stop learning.New technology to help with storytelling isappearing every day and it’s not daunting.Jump in.
    25. 25. Technology andTransmediaThis presentation is available on Please contact me . . .Michael Annetta, Program Director-TransmediaLA@M_Annettaemail: