How to Get Started: a Transmedia Story Recipe

Maya Zuckerman, transmedia producer and strategist, and co-founder of Transmedia SF, shares her recipe for successfully creating a transmedia story.

INGREDIENTS

1) Team

Who is part of your team?

A great team is key! The essence of transmedia is interdisciplinary and multiple skills can only improve the overall result.

The perfect team should include people with skills or interests in business challenges, user experience, and content creation. If you don’t have those skills, remember, your best friend is Google. Need to edit a video, create a graphic, or write a plan? Someone else has already done that for you.

2) Story

What do you want to tell?

More than just a story, you want to create a storyworld—a universe that different stories inhabit, yet still belong to the same core narrative. Your core story can be told in a non-linear way creating different touch points for your audience.

Build your story in a way that the whole story is more than the sum of its parts.
parts3) Platforms/Tools

What are you going to use to produce your storyworld?

Remember to plan out your story before you pick the platforms.

There are many tools out there; here are a few ideas to help you choose wisely.

Free:

  • Google+ has photo editing capabilities
  • Gimp: photo editing
  • Wix.com: website creator
  • Vine: video capturing
  • Smart phones: capturing and editing images, audio, and video
  • Google Drive: collaboration tool
  • Splice: iPhone editing
  • Popcorn Maker: video editing
  • AppMakr: iPhone app maker
  • Storify: real-time curation service
  • Prezi: interactive cloud-based presentation software

Slightly more complex:

  • Social Samba: tell interactive stories on Facebook
  • Conducttr: create cross-platform interactive experiences (get a beta for students)
  • X2 TV: create an interactive video
  • coverpage: create an interactive magazine
  • Twilio: embed voice, VoIP, and SMS applications into web, desktop, and mobile software
  • Tropo: add voice and SMS support to the programming languages you already know

4) Content

What are people consuming?
It can be sound, text, video, and/or imagery.

Content can be as diverse as blog posts, Twitter feeds, videos, games, text messages, and much more. Keep in mind that transmedia is also about how people interact with your content and maybe even co-create some with you (see ingredient 6).

5) Channels

How do you distribute your story?
Think about the different touch points for your audience.

Make is easy! Use channels already known channels:
• Social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and more
• Objects or spaces people can interact with
• Phone

6) Audience

Who are you telling this story to?

The answer to this question will influence the other ingredients in this recipe. Keep in mind that there are different audience types:

audience
Some people just consume your content, other want to play an active role. Make sure you answer these different needs.

For example:
1. Ask your user to choose an ending—that is interaction.
2. Ask your user to take a photo of themselves and post it to your story’s website—that is participation.

INSTRUCTIONS

Start with a good team, knowing that everyone probably wears more than one hat. Add an amazing story and keep in mind who your audience is. Transmedia stories are usually not linear, so think about your user’s journey through the entire experience. Map the content and the channels, then define the platforms. Always remember that simpler is better.

Add some love and don’t forget to take it out of the oven before August 31st 2013 (midnight CET).

Serving Size: Infinite

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