Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How one finds a "rabbit hole" - aka The Skirts film

Alright - so here is my firsthand account (well a bit vague as I did a lot of clicking and wandering around) of how I found a new story/transmedia property or whatever ya wanna call it. I am very interested in the concept of UX (user experience) and user narrative, so I thought I'd try to document how just this simple little journey worked. I am amazed as I started writing this entry how far that little rabbit hole or entry point led me.

1. So, I am going through my twitter stream and I come across this tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/Megaton_us/status/108664814808731648 from Megaton_US.

1a. Megaton hosts a very cool all things Post-apocalyptic site - http://www.megaton.us/ which I started following because
1b. I participate in World of Depleted - http://worldofdepleted.com/ a very cool post-apocalyptic film, story, shared storyworld.
1c. Megaton was woven into the WoD storyworld as well as being a supported/Dark Dreamer and more, and thus I found out about the Megaton site and began following it and Megaton's Twitter account

2. So I value Megaton's tweets because of the WoD connection so, I decide to check out the link in the tweet. That brings me to

3. The Skirts Kickstarter page - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jacklawrence/the-skirts-a-post-apocalyptic-short-film

3b. I poke around a bit and become intrigued. I decide I will back it (but not tonight, too much on my plate), yet, I do

3c. Retweet Megaton's tweet about the campaign

4. Then I decide I like the project and post it to My World of Depleted Tumblr log and my writing Tumblr log

5. I also decide to follow TheSkirts on Twitter - http://twitter.com/theskirts

6. As I am going through their older tweet stream - I come across this tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/TheSkirts/status/108613458098012160

which sends me to

7. Their Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/theskirts

7b - very specifically - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.212906358766029.51387.196411983748800&l=58162459f1

The one poster/picture looks cool so I click it - (I am posting it below, I hope The Skirts do not mind) - well as I start to read it I find myself going WTF is NerveFLu - that sounds wacko - and then I see at the bottom of the flyer

8 A website - http://www.nerveflu.info/

8b - I am looking around it, kinda suspicious, then I recall why - the name of the city at the top of the page - I had just read about that city name - in the Kickstarter campaign

8c - going oh cool I started clicking around the NerveFlu site

and still have more to explore, as I said, I have limited time right now, but will come back and play a bit more.

I did do a little more clicking here and there, but that is a general account of my zig zag path down The Skirt's rabbit hole.

I do hope this project gets made, if for no other reason than to see the story that is behind my curious hike through this multi-piece story.

And if any peoples associated with The Skirts every stumbles on this, will there be other rabbit holes and pieces to find (are they already out there and I just have not found them yet...)

Thanks for the fun and journey.

oh on a postscript - my little one saw the QR Code on the Flyer picture as I was inserting it in this blog and went ooo a QR Code, we must scan it and so we used our iTouch to scan it, which lead us to the nerveflu site as well

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WordPress and Building web sites

Well, among everything else, I am needing to build or work on multiple web sites. A good chunk of them are using WordPress as the content management system (CMS). As a result, my limited knowledge of WP programming is growing by leaps, bounds and massive amount of growling at the screen in frustration, followed by pounding the screen a few times, shaking the computer, searching the web for knowledge, redoing something multiple times and finally shouting Eureka! :)

One site I am building is for a training center. We will offer workshops, educational information and a treasure chest of resources people can use. so, cataloguing is a main focus there.

two other projects are shared storyworlds, so that requires not just cataloguing information, but also providing a crisp feel for the SSW as well as needing to build a community for SSW participants.

Another site is my personal story site, which is just a collection of my stories and a few other items of interest. I really needed a nested hierarchy for that as I have story themes (like Nikki & Nora), then multiple stories in each theme and multiple separate chapters in each story.

And the last site, for now, that I am creating is migrating the www.transmediaresources.com site from Google sites to WP. There again I need nested categories big time, but also static pages.

As I read back over what I have typed, I suddenly got very very tired ;)

I plan on documenting what I am doing so it keeps a list of what I tried and not tried, more for me to find a I move from one project to another, but if it helps anyone else :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Movellas and my stories

Hmm - I think I want to look into this - anyone already using it? I need to contact world of Depleted and ask if they are going to convert the stories into ebook format and if we can offer them in some format on some platform and all that. time to start making that story make magic for me ;)


Online Privacy and spooky future tech

So - reading over this article - http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/77516

The fact you can do this seems only for the movies, but it does exist and it is getting easier and easier to do it. More and more, it could be your friend or ex using this on you, not some secret or rich group.... of course there are good ways to use AR and this, but....

And, for the generation growing up in this, what will they be like and expect?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Creating a user narrative

Some thoughts about fans and user narratives and the like

In trying to find a single idea from the collection of scattered ideas always swimming in my head, I wanted to think about/write about a topic that spoke to how a fan, like me, can become more involved in a Shared storyworld.

now, by "fan like me", I mean someone who is not employed as a writer, artist, filmmaker, or any other entertainment and related job. I am an "average" joe who makes a 9-5 living and as a "hobby" is interested in becoming more involved in a shared storyworld (SSW) (just go back and look at what I have written so far and I know the English teacher/editor/polished writer is cringing).

But, that is what I am and the level of skills/ability I bring to any SSW or project; I have lots o' heart and desire, not so much technical skill. I know this is one of the top gripes people have with fanfiction. It's a bunch of poorly written story. Maybe, but think of how moving the original storyworld/story must have been to have someone who does not have much skill to still try and weave a story and add to the overall collective. It takes time and motivation to put something "out there".

However, as I read and watch the polished stuff, I become intimidated and stay sitting on the sideline like a fan at a sporting event. Which is perhaps ok for some entertainment projects; this is why professionals in the entertainment business exist. But, isn't one of the concepts of SSW and other participatory-shaped projects all about getting the "average-joe" and "fan like me" (F-L-M) involved and not regulated to the sidelines?

so, how does one do that?

Well, I don't know, which i why I wanted to write this, because I am hoping it will pull others to say, oh yeah this is how, or so and so talked about this or here is a plan or list. Because that's what a F-L-M needs, a list or a prompt or a way to get involved without being intimidated.

And these ways need to be leveled.

Say what?

Well, I teach (not English ;), and in my classroom I have all levels of learners. I have to create an activity that has multiple levels of engagement and ability. Maybe have a "whiteboard" area of your SSW and those that can not really write well, can till be part of the writing team by adding ideas to the whiteboard or rearranging ideas.

Or a wiki where others can contribute. I could never solve those damn puzzles in the ARG before everyone else, but I could go and create a wiki page about the event and organize it an track it - which made me feel as important as those solving the damn puzzle ;) Actually I still like creating wikis and other similar materials.

I liked the Black helix for this reason - they put the wiki right up front as well as other places for people to become involved.

Then I came across this article http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2011/04/culture-hacker-let%e2%80%99s-take-the-audience-outside/ and I went ooooo the UX and especially I liked what Mr. Weiler said about the emergence of user experience in storytelling and creating a user narrative. I am very interested in these user narratives and i wonder for all those out there in the business of building a SSW - are you creating a user narrative with specific ways to build and help the flow of your UX? How exactly do you build a user narrative (I am sure there are specific examples out there, anyone know where to find them?)

I am not going to retell what Mr Weiler says, I instead push you to read what he discussed. But, I, as an average joe, would like to know more about what i can do to jump into a SSW.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Why learning is awesome


Forever and Privacy

A very interesting article about data, privacy and where the world may be headed


Gen Con was da bomb

I enjoyed Gen Con more than words can help me express :)

I'll have some thoughts and this and that, but working on an overview article, so plan on writing that first, then sharing that here and whatever else pops up.

slowly realizing the summer is about done and the school year is right around the corner.

Have some awesome projects coming - http://docwho2100.com/qt/areyouready.html and a few others

so much is going on and so fast :) was reading an article how the Census data shows the US changed much faster an more dramatically than people had thought. That means that shifts can and will occur at speeds that will demand more critical thinking, communication skills and even a touch of survival instinct.

To use a well-spoke quote, "What interesting times we live in"