“Hollywood is discovering that the return on investment becomes more minimal if you don’t employ your property across all platforms… young people want to be told stories in the way that they use media. So you’re looking for a way to reach them pervasively.”—Jeff Gomez in THR on the approved transmedia credit for the Producers Guild of America (via one3productions)
Publishers once again shoot themselves in the foot, and once again libraries are expressing their outrage saying that they refuse to become “collateral damage.” The Revson Foundation’s Julie Sandford offers this insight calling libraries “the last remaining civic public square”.
She (Sandford) and others reminded listeners that at a time of declining bricks-and-mortar stores, “libraries have real estate in every community. They can showcase and sell; they could become the new Barnes & Noble front window. Think about the utility of that.”
Moral/ethical issues surrounding crowd-sourcing and kids
Just yesterday we saw the announcement from Sourcefabric about Booktype, an open source publishing platform. Today, I read Meryl Alper’s Reflections in iKids and Kidscreen Summit 2012 in which she hits upon several key issues that I think makes creating transmedia for kids a unique process, questions that every kid lit writer must consider with every new technological development. In her post, Alper calls for a “more open and honest discussions about the ethical implications of monetizing crowd sourced user generated content from kids under 13” only I would add 13 and up as well. This brought me back to the thoughtful discussion raised over on the Silverstring Media blog. In his post, Audience and Story continued, Lucas Johnson questions,
…is transmedia only really good if it involves significant audience participation, if it allows the audience to drive the narrative and create the structure? Is a project that delivers a more linear story by nature inferior because it’s not living up to what the medium (transmedia) is best at?
And then he asks, “is there room for both?”
Not only do I believe the answer to this question is yes, I’m not certain as kid lit writers that we even have the option. There must be both. Transmedia for kids should offer what Narrative Designer Stephen Dinehart described in his TEDx Transmedia talk, DAREtoENGAGE as “classical storytelling squared.” We must open our storyworlds, allowing the audience space for immersion and co-creation, while maintaining at its core, a more classical narrative that is author driven. That’s what I think anyway. What do you think?
Another publishing platform announced today, this one for the iPad that will enable publishers to create “interactive content including guided tours, 3-D exhibits, interactive quizzes and high -def video.” What will books look like by the end of 2012 I wonder?
Great post by Lucas Johnson of Silverstring Media on the need for a publishing house for transmedia productions.
Frankly, it seems like the traditional publishing houses of today are actually in a pretty good position to do exactly this, if they’re willing to work with writers from the start to develop the ideas. (Scholastic of course did basically this with 39 Clues — except that was a concept created in-house, rather than by a pitching author.)
Interesting that he should mention Scholastic since they have partnered with Ruckus Media to create the first transmedia imprint (Scholastic Ruckus Imprint). Also interesting since I have often thought, especially with all the debate recently over literary agents branching out into e-publishing services, that agents will eventually become Transmedia Producers.
“Why is geometry often described as ‘cold’ and ‘dry?’ One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree. Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line… Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity.”—Benoît B. Mandelbrot, mathematician who developed the field of fractal geometry