The emergence of transmedia storytelling over the past decade has lead to or created some unique opportunities in social media. First, let me back up and quickly explain what transmedia is to the uninitiated and in full disclosure mode I hadn’t really heard of the term up untila few weeks ago, but I dig the term.
Transmedia, according to Henry Jenkins a professor at USC is “the art of conveying messages themes or storylines to mass audiences through the artful and well planned use of multiple media platforms”
Multiple media platforms. Boom.
So let’s think through that quickly about the multiple platforms that you, me, and your organization can now use to convey your key message themes: Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Forums, Websites, QR Codes, Group Buying sites, and LBS( location based sites)-to name but a few.
Transmedia is a cool word, and though I’ve not used it that much, the important line or word for me from the above ethereal definition is this. It’s all about story telling. A good friend once told me that we shouldn’t sell as much as we should tell stories, and you know what?
He’s right. We should tell more stories.
What’s cool is that digital media’s variety of platforms allow people and companies, equally, the ability, though some do not take advantage of it, to do just that-tell stories. Rich stories. The advent of open source blogging platforms like a Drupal or a WordPress, and the creativity that Youtube has allowed, have given users the ability to tell these rich verdant stories of their lives, our lives, and the myriad ways in which they touch us and we connect with them.
So where is the opportunity? There are good marketers and Ad people that make a difference digitally. Not all of them are in it to use CGI to create a talking dog to sell a can of beans. The story tellers are the one’s leveraging the power of digital. These are people toeing the line of brilliant social and visual creativity who are going out and telling stories that open our senses, our eyes, our ears and cause us to respond in a mutual dialogue.
That’s part social media and part real life. It’s real people telling real stories of their lives, their experiences and their challenges to each other and sometimes its not pretty. It’s social cinema verite’. It’s story telling.
Quit selling and go tell stories.