Brief History of
Transmedia
by
Chester Branch
• Enjoy this brief history of Transmedia… at the
end you’ll see the two dominant strategies
used within the world of trans...
The beginning of Social Media.
(1950s)
• The air-force
adapted the
Whirlwind
computer into a
massive air defense
system ca...
Enter DEC and
video gamming
theory.
The beginning of Social Media
(1950s)
The beginning of Social TV
(1950s)
Jack Barry pioneered
interactive TV. (21 the
show)
He developed and hosted
Winky Dink a...
The beginning of Social TV
(1950s)
Disneyland opened and The Mickey
Mouse Club TV show launched as a
way to help promote a...
With electric
technology, the
consumer will
become the
producer.
What we do as
prosumers has
social value.
The Audience
wa...
DigitalMcLuhanandTransmedia
McLuhan
predicted
WEB 2.0
/social
media.
J. Gomez
was a
student
of
McLuhan.
Gomez
went on to
develop
Starlight
Runner
This...
McLuhan
predicted
WEB 2.0
/social
media.
Stewart
was a
student of
McLuhan.
Stewart
went on to
develop
Beast for
A.I.
This ...
Toffler
predicted
WEB
2.0/social
media.
Case was a
‘disciple’ of
Toffler.
Case founded
AOL and
merged with
Warner
Studios
...
First Attempts at Transmedia
(1970s)
1976 Warner buys Atari because
video games are on the rise.
The next year they introd...
First Attempts at Transmedia
(1970s)
A year after Star Wars premiered, a new
character, Boba Fett, appeared in a TV specia...
Cross Media Explosion
(80s-90s)
Barry Diller develops high-concept
marketing.
Barry Diller also develops mega-
branding an...
Internet Explosion
(80s-90s)
MIT(85) develops
their first Media
Lab.
Hypercard was the
first form of
hyperlinks. Case
part...
Web 2.0
Google, the first community
based SEO, becomes a mega-
firm and media convergence
paves the way for more
successfu...
Crossing
the
Transmedia Marketing
Chasm
Chasm
Mainstream
Channel Surfers
Pragmatists Conservatives Skeptics
Film’s Opening...
Transmedia Long Tail Strategy
The tail becomes bigger and longer in new markets (depicted in
the red line/arrow). Traditio...
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  • The first computer was built just after WW2 (ENIAC) for military purposes.

    Later, Whirlwind Computer was built at MIT’s Lincoln Lab by Jay Forrester for the Navy. All of this would have been lost if it had not been for the entrance of the Atomic Bomb in 1953.

    SAGE led to a lot of what we use today but it was the size of century city.

    Today we’ve applied Moore’s law of miniaturization to most computing devices.

    Spacewars was one of the early seeds of interactive storytelling. Although limited to one media platform and a small storyworld, it was real interactive storytelling. TV caught on to this concept of interactive storytelling around the same time.

    Spacewar! is one of the earliest known digital computer games. It is a two-player game, with each player taking control of a spaceship and attempting to destroy the other. A star in the centre of the screen pulls on both ships and requires maneuvering to avoid falling into it. In an emergency, a player can enter hyperspace to return at a random location on the screen, but only at the risk of exploding if it is used too often.

    Endnotes

    Joel Shurkin, Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors, 1996.

    Jay Forrester, Digital Computers as Information-Processing Systems (Cambridge: MIT, 1951).

    Jay Forrester, “The Beginning of System Dynamics.” System Dynamic Society (July 1989), 1-3 .

    Nathan Myhrvold "Moore's Law Corollary: Pixel Power." New York Times (June 2006).

    John Markoff, "Alan Kotok, 64, a Pioneer In Computer Video Games.”The New York Times (June 2006).
  • The first computer was built just after WW2 (ENIAC) for military purposes.

    Later, Whirlwind Computer was built at MIT’s Lincoln Lab by Jay Forrester for the Navy. All of this would have been lost if it had not been for the entrance of the Atomic Bomb in 1953.

    SAGE led to a lot of what we use today but it was the size of century city.

    Today we’ve applied Moore’s law of miniaturization to most computing devices.

    Spacewars was one of the early seeds of interactive storytelling. Although limited to one media platform and a small story-world, it was real interactive storytelling. TV caught on to this concept of interactive storytelling around the same time.

    Spacewar! is one of the earliest known digital computer games. It is a two-player game, with each player taking control of a spaceship and attempting to destroy the other. A star in the centre of the screen pulls on both ships and requires maneuvering to avoid falling into it. In an emergency, a player can enter hyperspace to return at a random location on the screen, but only at the risk of exploding if it is used too often.

    Endnotes

    Joel Shurkin, Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors, 1996.

    Jay Forrester, Digital Computers as Information-Processing Systems (Cambridge: MIT, 1951).

    Jay Forrester, “The Beginning of System Dynamics.” System Dynamic Society (July 1989), 1-3 .

    Nathan Myhrvold "Moore's Law Corollary: Pixel Power." New York Times (June 2006).

    John Markoff, "Alan Kotok, 64, a Pioneer In Computer Video Games.”The New York Times (June 2006).

  • Winky Dink and You was a CBS children's television show that aired from 1953 to 1957, on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Eastern / 9:30 Central. It was hosted by Jack Barry and featured the exploits of a cartoon character named Winky Dink and his dog Woofer. (see hero’s journey as grand narrative) (also see wanderer/warrior as grand narrative)

    Winky Dink was fake interactive TV for children that planted the seeds of young-adult forms of transmedia storytelling.

    Twenty One is an American game show which aired in the late 1950s. While it included the most popular contestant of the quiz show era, it became notorious for being a rigged quiz show which nearly caused the demise of the entire genre in the wake of United States Senate investigations. 

    21 was fake interactive TV for adults. These quiz shows gave birth several reality-tv/game shows and planted seeds for adult transmedia storytelling to grow in the future. (see survivor horror and survivor action as grand narrative, also see Propps tests and trials for quiz show as grand narrative)

    Most MTV and E reality shows are heavily scripted and more rigged than 21. The players are real people but you can not get on the show. And the “games” and “prizes” they play for on the shows are very scripted and rigged.

    Endnotes

    Mark Gawlinski, Interactive television Production (Burlington: Focal Press, 2003).

    Gary Edgerton; Brian Rose, Thinking Outside the Box (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005), 93.

    Su holmes, The Quiz Show (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), 47.

    James A. Mead, Survivor and other Reality TV Gameshows (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin, 2006).
  • Walt Disney was close behind Winky Dink and You. Disney was not only employing social TV, they were expanding their story universe.

    Winky Dink and You was a CBS children's television show that aired from 1953 to 1957, on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Eastern / 9:30 Central. It was hosted by Jack Barry and featured the exploits of a cartoon character named Winky Dink and his dog Woofer. (see hero’s journey as grand narrative) (also see wanderer/warrior as grand narrative)

    Winky Dink was fake interactive TV for children that planted the seeds of young-adult forms of transmedia storytelling.

    Twenty One is an American game show which aired in the late 1950s. While it included the most popular contestant of the quiz show era, it became notorious for being a rigged quiz show which nearly caused the demise of the entire genre in the wake of United States Senate investigations. 

    21 was fake interactive TV for adults. These quiz shows gave birth several reality-tv/game shows and planted seeds for adult transmedia storytelling to grow in the future. (see survivor horror and survivor action as grand narrative, also see Propps tests and trials for quiz show as grand narrative)

    Most MTV and E reality shows are heavily scripted and more rigged than 21. The players are real people but you can not get on the show. And the “games” and “prizes” they play for on the shows are very scripted and rigged.


    Endnotes

    Mark Gawlinski, Interactive television Production (Burlington: Focal Press, 2003).

    Gary Edgerton; Brian Rose, Thinking Outside the Box (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2005), 93.

    Su holmes, The Quiz Show (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), 47.

    James A. Mead, Survivor and other Reality TV Gameshows (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin, 2006).
  • A movie is thus said by McLuhan to be "hot", intensifying one single sense "high definition", demanding a viewer's attention, and a comic book to be "cool" and "low definition", requiring much more conscious participation by the reader to extract value. “if the audience can become involved in the actual process of making the ad, then it’s happy. It’s like the old quiz shows. They were great TV because it gave the audience a role, something to do.”

    Global Theater was the initial neologism McLuhan used because he was predicting a time when computing programs and television programs would be blended together. This would create story worlds that audiences will have a role in creating and developing.


    Endnotes

    Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (New York: Routledge, 2001), 22.

    Janine Marchessault, Marshall McLuhan (Thousand Oaks: SAGE publications 2005), 213-214.

    Tompkins, Vincent, “Assimilation of the Counterculture.” American Decades (Detroit: Thomson Gale Publishing, 2001).
  • McLuhan predicted the world wide web saying “the global village is a world in which you don’t necessarily have harmony. You have extreme concern with everyone else’s business and much involvement in everybody else’s life. It’s a sort of Ann Landers’ column writ large. And it doesn’t necessarily mean harmony, peace, and quiet, but it does mean huge involvement in everybody else’s affairs. And so the global village is as big as a planet and as small as a post office.”

    John Markoff says, “the anti-war movement in the 60s and 70s had everything to do with computing. It all happened within 5 miles from Stanford University between 1960 and 1975. A group of researchers led by people like John McCarthy and Doug Engelbart. In the midst of that revolutionary ferment came the microprocessor. It was that interaction that led to personal computing. They saw these as tools to liberate people and build social online communities. They also had this ethos of sharing information.” These computing endeavors led to Wiki projects, You Tube, Facebook, Blogging, Etc.

    Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt suggested in their 1972 book Take Today, (p. 4) that with electric technology, the consumer would become a producer

    In the 1980 book, The Third Wave, futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term "prosumer" when he predicted that the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge (even though he described it in his book Future Shock from 1970). Toffler envisioned a highly saturated marketplace as mass production of standardized products began to satisfy basic consumer demands. To continue growing profit, businesses would initiate a process of mass customization, that is the mass production of highly customized products.

    Endnotes

    Paul Levinson, Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium (New York: Routledge, 1999).

    John Markoff, What the Door Mouse Said (New York: Penguine Books, 2005).

  • While Jeff Gomez was in college, one of his communications professors introduced him to Marshall McLuhan’s theories. This led Gomez to applying these theories to what is now called Transmedia.

    Jeff formed a transmedia company called Starlight Runner. He has also managed to register the credit ‘transmedia producer’ with the producer’s guild. Some of the film projects he’s worked with include but are not limited to the following: Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, and Men in Black 3. He has recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with all Sony projects.

    “In today’s interconnected world, young adults, teens and even kids have become so comfortable with media technology that they flow from one platform to the next. The problem [in 2009] is that their content is not flowing with them. As a discipline, transmedia provides us wuth a foundation for the development, production and rollout of entertainment properties or consumer brands across multiple media platforms. Transmedia creates the flow.” – Jeff Gomez Forbes Q&A (March 2009).

    Endnotes

    DiNucci, Darcy ”Fragmented Future.” (1999): 32.
  • The term "Web 2.0" was first used in January 1999 by Darcy DiNucci, a consultant on electronic information design (information architecture). In her article, "Fragmented Future", DiNucci writes: The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will [...] appear on your computer screen, [...] on your TV set [...] your car dashboard [...] your cell phone [...] hand-held game machines [...] maybe even your microwave oven.

    Tim Beners-Lee objects to the term Web 2.0 because his intention was for the world wide web of the 90s to always be prosumer based.

    Web 2.0 terminology went mainstream in a 2004 state of the internet interview. O'Reilly, Tim, and John Battelle. 2004. Opening Welcome: State of the Internet Industry. In San Francisco, California, October 5.

    One of Jeff friends was also a student of McLuhan, Sean Stewart. One very popular aspect of transmedia is alternate reality games and/or augmented reality games. He pioneered this venture with one of the first ARGs, Beast. This was a game used that expanded the story world of Spielberg's 2001 movie A.I.. The game gave the audience a role in the storytelling of the A.I. world and created a stronger community for the film release.



    Endnotes



  • Steven Case, the founder of the first internet company AOL, was a disciple of Toffler’s prosumerism theories from the 70s. In 2001, AOL’s prosumer philosophy merges with Warner Studios, becoming one of the largest media industries in the world – Time Warner. It later was considered the worst merger ever. Case resigned from Charimanship in 2005 but some of his philosophies still heavily influence their current success. [namely using social media to garner a large audience and a large community] This consequently results in using storyworlds that are already successful in another form of entertainment.

    Google and Time Warner introduced and enhanced several prosumer based methods of using the web and converging all media. Google began partnering with Time Warner and MySpace in 2005. They also acquired You Tube in 2006.

    Prosumerism is The term has also taken on multiple meanings in business and economics: the business sector sees the prosumer (professional–consumer) as a market segment, whereas economists see the prosumer (producer–consumer) as having greater independence from the mainstream economy. These differing meanings often describe the same people; consumers unusually interested in the products. It can also be used to differentiate the traditional passive consumer with an active consumer role more involved in the process, such as activity in the design or customization of the end product.

    Toffler describes the age of prosumption as the arrival of a new form of economic and political democracy, self-determined work, labour autonomy, local production, and autonomous self-production. Fuchs would argue that he overlooks how prosumption is used for outsourcing work to users and consumers, who work without payment. Thereby corporations reduce their investment costs and labour costs, jobs are destroyed, and consumers who work for free are extremely exploited. They produce surplus value that is appropriated and turned into profit by corporations without paying wages. Notwithstanding Toffler’s uncritical optimism, his notion of the “prosumer“ describes important changes of media structures and practices and can therefore also be adopted for critical studies.

    In Revolutionary Wealth, Toffler attempts to respond to some of these criticisms. The main one here being intellectual property.

    Endnotes

    Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave (New York: Bantam, 1980).
  • In 1976, Nolan Bushnell sold his Atari company to Warner Communications for an estimated $2–12 million. Warner made considerable profits (and later losses) with Atari, which it owned from 1976 to 1984. While part of Warner, Atari achieved its greatest success, selling millions of Atari 2600s and computers. At its peak, Atari accounted for a third of Warner's annual income and was the fastest-growing company in the history of the United States at the time.

    To 30,000 homes scattered around the city and its suburbs, the goal of the QUBE was rather simple: "To create a faster method for groups to communicate and interact, across distance."Despite having a short lifespan and multiple shortcomings, QUBE occupied a unique place in media history. It was a venture that encouraged entrepreneurial media activities, and provided a unique foundation for a disproportionately large number of media innovators.

    The sell also had to do with the video game crash of 1983 and the emerging Japanese success of NES (Nintendo).

    Endnotes

    August E. Grant; Jennifer Meadows, Communication Technology (Burlington: Focal Press, 2010) , 205.

    Erik Barnouw,Tube of Plenty (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

    Mia Consalvo, "Console video games and global corporations: Creating a hybrid culture.” New Media Society  (2006), 117–137.
  • George Lucas was the first one to use the term “expanded universe” when relating to telling a story cross several media platforms. The Star Wars franchise did not extend to comics, movies, toys, and games. They also work as a solid representation of social TV. When Boba Fett was so well received during a television show, Lucas wrote him into the next film release. While Henry Jenkins says transmedia starts with Star Wars. Jeff Gomez says it starts with the manga and anime properties like Gundam. One form represents a cult following while the other theory speaks to a more national awareness. Gomez would say transmedia works as a reaction to national crises.

    “The influence of the internet is changing stories, by which I mean movies, television shows, games, any number of advertisements, any number of ways that stories can be told – it’s changing them in a way that is making them immersive, above all, but also non-linear, because the Web itself is non-linear. That’s making it somewhat game-like and certainly very participatory. In other words, no more passive viewing; it’s becoming a much more active role.” – Frank Rose, author, The Art of Immersion.
  • The Paramount film company was in a financial crisis in 1974. They were in serious debt. Davis and Bluhdorn hired Diller to save the company.

    As chairman of Paramount from 1974 to 1984, Diller worked closely with Eisner to bring success to the studio. They have since admitted that they were very inexperienced in with the film world. What they brought to film world was the “high concept.” According to the urban-legends of the entertainment industry, high concept is a term that was first associated with Barry Diller. 1974 to 1984 changed the entertainment industry forever. This consequently gave birth to film franchising in the forms of: ‘The Sequel’, ‘The Film Series’, ‘The Prequel’, and ‘The Reboot’.

    Media critics emphasized how the “high concept” was ushering in creative bankruptcy. High concept continues to be the most market-driven type of film being produced.

    These youth oriented pictures are, in most cases, focusing more on commerce than art. The goal is marketable stories, not original stories.

    Newsweek often touted them for having the “best all-around movie studio.” During their run Paramount’s Terms of Endearment won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

    In 1984, several of the higher echelons of the company left. Diller went to Fox and Eisner went to Disney. This left market researcher Frank Mancuso in charge of Paramount. As they took over other studios, all three of these men continued to use the high concept model. Paul Rosenfield says that Barry Diller single handedly spawned a whole generation of cross media moguls.

    Kinder, the first person ever to use the term transmedia, mentions how mega branding and cross media marketing gained so much traction because of the deregulation of American broadcasting in the 80s. In 1984 the FCC lifted its ban of product-based programming. By the time of the 90s transmedia inter-textuality was in full swing. Cross over genres existed between books, movies, TV, toys, video games, etc. The cross-platform concept also filtered out of Japan with Pokemon, whose fans followed the characters across TV, film, games, and trading cards.

    Endnotes

    Tony Schwartz, “Hollywood’s Hottest Stars.” New York (July 1984), 31.

    Gary Edgerton, “High Concept, small Screen.” Journal of Popular Film and Television (Fall 1991), 114-127.

    David Ansen and Peter McAlevey, “The Producer Is King Again.” Newsweek (May 1985), 84-86.

    Thomas Schatz, Hollywood: Cultural Dimensions (New York: Routledge, 2004), 374.

    George Mair, The Barry Diller Story (New York: J. Wiley, 1997), 97.

    Paul Rosenfield, Club Rules (New York: Warner Books, 1993).

    Marsha Kinder, Playing with Power (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 40-43.
  • The architecture machine group was the predecessor of their Media Lab. the Media Lab was widely popularized in the 1990s by business and technology publications such as Wired and Red Herring for a series of practical inventions in the fields of wireless networks, field sensing, web browsers and the World Wide Web.


    HyperCard was created by Bill Atkinson. Work for it began in March 1985 under the name of WildCard (hence the creator code of 'WILD'). In 1986 Dan Winkler began work on HyperTalk and the name was changed to HyperCard for trademark reasons. It was initially released in August 1987, with the understanding that Atkinson would give HyperCard to Apple only if they promised to release it for free on all Macs. Apple timed its release to coincide with the MacWorld Conference & Expo in Boston,Massachusetts to guarantee maximum publicity. HyperCard was a huge hit almost instantly. Many people who thought they would never be able to program a computer started using HyperCard for all sorts of automation and prototyping tasks, a surprise even to its creator.

    "cern.info.ch - Tim Berners-Lee's proposal". Info.cern.ch. (89) Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee is an English computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989. Eventually it was realized that this filing system [hypercards or hyperlinks] could go beyond a local area network.

    All web aspects of transmedia were not fully operable in the 90s, due to the dot.com bubble. The dot-com bubble (also referred to as the Internet bubble and the Information Technology Bubble) was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2000 (with a climax on March 10, 2000, with the NASDAQ peaking at 5132.52 in intraday trading before closing at 5048.62) during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more recent Internet sector and related fields. While the latter part was a boom and bust cycle, the Internet boom is sometimes meant to refer to the steady commercial growth of the Internet with the advent of the world wide web, as exemplified by the first release of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, and continuing through the 1990s.

    By the 2000s, WEB 2.0 caused transmedia to emerge stronger than ever. Spin-offs are usually linked to an institution in the fictional universe.

    MIT professor Henry Jenkins argued in favor of transmedia storytelling in the world of WEB 2.0. He said transmedia storytelling could make the characters more compelling.

    Endnotes

    Nick Montfort; Noah Wardrip-Fruin, The New Media Reader (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003), 253.

    David Needle, "HyperCard: Rumors or Reality", Computer Currents (August 1987.)

    James K. Galbraith; Travis Hale ”Income Distribution and the Information Technology Bubble.” University of Texas Inequality Project Working Paper (2004).

    Henry Jenkins "Transmedia Storytelling." Technology Review (January 2003).
  • The term "Web 2.0" was first used in January 1999 by Darcy DiNucci, a consultant on electronic information design (information architecture). In her article, "Fragmented Future", DiNucci writes: The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will [...] appear on your computer screen, [...] on your TV set [...] your car dashboard [...] your cell phone [...] hand-held game machines [...] maybe even your microwave oven.

    Tim Beners-Lee objects to the term Web 2.0 because his intention was for the world wide web of the 90s to always be prosumer based.

    Web 2.0 terminology went mainstream in a 2004 state of the internet interview. O'Reilly, Tim, and John Battelle. 2004. Opening Welcome: State of the Internet Industry. In San Francisco, California, October 5.

    Steven Case, the founder of the first internet company AOL, was a disciple of Toffler [and McLuhan’s] prosumerism theories from the 70s. In 2001, AOL’s prosumer philosophy merges with Warner Studios, becoming one of the largest media industries in the world – Time Warner. It later was considered the worst merger ever. Case resigned from Charimanship in 2005 but some of his philosophies still heavily influence their current success. [namely the battle for a large audience and a large community] This consequently results in using storyworlds that are already successful in another form of entertainment.

    The tech bubble in 1999-2000 coincides with the U.S. vs. Microsoft case. Out of this rubble, Google emerges and becomes a mega-firm. the actual reversal and subsequent bear market may have been triggered by the adverse findings of fact in the United States v. Microsoft case which was being heard in federal court. The findings, which declared Microsoft a monopoly, were widely expected in the weeks before their release on April 3. The following day, April 4, the NASDAQ fell from 4,283 points to 3,649 and rebounded back to 4,223, forming an intraday chart that looked like a stretched V. On March 20, 2000, after the NASDAQ had lost more than 10 percent from its peak, financial magazine Barron's shocked the market with its cover story "Burning Up". Sean Parker stated: "During the next 12 months, scores of highflying Internet upstarts will have used up all their cash. If they can't scare up any more, they may be in for a savage shakeout. An exclusive survey of the likely losers." The article pointed out: "America's 371 publicly traded Internet companies have grown to the point that they are collectively valued at $1.3 trillion, which amounts to about 8% of the entire U.S. stock market.“

    The founders created Google as a research project in the mid-90s but the project began preventing them from completing their studies. In 1999 they began making deals to sell. It soon became one of the few dot-coms to survive the 90s and in 2004 they went public. During that time it grew into a mega-firm. 2004 was also the time Facebook stepped on the scene. Both sites are prosumer based but has been at it longer .

    Google relates to Internet prosumer commodification in two ways: On the one hand it indexes user-generated content that is uploaded to the web and thereby acts as a meta-exploiter of all user-generated content producers. Without user-generated content by unpaid users, Google could not perform keyword searches. Therefore Google exploits all users, who create World Wide Web (WWW) content. On the other hand users employ Google services and thereby conduct unpaid productive surplus-value generating labour. Such labour includes for example: searching for a keyword on Google, sending an e-mail via GMail, uploading or searching for a video on YouTube, searching for a book on Google Print, looking for a location on Google Maps or Google Earths, creating a document on GoogleDocs, maintaining or reading a blog on Blogger/Blogspot, uploading images to Picassa, translating a sentence with Google Translate, etc. Google generates and stores data about the usage of these services in order to enable targeted advertising. It sells these data to advertising clients, who then provide advertisements that are targeted to the activities, searches, contents and interests of the users of Google services. Google engages in the economic surveillance of user data and user activities, thereby commodifies and infinitely exploits users and sells users and their data as Internet prosumer commodity to advertising clients in order to generate money profit. Google is the ultimate economic surveillance machine and the ultimate user-exploitation machine. It instrumentalizes all users and all of their data for creating profit.

    Google users are double objects of commodification: 1) they and their data are Internet prosumer commodities themselves, 2) through this commodification their consciousness becomes, while online, permanently exposed to commodity logic in the form of advertisements. Most online time is advertising time served by Google or other online advertising companies.

    Google and Time Warner introduced and enhanced several prosumer based methods of using the web and converging all media. Google began partnering with Time Warner and MySpace in 2005. They also acquired You Tube in 2006.

    Prosumerism is The term has also taken on multiple meanings in business and economics: the business sector sees the prosumer (professional–consumer) as a market segment, whereas economists see the prosumer (producer–consumer) as having greater independence from the mainstream economy. These differing meanings often describe the same people; consumers unusually interested in the products. It can also be used to differentiate the traditional passive consumer with an active consumer role more involved in the process, such as activity in the design or customization of the end product.

    Toffler describes the age of prosumption as the arrival of a new form of economic and political democracy, self-determined work, labour autonomy, local production, and autonomous self-production. Fuchs would argue that he overlooks how prosumption is used for outsourcing work to users and consumers, who work without payment. Thereby corporations reduce their investment costs and labour costs, jobs are destroyed, and consumers who work for free are extremely exploited. They produce surplus value that is appropriated and turned into profit by corporations without paying wages. Notwithstanding Toffler’s uncritical optimism, his notion of the “prosumer“ describes important changes of media structures and practices and can therefore also be adopted for critical studies.

    In Revolutionary Wealth, Toffler attempts to respond to some of these criticisms. The main one here being intellectual property.

    Endnotes

    DiNucci, Darcy "Fragmented Future.“ (1999): 32.

    Matthew A. Zook; Mark Graham, “The Creative Reconstruction of the Internet. Google and the Privatization of Cyberspace and DigiPlace.” Geoforum 38(2007): 1322-1343.

    David A. Vise, The Google Story (London: Macmillan, 2005).

    Jack Willoughby, “Burning Up.” Barron’s (March 2000).
  • The law of diffusion of innovation shows one way to reach mass-market success or mass-market acceptance of an idea. One way is to achieve this tipping point between 15 and 18 percent market penetration.

    So it's this here, this little gap that you have to close, as Jeffrey Moore calls it, "crossing the chasm." Because the early majority pragmatists will not try something until someone else has tried it first. And these guys, the innovators and the early adopters, they're comfortable making those gut decisions. They're more comfortable making those intuitive decisions that are driven by what they believe about the world and not just what product is available.

    This touches on McLuhan’s concept of the audience wanting to have a role in their entertainment. This also touches on Toffler’s concept of prosumerism.

    The on demand revolution would limit film releases to stories that have been heavily crowd sourced in social media platforms – like social TV.

    Endnotes

    Geoffrey A. Moore, Crossing the Chasm (New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 2002).
  • In both scenarios, films will continue to be made. And, in both scenarios your company will benefit by investing in Social TV. With the on demand scenario, social tv will build a user generated content community that will help launch the future prosumer dependent film industry.

    In the ‘more of the same’ scenario there will be a continued increase in film releases and social media: indies and mega-brands alike. But even now film franchises have the potential to gain more profits from long-tail niche markets, found in social media and social TV.

    Amazon.com, Netflix and Wii represent examples that succeeded based on the long-tail method. Let’s say you’re not just a fan on Nintendo games for the current Wii but you also remember those cool games from the 90s like Burger Time. Their Long-Tail strategy now allows you to download that game onto your Wii and play.


    Endnotes

    Chris Anderson, The Long-Tail (New York: Hyperion, 2006).
  • A Brief History of Transmedia

    1. 1. Brief History of Transmedia by Chester Branch
    2. 2. • Enjoy this brief history of Transmedia… at the end you’ll see the two dominant strategies used within the world of transmedia producing…
    3. 3. The beginning of Social Media. (1950s) • The air-force adapted the Whirlwind computer into a massive air defense system called SAGE They spent 3 times more on this computer than on the Manhattan Project
    4. 4. Enter DEC and video gamming theory. The beginning of Social Media (1950s)
    5. 5. The beginning of Social TV (1950s) Jack Barry pioneered interactive TV. (21 the show) He developed and hosted Winky Dink and You
    6. 6. The beginning of Social TV (1950s) Disneyland opened and The Mickey Mouse Club TV show launched as a way to help promote and finance the park. They were expanding their story world. The ethos was embodied by the Mouseketeers who sold viewers on their brand.
    7. 7. With electric technology, the consumer will become the producer. What we do as prosumers has social value. The Audience wants to have a role in their entertainment
    8. 8. DigitalMcLuhanandTransmedia
    9. 9. McLuhan predicted WEB 2.0 /social media. J. Gomez was a student of McLuhan. Gomez went on to develop Starlight Runner This company works with Disney and Sony. The McLuhan influence on Transmedia 60s-70s 80s 90s 00s
    10. 10. McLuhan predicted WEB 2.0 /social media. Stewart was a student of McLuhan. Stewart went on to develop Beast for A.I. This ARG went on to influence all ARGs today. The McLuhan influence on Transmedia 60s 80s 99-01 00s70s
    11. 11. Toffler predicted WEB 2.0/social media. Case was a ‘disciple’ of Toffler. Case founded AOL and merged with Warner Studios Case, and the ‘prosumer’ concept, influenced the largest media industry in the world. The Toffler influence on Transmedia 70s 80s 90s 00s
    12. 12. First Attempts at Transmedia (1970s) 1976 Warner buys Atari because video games are on the rise. The next year they introduce Qube, the first interactive cable TV system. Warner loses 18.9m due to Atari/Nintendo wars. Warner sells Atari to Tramiel.
    13. 13. First Attempts at Transmedia (1970s) A year after Star Wars premiered, a new character, Boba Fett, appeared in a TV special. Lucas called this ‘the expanded universe.’ (78) After viewers embraced this character, he was given a significant film role. Lucas also released several comics and allowed for fan-fiction. In Japan, manga and anime properties like Gundam (79) spanned media, manifesting in TV, film, video games, and theme parks.
    14. 14. Cross Media Explosion (80s-90s) Barry Diller develops high-concept marketing. Barry Diller also develops mega- branding and cross-media storytelling. FCC lifts ban on product-based programming.
    15. 15. Internet Explosion (80s-90s) MIT(85) develops their first Media Lab. Hypercard was the first form of hyperlinks. Case partners with Lucas Films and begins IM chats (85-86). IBM builds modem (89) Tim Berners- Lee develops the world wide web (91).
    16. 16. Web 2.0 Google, the first community based SEO, becomes a mega- firm and media convergence paves the way for more successful transmedia storytelling and distribution. (‘05 personalized SEOs)
    17. 17. Crossing the Transmedia Marketing Chasm Chasm Mainstream Channel Surfers Pragmatists Conservatives Skeptics Film’s Opening Weekend Second Week in theater, sometimes the second film. Netflix , HULU, Cable, Direct TV, Early Adopters Comics, Online Books, ARGs, Fan- Fiction, Video Games, Apps, Social TV Story fans Parables Today Consulting
    18. 18. Transmedia Long Tail Strategy The tail becomes bigger and longer in new markets (depicted in the red line/arrow). Traditional models only focused on the ‘hot’ market (depicted in the blue line/arrow). Opening Box- Office Social TV Social Media Parables Today Consulting

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