Transmedia, convergence, multiplatform, cross platform…all these words and more swirl around the world of media as it is evolving and bringing together not only the Internet and television but also films, games, smartphone apps, graphic novels and more. Before I head into a transmedia lab in Vancouver, I felt I should try to have a more solid understanding of what it is and how it not only relates to the project I am bringing with me but also to what I do every day, search marketing.
Transmedia is a new term and because of that is still striving to be clearly defined and differentiated from terms like cross platform. It is often used in the context of “transmedia storytelling” and this appears to be a very important distinction. I recently found this quick summary by Jill Golick that illuminated it for me perfectly:
Crossplatform and multiplatform…[are] about projects and content that make use of several different platforms or media…Transmedia is a subset of crossplatform. All transmedia is crossplatform, but not all crossplatform is transmedia…When I use transmedia two conditions have to be met: The story world must be expressed on at least three platforms…[and] the expression of the story world on each platform must be unique, not the same content repurposed on a different platform.
So What Does Transmedia have to do with Search Marketing (and Vice Versa)?
Transmedia is therefore about story and every story needs an audience and that, my friends, is where Internet search marketing has a role to play (for every media project really). The foundation of search marketing is an understanding of how your potential audience is searching already for what you are offering. And then ensuring you are using the right language in the right places to connect to that audience, to invite them into your project. Yes, there are some technological issues that often need to be resolved as well, but that at its heart is what I do : help story find its online audience, transmedia or otherwise.
As to how transmedia storytelling can inform my own process and the search marketing work I do, I expect that will begin to come clearer from what I learn this week. But I suspect this new kind of deep story will challenge my skills like never before. I am excited to learn as much as I possibly can at Merging + Media in order to help the project I am taking but also to develop new ways of creative thinking in my work. Stay tuned for my revelations…
FS2S: Websites of the Week
Here are some transmedia resources I came across in my own quest to understand:
- The Arlington Jump – blog from a writer/producer about “all things transmedia, including people in the field, facilitating and emerging new technologies, [and] case studies”
- “Revenge of the Origami Unicorn” Part 1 and Part 2 – Henry Jenkins’ seven principles
- Running with My Eyes Closed – Jill Golick’s blog on “life at the intersection of television and digital”
- Starlight Runner – Jeff Gomez’ company for developing transmedia franchises and its definition of transmedia narrative
- Transmedia: What Is it? – an article presenting different views on what transmedia storytelling is or isn’t
- You Suck at Transmedia – Christy Dena’s site that includes “war stories, fun and sincere reflections, and stuff we find frustrating and downright bad” about transmedia
Submit suggestions, questions or tips of your own via email to info(at)veria.ca or Twitter @veriatweet
Or Revisit Last Week: An Introduction to Search Marketing for Film, TV, & Online Video