Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More transmedia series reviews and some good articles

Put up a couple more transmedia story maps ( )– Harper's Globe (HG) and The Methos Chronicles (TMC)

Two very different and interesting sources. HG was touted as being a fully social TV show and in reading over some of the articles written for the show, lots of buzz words – but the most notable was what CBS pushed as a "new" experience. I did like they provided a FAQ - - this is something I think many transmedia stories need. Both for current access and to help preserve link to all parts of the transmedia experience for future access.

TMC was created in 2001 – when Flash Animation was a very "new" thing and a way to "film" an online series cheaply (meaning some of the scenes in TMC could not have been filmed or done cheaply and yet with Flash animation…). As such, some of the audio/animation is a bit rough and only exists on YouTube and fan sites. Another example of how transmedia narratives may be losing pieces of the story. TMC was released in 2001… this is 2009 – only eight years…..

HOWEVER – something interesting about TMC – they only made 8 episodes officially – then fans took over and made a handful of additional episodes (some better made than the official :P - as Henry Jenkins and others have mentioned – this is one aspect of what Transmedia offers (as both a blessing and a curse) – the blurring of lines between the author and the reader/user (user generated content fanfic is another example)

I could not find if the creators of TMC every acknowledged the additional series, but it does show how fully some fans were drawn in and how the story continued.

HG illustrates more fully another of the "principles" of transmedia – drillability and extension of a narrative's universe. By exploring the paper archives, reading the "sanctioned" wiki (similar to what exists with the LG15 and KateModern and their Breenverse) and seeing the web series, a person can go from the general story in the TV show to a deeper understanding of the backstory and certain characters.

It is nice that you can, technically, watch the TV show without ever seeing HG material and still have a full story. This also works toward what has been called world building or overdesign – an adaptational type of transmedia source as opposed to an extensional source.

A couple of other interesting things I stumbled on – - interesting article - the opening sentence is very telling, especially as shifts are occurring in entertainment

" Can programming producers survive on revenues derived from Web distribution alone? The overwhelming evidence seems to say no."

And as you see the developing transmedia landscape – this does seem to lean towards web distribution being only one avenue and part of larger projects… but who knows… the media landscape is changing…

This is a research paper I stumbled on and it has a number of good points including a review of Henery Jenkins's transmedia/convergence culture ideas and examines some current transmedia sources and looks at the following questions - The Entertainment Revolution: Does Transmedia Storytelling Really Enhance the Audience Experience?

It also has a number of the current vocab words that pop up in these discussions (things like a mothership program/story, rabbit holes/trailheads and others) – and a very nice citation list – which means Oi! More reading hehe

An interesting quote from the paper ties back into what the first article I listed touches on

" Once completed, this study can be used by entertainment companies to help decide the best use of their funding and which means of convergence will be the most effective to their transmedia storytelling."

Again funding rears it's necessary evil head.

This of course is more and more important from a revenue standpoint. I think for the audience, multiple sources have always worked to change and deliver the story in new and deeper ways. But, as a style of thinking? As a model for revenue generation? And as a nuts and bolts, brass tacks cost analysis – is there a trade off between the expense of moving across multiple platforms and the viewership generated.

This of course provokes the next thought – should that matter? Shouldn't the story drive if it is a transmedia delivery or not? Well, one would think, yet it seems the rush to social tv shows and multiple sources and generating revenue may be driven by the oohhh ahhh factor and how we access media, NOT by the story…

Is that what a writer/storyteller wants?


PS – this closing thought from the research paper has me wondering, how are transmedia narratives tracked and measured?

"In order to conclude if these new matters of transmedia storytelling, in the forms of ARGs and social shows, are effective in creating a larger fan base for the television offering the website traffic before, during, and after television broadcasts must be measured…."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

web series issues - excerpt from discussion

Interesting discussion going on through the Craig Endler (SyFy) Twitter account about web distribution, feasibility and similar issues - one of the many spokes to the wheel that is the changing face of entertainment

here are some of the tweets (from Dec. 20) the most recent one on top (so read from the bottom of list to top)

# Which is why I like to push for putting as much of our content online as possible, within reason. I.e. #Caprica is on right now :) about 11 hours ago from web


I missed a tweet that said, the Internet can actually HELP (i.e. be additive) to regular TV viewing, piracy aside. So that's a GOOD thing. about 11 hours ago from web


More people are watching more TV than ever before. HOORAY! Just like any industry undergoing changes, we'll sort it out eventually. about 11 hours ago from web


@michaelk42 LOL, @doctorow and I have talked MANY times about this issue! Piracy aside, the Internet is actually GOOD for TV viewing. about 11 hours ago from web in reply to michaelk42


iTunes sales and online ads add only a (small) fraction of $$$ to the pot, not enough to make Web distribution viable in and of itself about 11 hours ago from web


The problem is, there is no way for CRAIG CO to both distribute CRAIG's SHOW internationally via the Web & recoup its costs...not yet anyway about 11 hours ago from web


business model needs to be developed to accommodate the ease of distribution online. Which will probably take a while. about 11 hours ago from web


It's a business model that's a legacy from a time when international distribution wasn't even possible. Now that it is, a new.... about 11 hours ago from web


Now, extend that out to all the other territories out there, and you understand why the rights issues are so prominent. about 11 hours ago from web


Sci Fi UK payes for the UK rights so they don't want Syfy in the US to stream CRAIG'S SHOW in their territory. They want to show it. about 11 hours ago from web


the US rights to CRAIG's SHOW to Syfy for $500k. Now they need another $1.5 million. So they sell it to Sci Fi UK for $150k, etc. about 11 hours ago from web


...networks in different territories. For instance, CRAIG CO. makes CRAIG's SHOW. It costs $2 million per episode. CRAIG CO. might sell... about 11 hours ago from web


hundres of thousands. Some cost SEVERAL million dollars PER EPISODE. To offsets those costs, the rights holder sell them to different... about 11 hours ago from web


Here's a quick 101 on TV economics that might help. First, TV shows are VERY expensive. We all know that. Even an inexpensive show costs... about 11 hours ago from web


Syfy is not the rights holder to the shows we air, we're basically the "U.S. rights renter". The underlying rights holder controls the rest. about 11 hours ago from web


See next RT @ixalion I think the point is that they are asking for it, people try to acquire it, and Syfy says "no". :| about 11 hours ago from web


The should get it from the people who have the online rights to it in their country. They should not use that as an excuse to illegally DL about 12 hours ago from web about 12 hours ago from web

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Streamy Awards

This is cool - you can create a little icon to promote any show you want -

and go nominate your favorite series -

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Like this group too

more good social media and transmedia diagrams

Social Media Counter

ok so seeing if this works.....

Online TV - where is it going

So - taking a look at what being a Comcast subscriber gets me through its new Xfinity online TV service.

So, as more and more content moves to online - will we see "web series" continue and a further dichotomy develop between the difference (remember public access cable channels ala "Wayne's World" hehe - in a sense they were to TV what some of the web series pioneers are to TV shows.....

Will this mean an even further split between the big money deals and sponsors and branded shows and those done by the "average" joe???

Will web series become more a name for a certain structure rather than the method of delivery (for now web series are those that are originally streamed and shown via the Web - in future will web series mean more of a short format and so on????

But then I think transmedia/cross(multi) platform series are already working to redefine structure (do I just have a video component or are there supporting social network and other media/story outlets

I think, while of course content is key, production value is too. I can not list all of the movies, shows, books, stories that have been "hits" yet seem to be light in the content area and visa versa... so, for now, I think packaging is still important and that might be where advertisers are able to find a niche, you need money to make a really full blown event and to nab "celebrity" - I also think that while people will have to pay for content, free content is still sellable and attractive and to be "free" you need... ad support....

For now, I think it is actually more beneficial for online advertising... I can skip commercials if I record, or get the DvD and have no ads, but right now, when I am online on a site and they put that mandatory ad in there, I can not get around it. And everytime I rewatch that item online, I gotta go through the ad....

Has anyone done a study about how many ads are viewed online vs through the traditional channels???

Friday, December 11, 2009

Interesting - I did not know about this....

Real time web and moving entertainment to the web - athought

First - interesting article - can we really be ready for real time web? i find not enough time now and getting in trouble at work as it is... hmmmmm and will ethics, privacy and responsibility be able to stay afloat in this transformation???

Along with that - I had this odd thought as i continue to wind through web series and transmedia ideas - you look at how many watch a movie, or a TV show 9the big ones get millions of viewers - I think I read the last obama speech drew 40 million...) and that's mainly US tracking numbers...

Then you look at web series - the big ones get a few million and most get less.... if we truly had the same number of people viewing TV shows and movies online viewing, could the infrastructure and the web servers and all really HANDLE that much traffic? Are we ready to make this big push to entertainment through the Web???? If DVDs go bye (suncoast and FYE are closing and even Netflix and all are having troubles...) where is this stored? Do we have Hulu and such for the future? I like watching a lot of British shows and catching up on shows from the 60s - 80s... are these online some place? And will they really be available for viewing when i want like a DvD?

Hmmmmm with this push to transmedia story-telling and more "traditional" mediums having web components... are things in place to let us experience, or are we about to do the funnel theory (lot coming in at top, but then slows as we have to pass through a very small hole...)

EDIT - found this - hmm seems to fit right in..... another thing to consider - this goes with the studies about people leaving a site after 15 seconds if not loaded -

math geek jokes

thanks Sam ; )

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Shifts in story-telling (following animatione examples) and a possible way to organize said story

As I've mentioned in a couple other entries, it is wonderful how everything these days is moving to transmedia/cross platform/digital etc. story-telling. But there is a fear that this sort of narrative can easily become too "big", too complex, lost and forgotten or distorted as it relies much more on the listener/user being more involved and able to spend real-time and large chunks of time to cull through the story. Especially multiple times as new facets might come out in one source causing the user to need/want to revisit the story from another source.

Of course writers and marketing people love this, who wouldn't... people not just visiting your story once, but multiple times and finding new things each time. Yet sometimes, this can be a hindrance for those who want the basic, quick, straight-forward narrative.

Sometimes I wonder if this move to transmedia/cross platform story-telling is a fad or a shift in how story is told (it has happened many times throughout history).

Makes me think about animated movies and the last 50 years. We started with the basics and then perfected the cell animation/hand drawn-painted ala Disney. Then came computers, Pixar, Shrek and other digital and now it is almost the norm (and of course 3-D is making a come back). Is this the fate of other forms of story-telling in a change from how the story is displayed is coming? Instead of one medium, multiple sources will now be involved?

Along with this, is the idea of, how are these additional sources, especially certain digital sources, preserved? I am working on the transmedia story map for Harper's Globe – part of the CBS show Harper's Island universe/story. I found the following comment from a fan on the HG website official forum – I think it is a harbinger of what certain story-telling must be aware of and plan for. - "•
— Sep 30, 2009 - I know that nobody will probably read this since the site is basically dead and Im not sure if anyone other then me still comes on it anymore but.... I just wanted to say thanks to the admin, moderators, users and to EQAL and CBS for the creation of and Harpers Island in general. It was a lot of fun on here a few months prior to what it has turned into now. It was always really active, we had tons of users, the webseries was great, the randomness and interesting conversations always made me laugh and even though we had problems here and there, power struggles, spoiler issues, and unecessary drama, we still always got through it with the help of the users advocating for each other and themselves and of course the mods. I must say I miss it all, I would always make an effort to try and go on multiple times a day, I would continuasly participate in conversations and submit my theories. Harper's Island was a great show and its unfortunate that it met its end along side its internet counterpart despite the effort we put into trying to advocate to keep it up. and so even though it was decided that the site would be up indefinately... I still just wanna say rest in peace Harpers Globe, I really hope that some miracle occurs and you come back to life but unfortunately it doesnt look like thats happening. Thanks again to everyone for making this site what it was and making Harpers Island so much more interesting and entertaining. I will never forget the fun I had here and I hope to see you guys in future EQAL experiences like which Im hoping will also come back to life soon, especially when book 2 comes out in 2010. Bye everyone!

What happens if CBS decides not to support the website any longer? Who owns all of that content? Is it a case of the CBS TV episodes and webisodes will be available on DVD and certain elements from the rest of the transmedia sources will be, "gone"?

Something I do like, is the FAQ Harper's Globe put out there –

Also neat is the wiki -

The creators created a self contained social network and then keeping all elements within that "space" including FAQ's on how to experience all elements and providing an "official" wiki and other elements to provide a) more give and take between creator and user and b) based on the privacy policies established, the owners of the social space can now archive and use all of the comments and anything else people did on that site – that really gives a better edge in creating archives and recording the entire "universe"

Wikis have always been a collaborative/collective medium of communication with the focus on writing. Harper's Globe illustrates this possible collaboration between the storyteller and the listener (KateModern and LonelyGirl sources did this as well, although not as sure if the creators helped with the wiki).

It also brings up another possible way to contain some of the can of worms transmedia story-telling can open - fan-generated content – an interesting concept – one to be explored later…. But if a fan creates story and a wiki entry, can the owners of the show get any fringe benefits from that addition to the universe...

if the creators set up the policy that when a person registers for the experience, they forfeit any ownership of content and comments made on the social network… then can the writer archive, repackage and develop story based on those social network/social media interactions/events…


oh as an addddddition -

A funny video about digital writers

This is funny and something to consider all ye writers ;) Awww to be this fan-adored hehehe

Very nice writer's guide for going digital

Lots here - not worked through it all yet - need to add this and a few others to the list of resources

Cross-Media/Transmedia - it's all relative

Found an interesting article and web site overall -

I liked many of the points brought up - plus this site offers a lot on transmedia/crossmedia/multi-platform/insert your favorite buzz word here

Also - a festival DIYDays was mentioned - more interesting

as a side note - thi site popped up by exploring the other site -

And two last resources - this is by starlight runner and Jeff Gomez (some big names in transmedia - well if big names matter ;)

and - which i've mentioned before - but wanted to get into a more current list also - the NDE is part of

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Practicing what I "preach"

Ok - I have conned, um convinced, um, sweet talked, dazzled, snookered, snozzled, bamboozled, um... asked... one of the people I write with to help me make one of our web serials into a transmedia experience - and she said yes, I have to bribe/talk to the second writer and bring her on board, but this will be fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This project will now making me look at Transmedia from the next level as a creator of a story and how to weave the tale - we have a story (Copper Rock - a supernatural western set in the 1880s of southern AZ) and we want to tell the story through more than just publishing chapters on the web..... so let the games begin.

PS - any ideas on what other forms of media/story/fun you would like to see? What are the possibilities??????????? and do we make these stories more extensional or adaptational? I think, we are going for both... :P

This is going to be a real hoot-n-nanny!!!!!!!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Another interesting side effect of the push to transmedia

Will we have trouble telling real from fake.... hmm I think my job as educator will be even more important if the story telling moves even more into transmedia - hmmm

This sounds cool - any team need a South NJ person :P

Like this person's work

Ok I referenced a specific image this person made a few blog entries ago - here is the general link and I will use more of his stuff - it is great

Another idea about the transmedia maps and rating them

Ohhhhh as I think about this more - a map could be a cool thing and could tie in the Transmedia Necessity Rating.

I work with maps through my job and studies (science, tech and GIS) as such, the idea of a map is a cool concept. It visually represents spatial relationships. And spatial thinking is more than geography - it is a new way of thinking and relating things. It is about patterns and links and connections and organizing and managing and ooo I am getting shivers ;)

Map can tell you location, direction, but they also tell stories. That is why merging transmedia and the concept of a map fits.

But what is cool - you could have a concept map setup, but with the different sources... their spatial relationships would tell the user how NECESSARY they are to the overall narrative as well as each other (a spatial representation of my transmedia necessity rating) - OMG this could be so cool - if a user could start with the general map and then use it to find the different pieces - can you see the potential?

The writer could make a suggested map as well a documenting all of the official, touched by the creator, sources. Then users could make maps (like a twitter list) and people could follow those maps. The maps could be used to help record what a user has seen and done and what still might be out there. Plus - the map could be made in a technology that would survive even if the other pieces go away - then the creator can still either really control, or fans can go gaga and create their own ways to explore. Plus - I write on maps and note which places I liekd and all and ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is so cool - I can so see it in my head.

Now here is the BIG UMBRELLA - these maps are not made by one transmedia story - no, a company like facebook makes them so then all stories can be accessed and saved, kinda like what I am doing with my web site and others do - which is a


Something that helps archive the experiences - I mean some points on the maps might be simply a picture and text record of a flash mob event, but it can be noted, followed and the relationship to the story chronicled.

Ideally the creator or someone can create the initial map and archive in real time as everything unfolds - then at least this is an archived record for those who come late, or if sources are taken away (for instance, in the LG15 universe, there was an "official" website and side story, then there was a falling out between the two parties and suddenly that story was gone and unofficial :P

Ok - again lot more to think about - but this is cool - now to see if this has been done - off to research.

A Transmedia story Map Idea - has this been done???

Oh also - this is an interesting concept - need to look at it more - anyone know more about this???? maybe this could be used to make a Transmedia story map that is transmedia in nature - hahaha -

Seriously - what if you have a system that tracks what the user does and makes a map for them so they know where they have been and where they need to go.... ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh wait that could be a good idea - has someone done it already?

I mean not as anal as a checklist of things to visit and see (although I like checklists myself), but what about a tour guide vacation idea of what should be done if you want to "experience" the geographic location - plus that could help the user who does not have lot of time but comes and go -

ok i log on and look i've visited this site and this site and talked to this person and this person - kinda like Facebook - BUT ONLY IN THAT UNIVERSE - you could have a page/transmedia story map for EACH STORY - ohhhhhhhh I like this - has anyone done this????

Transmedia Story Maps

Ok - someone commented and emailed me about some thoughts on transmedia and thinking long into the future about making the story accessible.... Some big productions weather time (the Matrix) and some have vanished.... (a nice blog on The Matrix - has a vague mention of the author - "mapping" the transmedia experience)

there is so much to think about on this subject - lots of wheeeee fun

I am working on organizing my thoughts - but - one possible way to archive, at least, the story basics and experience, is to use the concept of a wiki and other guidebook sources that have existed for MYST and many ARG games, this is basically to create a guide to the "game" (story) - since games are a major transmedia source, it follows to use an idea from that world (as the first to venture into full transmedia expereiences are thoe who are gamers or more open to that type of story narrative.

Story Maps and guides in general is not a new idea - but jut something that maybe needs to be considered and developed when thinking about preserving the story and helping more people access a transmedia/multi-platform narrative.

So, while the struggle will still be to preserve the entire experience, perhaps by making a Transmedia Story Map for the user who misses the first run of a series, or was not there to take part in the flash mob event, or social media experience as the writers and actors move on and no longer respond to the twitter accounts (I mean ok, think about this writer, you are gung ho to reply to fans as the character - but what about a year from now, three years, 5 years????), or maybe the web series has disappeared or like I am still trying to find the website Hymn of One from the kate modern transmedia story..... perhaps this will be a way to at least on one level archive and preserve the story - what can I say - I read stories created (written) hundreds of years ago - what about today's stories???????

I have started creating some overviews on my web site and calling them More Info Pages - I am changing the name to Transmedia Story Maps - I like that more :P and a few series have that concept (check out The Matrix for instance also - I am till focused mainly on the web series aspect, but these maps could be formatted and expanded to include the whole universe... but now comes the next rub.... these maps are more non-fiction in writing style and setup and some writers might not want to write in that voice....

And there is another sticky point with a transmedia map - there are spoilers galore - so how do you write a map, but not give away the story experience????? There could be two types - one is a very basic follow this and then this and then this....

The other would be more like those books published on series and for games and all and do contain spoilers YETTTTTTTTTTTTTT those spoilers, ironically, are the story and thus they could be a way to archive the story when other things go missing... hmmmmmm

so, may I suggest transmedia authors, as you develop projects, either plan to write this non-fiction piece, or find someone who will and start documenting and archiving now... then in 5 years it'll be YOUR series that still exists and is not regulated to illegal sites, backwaters or maybe totally gone forever....

Oh yeah, I know, there is the whole copyright can of worms - i'm still thinking about that....

Ok - there are more thoughts on this subject - some technically in nature and some more idyllic thought rambling and to use my own word, crankswirling

Oh and I found this diagram - gotta track it down - but I love it regarding transmedia and a good way to begin to think about how to organize, storytell and then preserve story

Hinge Points and Butterfly effects

I've written a bit here and there in my blog about the concept I call hinge points (search around the blog for that if you wanna know more)

But something has developed over the last month - ok three somethings and well, they almost seem to have suddenly come to the place where they are... well they have the potential to be a hinge point, like I am riding the cusp of a wave and can ether go one way or the other - with some very different results...

It is weird, I never expected these things to build to the potential of a hinge point and again they may, like a wave, suddenly die out and you are sitting on your surf board going "What the Hoo - where did it go?" But then sometimes, sometimes you catch that wave and hang ten alllllll the way to shore and have an awesome ride to always remember......

But now I must collect my ideas on something and try to overcome my huge self doubt and low esteem as well as prepare for baking madness this weekend - 60+ hours of baking to make, hmm i think we are only doing about 45 plates this year, small number.... :P I am sure odd tweets and blogs will result - wait until about 4am on Sunday morning hehehehe

PS- no idea why I chose the wave analogy today - I am still all giddy about an email I got so I am a little goofy - I have only surfed once and that was not the best experience, I ended up scaring the person I was surfing with as I was on a long board and he said if you fall, hang on to it o it does not bash you. so I fell and wrapped my arms and legs around it and rode it into shore that way. he thought I was drowning hahahaha

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ok - this is.... unique and novel :P

who wants to come do this for my tree?;title

hahaha google does everything ;);title

Ok this just sounds coooolllllll;title

A Transmedia prediction - sign me up :P

This is a nice blog article and one prediction is of much interest to me - a self-published transmedia author -well - SIGN ME UP - I wanna do that!!!!!!!!!!! seriously - anyone else interested? This would be such a cool way to write and tell a story - honestly - if anyone is interested.... give me a ping - I'll play!!! to be involved in a story that lives and breathes in multiple forms :)

Power to the written/spoken/digital/video/no limits to the imagination WORD!!!!

Nice post about blogging - give it a read