Transmedia Storytelling and Journalism


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  • Good stories always become part of our history and our culture…. one thing in common: they all tell a story.But something is changing. Stories are formed and followed differently than before. Boundaries are blurred, but what does that mean for our future? Never before have people had so many devices and screens from which to follow stories, and now the consumers seek new experiences and a deeper engagement.
  • People are shaping, framing, remixing media content. People who are successful are highly in touch with their audiences. However, traditional media providers are struggling with growing prominence of grassroots media. This is not a social media class, this is a class about how content creation is shifting. Spreadability means that we want to produce content that is easy to share and encourage varying access points to it across platforms. This paradigm essentially says that anything worth sharing will be shared. What is meaningful? What motivates people to share? According to pew 72% of people follow the news because they like to share it with friends.
  • So what has happened is that storytelling has become more prominent… marketing, pr, … it is how we communicate…by telling stories, if you understand storytelling, your content will be more meaningful and will be more likely shared.Brains need stories • Stories become shared experiences, Stories hold universal truths, Relationships trump products in the new brand-consumer ecosystem
  • Relationship with media is shifting to multiple screens and diverse devices. Patterns and habits are changing based on the media that we interact with,. McLuhan—medium is not neutral. The message is the medium. It is courtship with the people we are supposed to want to act based on what we create. How does your content Inspire audience interactivity. viewers and desired context. Do you think about interactivity? The audience? What do you know about the people who read you stuff?Blog – identify a need
  • Henry Jenkins presented the idea of Transmedia Storytelling for the first time in 2003. Transmedia, used by itself, simply means “across media.” Where each platform adds something unique and valuable. Users can join the story at different places, can participate, contribute content, and each piece motivates the user to seek out the others.Let’s be clear… the story and the experience with the knowledge of your audience helps you you use choose your platforms.
  • Content they think of social media and other platforms as promotion… rather than creating an experience for the user to engage the content
  • Transsedia represents a structure based on the further development of the storyworld through each new medium….. so all adaptions to some degree add to the range of meanings attached to a story. back story,
  • Take a single story or story world… break it into pieces that lives across multiple formats.The whole experience is sum of multiple parts
  • Transmedia storytelling involves telling a story across multiple media platforms – including TV shows, movies, graphic novels, books, games, mobile apps, microsites, social networks, online communities and offline events. Difficult to do #2 in jschools because we do not have existing relationships because our students are continiously moving on… making content that is shareable because we are not really tapped into communitiesMultiple media may tell different stories but explore common theme, which can be experienced through multiple narrativesConsiders user’s lifestyle, media habits, context,Audiences co-creates with storytellers resulting in participatory design and culture
  • People don’t circulate because advertisers ask them to… it because they are invested. When we share, we communicate to soothe about ourselves. Adjust your perspective…. Content is just a medium that ENABLES INTERACTION BETWEEN people. As a content producer, how are you enabled communication???? Greater fragmentation of content – long tail
  • So you don’t want to include the public,,, fine we will do it ourselves.
  • Social media and journalism are not separate. Henry jenkins said in his book if it doesn’t spread, it is dead. Focus is of this class is on content that connects. Why do we go into journalism? To have an impact. We will also explore why storytelling is growing. We all tell stories.
  • Adapted for different platforms
  • Allow people to adapt it and remix it. It relies on the audience and so it by necessity treats them with respect.  It does not “sell” them, but rather invites them to become co-participants to expand the narrative.
  • Create snacks of content… deepen the emotional connection to content… more willing to share something that is not too consuming… if we think of engagement in terms of developing emotional connects between
  • Describe “transmedia experience” if you were tell the stories of the “Three little pigs.”• We have four main characters—three pigs and the wolf.• We can make opportunities to get to know the wolf from another angle, using for example, a companion website to learn more about him, the path that led him to his current antisocial tendencies, and that could give us a glimpse of his inner genius. It turns out that Wolf has great quantitative talent and has developed mathematical schematics of the impact of wind velocity on the materials of straw, sticks and bricks.• A story website could provide find maps of the turnip field, apple tree, local market and County Fair and plan strategic attack and defense positions. For wolf sympathizers, there is a Team Wolf, where participants can contribute to plotting strategies for attack and plan adjustments based on each volley. A similar network exists for Team Pigs. A new game called “Angry Pigs” tossing turnips at wolves is available for download for mobile phones.• To get to know the pigs, the first little pig keeps a blog and details the family history, his paranoid suspicions of a dark figure lurking about his house that led to the pigs’ decision to live apart rather than together.• There are pictures and puzzles of Super Pig on the walls of Pig #1’s house in the main story to give recognition to the people who have seen the Anime but will not detract from any other viewer experience.• The second little pig Tweets his chronicle, seeking advice on sustainable building materials and the relative merits of straw and sticks from other Twitterers, and relaying breaking newsin the heat of the battle: @littlepig2 walls of house bowing inward, sticks flying off roof – help!• The third little pig has a cooking series on YouTube with ways to make Parsley Turnips, Baked Apples, and Stewed Wolf Surprise. He hides clues for secret ingredients in his dishes in lyrics ofsongs and the YouTube trailers and he encourages viewers to send in their stories about home cooking and wolf encounters to be shared on a website. He publishes a cookbook with recipes The YouTube videos are shot on location in the third pig’s house, so if you see the videos, you can additional glimpse of the house interiors and daily life for Pig #3• The hypothetical transmedia version of the Three Little Pigs is not the repurposing of the story across different platforms as in traditional “cross media” advertising. It is the creation of aholistic narrative that unfolds in different and unique manners across different media. It allows for a dialogue between creator and participant. Developers can decide ifparticipant interaction, such as solving the sustainable materials problem, finding the wolf through clues and maps, or creating another character for the story, could move the storyin different directions than the original version. Participants might introduce a hunter to the narrative on a fan fiction forum who steps up the stakes for the wolf and alters the time dimension of the wolf’s schemes. I hear that under development is an educational video game based on physics concepts and, there is also talk of a Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game.
  • How can you apply it… excited to see what you learned. Tangibility, pesonality, authenticityHiatus between seasons, beyond summarizing….
  • Provide an overview of your show: What is the premise and major narrative/character arcs of your show? Does your show have any particular features that make it suitable for transmedia? Consider narrative structure, target audience, genre, and on which network/channel it airs.Explain the goal of your transmedia experience and why you decided on the particular format/platform in which your transmedia appears. Situate your transmedia production in relationship to course content: explicitly relate your project to at least two different scholarly sources and to two different transmedia examples that we have examined during the semester. You may use additional popular/scholarly sources and examples.
  • Steve Jobs in 1997 Mistakes are being made. That’s good. At least decisions are being made. Thought about experience first… that is what made him a success….. How do you think about experience first?
  •  Provide several points of entry into the story world.
  • Rather than repeating the information on different platforms the project called “Culture of Coffee,” matches unique story bits with different forms of media. Project creator Metasebia Yoseph traces the roots and traditions of coffee on a Tumblr blog, a website, a coffee table book, live events, social media and crowdfunding.
  •  book, which serves as the base for everything else4- hour tv seriesHashtags encourage live audience discussion100 community screenings sponsored by ITVSdeveloped with some of the core NGOs to address very specific issues they face as they work in developing nations
  • Let me be clear…. Fans , people who care are the ones who want to immerse themselves and learn more…. If you want engagement, you have to write about stuff people care about.Fans have a role, and it is your job to coordinate these roles and figure out how they can participate on each platform. You want to engage them…. identify their interests/////
  • Who knows who Jay-Z is? He is a musician and rapper, clothing design company head, motivational speaker, restauranteur, and if he didn’t have enough claims to fame. Jay-Z is all of those things— What does this mean about Jay-Z? Jay-Z is a BRAND.Jay-Z as a brand has furthered his franchise with very smart use of transmedia. A spectacularly example in his booked “Decoded” and the “Alternate Reality Game” (ARG) in conjunction with Microsoft’s Bing search engine that launched the book. “Decoded the ARG” was designed as a giant scavenger hunt to find the pages of Jay-Z’s book. Clues were in Bing maps that would lead participants to places such as the bottom of Jay-Z’s Miami hotel pool, on the dinner plates in Jay-Zs NYC restaurant, behind the mirror in Jay-Zs NYC bar, and wrapped around and on a 1982 Cadillac Seville parked in front of a Run DMC graffiti mural in Brooklyn.the explicit and implicit message that we are decoding Jay-Z’s life. It is a spectacular example because it allows people to get to know Jay-Z in a participatory and experiential way – we can eat off the his plates, we can experience his tastes by ordering Jay-Zs favorite meal, we can physically visit his old neighborhood in Brooklyn and learn his backstory—what was important to him in the past (the Caddy) as well as where he likes to go today. We can visit the life of Jay-Z through the ARG scavenger hunt, puttingthe book together. But if we didn’t play the game, we can still read the book. Neither relies on the other to understand Jay-Z. If we do both, we get the franchise of Jay-Z – which is another way of saying his full story.
  • Collaborating and making money – NonProfit 12:17
  • Trust is generated through a history of voluntary contributions of useful, reliable informationContent that is:Augmented by a recommendation system;Promoted by influencers …. Generates trust and loyalty in the content brand, potentially increasing ‘sales’.
  • Most valued contributions of information come from people you know…. So the goal is tapping into those networks
  • What are you trying to change? How can you reach the public? Frame content from that perspective…. Focus on the narrative, not the techStorytelling- what is the narrative threadResources- what do you have?
  • Henry Jenkins proposed seven principles… keep these in mind when proposing ideas, defending ideas, and developing transmedia plans… defend your pitches.. .audience, processing of info, demographics and interactions of the platform
  • What makes a story infectious? How to inspire the public to share the stories within their own networks, so they reach beyond our core public? In other words, it means a narrative has the potential to be talked about and spread like wildfire which means people want it. Drillable: How can we activate the public’s curiosity, enough to sleuth out more depth and detail on their own? If there is more to be found — the public’s engagement will be deeper. Drillability is a characteristic of media that encourages “forensic fandom”. They’re going to be obsessed with it and dig deeper to understand the universe beyond what is given to them
  • 2012 KonyJoseph Kony, leader of Ugandan rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). posted online by the US-based group Invisible Children. Kony stands accused of appalling crimes, including the kidnap, torture and rape of children"The Kony story resonates because it's the story of an identifible individual doing bodily harm to children. It's a story with a simple solution, and it plays into existing narratives about the ungovernability of Africa, the power of US military and the need to bring hidden conflict to light
  • Crowdsourceddocumentaru/Jigar Mehta and YasminElayat lead the 18 Days in Egypt collaboration, inviting participants to curate social media from uprisings in Egypt. Millions of people have been documenting their lives in some format, whether it’s email, Tweets, texts, videos, photos, what-not, during an incredible three weeks.” Can we crowd source all the material that would be the spine of the film? 25 minutes longPeople were asked the people to provide information about their media. As the soryteller,,, it was there job to weaver it together. The storytellers the bridge their work by seeking out influentials to recruit and promote the story. Drillability
  • Groupstream platform – launched in 2011. Mechanical engineering and journalism degree. He noticed that everyone was recording the uprising and personalizing through their media. Originally, he wanted to make a doc, but he wanted to create a more complete account of the uprising. 1:29-6.55… 7.35 how they crowdsourced the video 13:33-Lansing power situation.
  • Both equal some form of profit. We’re living in a world where we can search for new narratives to be interested in and once we find one, have the ability to find multiple mediums to get deeply involved in it. examples?
  • Continuous and serial:? By letting the story unfold across those media in series, would we keep public attention longer.Multiciplicty--Fans can find pleasure in the retelling of stories and new perspectives, different time periods, storm… what about previous storms, and what did we do. Learning about characters from different perspectives
  • is becoming a more important skills… people who know how to network and teach out… the new social media. One example is Luceo Images, a cooperative of seven photographers… A cooperative series of stories on the issues faced by American small towns. According to cofounder Matt Slaby, a subset of the group has already photographed towns in Nebraska, Kansas and Arizona and plans to document four more towns this year while traveling as a group in a rented recreational vehicle. The Luceo Images project, like much journalism, will unfold in series. Serial stories have been a fixture of journalism from its earliest days and many of its most notable and praiseworthy works have unfolded in the media over time. Movies have teams….if you have a great idea, why not recruit other people to help you tell the story…teams of people
  • Diverse and personal in viewpoint: Can reporting from a variety of perspectives strengthen the telling of a complex story or engage new publics we might have otherwise missed? What can we gain from letting the public in on the process and result of journalistic work?Welcome to Cañon City, Colorado.A town in the middle of nowhere with 36,000 souls and 13 prisons, one of which is Supermax, the new 'Alcatraz' of America. A prison town where even those living on the outside live on the inside. A journey into what the future might holdA web documentary by David Dufresne & Philippe Brault.Anna NicoleAs much as narratives break up our inward, personal experiences, they also allow us to make meaning of events in our exterior world. Known narratives also become cognitive shorthand. We often take events and apply a known narrative as a way of quickly understanding something; this is a useful cognitive tool but sometimes this is accurate. For example, we could look at Anna Nicole Smith from a number of “known narratives”– to some she might have been a Hooker with a Heart of Gold. To others, she was a Gold Digger.
  • Immersive: We always want to draw our publics deeper into a story, to the point they forget they may be separate from it. How can we put alternative storytelling forms to work on a complex story, to better explain a system or help the public understand a story’s impact on its subjects? Examples.Extractable: What can the public take away from our work and put to use in their everyday lives? The more our reporting enters their world, the more engaged the public will be… action fiures> education element of the peice
  • Games … immerse themselves in a story through action and first-person emotion. Games also illustrate how a system works better than anything else. asks players to drive and text simultaneously, and requires you to do both well. Throughout the game, players must maneuver between six lanes as directed, all while texting corrected-spelled messages back to a friend.At the end of the game, players find out their reaction time and how it compares to the averagesany feel compelled to play again to improve their score, thus giving the game great replayability. Both of these simulation games are great examples of "show, don't tell," but also of how to "involve" players in the story itsel
  • Series of video games and other media developed bythe United States Army and released as a global PRinitiative to help with recruitment.The Hollywood based model of transmedia assumes a story told or a world explored multiple texts, which can be sold to audiences separately and which represent multiple touch points with the brand.
  • Players are shown a map of New York City, and are tasked with getting as many heart attack patients to emergency care facilities as possible. Obstacles into the game: different hospitals and facilities have different heart-attack survival rates. Second, the amount of time spent in transportation to the ER affectschance of survival. We used the best data we could find in two days, including querying the Google Transportation API for real transportation times between two locations, and data from the Emergency Medicine Journal on survival rates for heart attack patients.
  • If the player reaches the same ending, then the game won't be challenging or meaningful. Play and news. Games should invite players to play again — whether they want to improve their score, encounter harder challenges, or discover something new. If "content is king" in journalism, replayability is king in gaming.
  • Unfolding different stories based on different characters and circumstances./
  • 1:56 2007The World Without Oil game asked players to imagine a world reeling from a sudden oil shortage, describe how the crisis is unfolding where they live, and work together on simple and practical ways to adapt. Help anticipate the future and prevent its worst outcomes. In sum, World Without Oil invited people to, per its slogan, “Play it before you live itOil shortage Players imagine and document their lives under those conditions.Compelling player stories and ideas incorporated into the official narrative, posted daily.Players choose to post their stories as videos, images or blog entries, or to phone or email them to the WWO gamemasters. The game's central site linked to all the player materialGame's characters documented their own lives, and commented on player stories, on a community blog and individual blogs, plus via IM, chat, Twitter and other media.
  • Binge watching
  • Half the Sky, a four-hour film on PBS. IMeg Ryan, Olivia Wilde, America Ferrara, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, and Gabrielle Union—traveled with Kristof, Chermayeff, and the production crew to six different developing nations to depict conditions. fight to end the oppression of women and girls worldwide .. sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women WorldwideDeeper, more creative projects. Intereviews with various people involved
  • It simulates the life of a sweatshop manager, and in the face of the daily pressures, the player's moral compass begins to lose its bearing. is part of a new breed of games called "social impact games," designed to bring about societal change of one sort or another
  • Business doesn’t yet understand multiplatform experiencesLeaving aside the fact that no-one in business uses the term “transmedia”… media is about promoting, rather than using tools to connect. And learning how to innovatively connect
  • Binging
  • Thinking about platform/audience and most appropriate content
  • Pinterest, tumblr,instagram, G+, Facebook, Google ampsSo I used to write about experiments, and what I learned from the experiment.
  • Transmedia Storytelling and Journalism

    1. 1. Transmedia Storytelling {Part 1 & Part 2}
    2. 2. Participatory culture
    3. 3. The value of stories • • • • • They teach us Provide motivation Validate our lives Provide a compass Help us connect
    4. 4. Saturation of connection
    5. 5. Henry Jenkins (2003) • “A process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.”
    6. 6. Transmedia Storytelling • “The fact remains that successful and credible transmedia novels must focus primarily on story and, without that focus, will be in danger of shifting from a viable „immersive experience‟ to one of those transparent „cross-media marketing initiatives and/or brand extensions‟”Norrington
    7. 7. Story world
    8. 8. Transmedia Storytelling • Narratives that simultaneously develop on multiple media • The whole experience is sum of multiple parts
    9. 9. Key points 1. A story narrated among different media channels and platforms. 2. Prosumers actively participate in the construction of the narrative world.
    10. 10. Shareable content • Available when and where audiences want it • Portable • Relevant to multiple audiences
    11. 11. Public journalism movement
    12. 12. MMJ push
    13. 13. Collaborative literacy
    14. 14. Overview • Transmedia 1.0: “Pushed Media” • Transmedia 2.0: “Extended Media” • Transmedia 3.0: “Adapted Media” • Transmedia 4.0: “Experiences in Media”
    15. 15. Cross Media 1.0 “Pushed Media” What is it? Pushed media happens when the same content is delivered in the same form (or with very minor modifications or editing) across multiple platforms. How does it work? The user could create their own cross media linkages by watching half of the episode on mobile and the rest on broadband. Good examples: This level does not have strong cross media triggers but may promote the same content on another platform. Kindle Books
    16. 16. Cross Media 2.0: “Extended Media” What is it? Extended cross media happens when additional content is produced alongside a main production, but delivered through different platforms. Good examples: Derived downloadable content. Flash / Facebook games. Online “making of” videos.
    17. 17. Cross Media 3.0: “Adapted Media” What is it? How does it work? Adapted media happens where a specific existing narrative is specifically re-authored for a new form of media. The content placed on the original platform is adapted for a different platform. Elements of the original content can be lost in the transmediation process, but new experiences can be gained because of the process.
    18. 18. Cross Media 4.0: “Experienced | Bridged Media” What is it? How does it work? Content is distributed across many platforms in a non-linear way. It is producer hands-off - participant/s follow their own path, and therefore, personalizing the experience. A crossmedia 4.0 property is co-creative, collaborative play with the audience across many devices, which evolves and grows a life of its own. This level of cross media is also called “Transmedia Storytelling”.
    19. 19. In a nutshell • • • • • • Storyworld, not storyline Multi-platform, not cross platform Blurring online and offline Participatory experiences Audience driven narrative New ways to distribute info
    20. 20. Three pigs
    21. 21. Blog – Case study options • • • • • • • The Dark Knight Game of Thrones True Blood Harry Potter Hunger Games How I Met Your Mother The Matrix
    22. 22. Serious Transmedia • What did they do? • What did they do to engage and empower the audience across platforms? • How can you this knowledge apply it to journalism or your field?
    23. 23. Transmedia Storytelling {Part 2}
    24. 24. Experience as a strategy
    25. 25. Interactions = loyalty & $$$ • • • • • • Book TV series Live events (hashtags; On-Air) Short educational video modules Platform games Mobile games
    26. 26. Fans
    27. 27. Identify a non-profit partner
    28. 28. • Decline in trust of government & corporate sources • Need for specialized information • Understanding that expertise is located around passionate individuals, not necessarily around paid endorsers Image source:
    29. 29. Why transmedia is growing? Image source:
    30. 30. Creative Development • Social Change • Storytelling • Resources 34
    31. 31. Seven Principles of TM 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Spreadability vs. Drillability Continuity vs. Multiplicity Immersion vs. Extractibility World Building Seriality Subjectivity Performance
    32. 32. 1. Spreadability vs. Drillability • Spreadability – Capacity of the public to engage in circulation – YouTube • Drillability - Encourage viewers to dig deeper to understand complexity of a story
    33. 33. 18 days in Egypt
    34. 34. Jigar Mehta
    35. 35. 1. Spreadability vs. Drillability • Spreadability means more viewers, less digging • Drillability means less viewers, more digging
    36. 36. 2. Continuity vs. Multiplicity • Continuity is keeping the same narrative across all mediums • Multiplicity offers alternative versions of the story, new character developments
    37. 37. Rural America
    38. 38. Prison Valley
    39. 39. 3. Immersion vs. Extractability • Immersion – ability of consumers to enter into storyworlds • Extractability – fan takes aspects of the story away with them as resources they deploy in the space of their everyday life.
    40. 40. Gauging Your Distraction
    41. 41. America’s Army • • • • • • • • • Console Game Mobile Game Arcade Game Government Applications Virtual Army Experience Army Experience Center Technology Education Program Comic Books Real Heroes Program (uses videos, photo albums and blogs on the Real Heroes website to depict the lives of those featured in the program) • Glorious Missions (China has developed their own version of the game where the targets are American forces)
    42. 42. Video Games • • • • Fun An objective Result should not be predetermined Give people a reason to play again
    43. 43. 4. World building • After, create multiple stories around characters in multiple worlds across multiple media
    44. 44. Performance – World Without Oil (ARG) 50
    45. 45. 5. Seriality – Sequencing of transmedia components. Do we really have to be able to consume them in any order any like? 6. Subjectivity - telling the story with another point of view, e.g., secondary character 7. Performance - space for active participation
    46. 46. Half the Sky
    47. 47. Sweatshop
    48. 48. Transmedia in business • Transmedia definition • Multiplatform or 2 screen experiences often (wrongly) considered as merely “another marketing channel” Image source: originally posted by
    49. 49. Inhibitors to success • Difficult for traditional media people to drop broadcast mentality • Difficult for marketers to resist controlling messages Image source:
    50. 50. Reasonable metrics • Collaboration generates: • Value: great content for all platforms. • Utility: involvement, engagement, communities, participation • Increased price for content: as loyalty rises, likelihood of revenue generation from content increases (merchandising, games, add-ons, etc.) • Reduced costs of production: as content is developed collaboratively, there is less need for capital investment in content Image source:
    51. 51. Publicity Strategies • Engage people with issues: ARG, online quiz, unique content to solve puzzles, enter competition • Serialize webisodes, etc. to drive more people to donate • Social media: Blogs, etc. • Flyers & posters for downloadable content • Mainstream press 57
    52. 52. TM Implementation & Action Plan 1. 2. 3. 4. Audience Segmentation - who are you engaging Resources - what do you need? Story Universe Strategy - how do you define the story Content Strategy - how will you craft and distribute content 5. Partners and Stakeholders - who will participate 6. Engagement - how do you engage toward change
    53. 53. Photo platform experience (experiments encouraged) • Visual theme - Two photos and page • In a blog post (later), defend the approach: demographics, platform behaviors, type of content, audience experience, audience interactivity, measurement, alignment with nonprofit goals, part of an overarching narrative • Fill out bio, captions, etc. • Cameras??? • Due Feb. 3rd