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?