Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by colleenc15

President Bartlet and Kevin McCallister Tweet for Transmedia

President Bartlet and Kevin McCallister Tweet for Transmedia

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured |

Much of transmedia campaigns rely on the willingness of the audience to participate, which is generally influenced by the level of immersion in the campaign.  In alternate reality games (ARGs), the level of immersion is high because if there are no interested players, the game will not be very successful.  In transmedia campaigns like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, although audience participation is not necessary for the story, viewers are encouraged to ask the characters questions and interact with them through various social media means in order to add a level of realness and to more fully immerse the viewers.  For many, interactivity does not end with the end of an ARG or the end of an Internet show.  There can be groups of fans who decide that whatever text they were engaged in has more to offer.  This is where Twitter shines.  From December 10-15, 2010, the Geek Squad did a live-tweet session of the movie Home Alone.  The television show, The West Wing, ended in 2006.  There are over 30 Twitter accounts for different characters from the show that tweet and interact with each other.  Although the West Wing accounts are a better example of a completely immersive transmedia, the Home Alone accounts have their own strength and are still an excellent example of how levels of immersion can vary in transmedia, and thus influence the success of the campaign. The television show, The West Wing, followed President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet and his staff through his years in the White House.  Although there are over 30 Twitter accounts for various characters from various periods on the show, the most prolific Tweeters are Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff (@joshualyman); his wife and former secretary, Donna Moss (@donatella_moss); and President Bartlet (@pres_bartlet).  These accounts are run by anonymous people.  This is one of the main strengths of The West Wing accounts: they maintain the reality of the characters.  The writers of these accounts do not publicize their own names or identities.  In an interview with the magazine Entertainment Weekly, “Josh Lyman,” discussed his inspiration for creating the account and commitment to the character of Josh.  The account writer told Entertainment Weekly, “I am strict about breaking character and...

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How to Storify Transmedia

How to Storify Transmedia

By on Nov 24, 2013 in Featured |

The company Storify was created on the principle of using various social media outlets as a way to advance a story.  Users can create a story through interweaving social media elements and their own written commentary.  These social media elements can include tweets, Facebook posts, images from Flickr or Instagram, YouTube videos, and website links.  This is an excellent example of transmedia storytelling, or storytelling that crosses multiple formats or platforms.  In some instances, transmedia storytelling can be as complicated as an alternate reality game (where the user can affect the outcome of the story), or as simple as connecting thoughts into a collated narrative.  Storify is an example of the latter.  This website allows users to make an immersive experience for readers, not only through text (like tweets or the user’s own commentary), but also through images and videos.  A “reader” of a Storify story is given multiple access points to the narrative.  They can read the story as the user has created it, or they can go even deeper into the narrative and follow the Twitter or Instagram or YouTube accounts for the pieces of the story the user has given them.  This is why Storify is an example of transmedia storytelling – it can immerse the reader, but it can also allow them access to a deeper understanding of the narrative. The examples of Storify described below allowed readers across the world to connect to others through the pieces of social media included in various Storify stories.  The connection created between readers all over the world is another way that Storify allows for a deeper understanding of some narrative.  The news channel CNBC used Storify to allow readers to connect to a story; the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, used Storify to record Internet users’ reactions to a story; and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries used Storify to immerse readers in their narrative. On September 20, 2013, two new iPhones, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c were released to stores.  On the same day, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, joined Twitter.  The news channel CNBC followed Cook throughout the day as he visited an Apple store in Palo Alto, CA, and sent out his first tweet...

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