Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Module 6: Cross-Platform Stories


Activities/Assignments
      Add a comment to Module 6’s blog post with your reaction to the transmedia story examples. Have you ever read anything like these works before? How can you be sure you have read the whole narrative? Jill Walker suggests that the disunity that arises from reading such works highlights a different kind of unity – that the work unfolds at the same time as our reading. What do you think?
      Assignment C – Animoto Video Review due at end of day Dec.18th  









Read more about this transmedia fiction and others at Conducttr.

25 comments:

  1. As my first foray into transmedia stories, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed several of the examples from our readings. Although I’ve previously “read” works that are somewhat similar to these, none of these have spread themselves out to the degree or depth that is the norm with transmedia stories.

    When thinking about reading Inside Disaster, it was a bit like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but so much more rich. In this instance, I imagine a Choose Your Own Adventure book to be a drawing by an elementary school child, and Inside Disaster to be a drawing by M.C. Escher.

    Transmedia stories are so complex and detailed that it would be impossible to read the whole narrative because there are numerous points of view and options for how the story can unfold. You, dear reader, determine how the story unfurls and the direction that it takes. The narrative that you experience may not at all be close to the narrative that another reader experiences; therefore, how can you ever really be sure that you’ve read the whole narrative?

    Walker’s idea that the disunity that arises from reading these types of works highlights a different kind of unity is quite apt. With transmedia stories, the reader is an integral part of the experience and there is unity in that concept.

    At an initial glance it doesn’t seem like a concept that could exist; but when you delve deeper, it makes sense. The story being told by the author(s) ONLY unfolds as we are reading. The story doesn’t exist as it is before our reading it, and doesn’t exist after either – it only happens as we experience it. By listening to the sounds, watching the videos, making the choices that we do throughout the story, it can only unfold at the same time as our reading, and that is a unifying concept across transmedia stories.

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  2. Assignment C – Animoto Review Video

    The Rise of Twitter Fiction
    A short look at Twitter fiction: from beginnings to futures.

    https://animoto.com/play/jKda1RHjuhqvhymBxwLSfg

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    1. Yolanda! Great video. I read somewhere that there was more than one novel on the Japanese bestseller list that were written on cellphones by people commuting to work. We use the tools available to tell our stories, and yes, our attention spans may be shrinking as well! But Twitter, YouTube, Storify etc. have led to a democratization of storytelling and reaching of an audience. It's never been easier to get your thoughts to an audience and that is something to reflect on. Like you said: it's not just books anymore.

      Of course, to be glass half empty about it, that does mean there's more poor work to sift through. As Christopher Hitchens observed: "Yes, everyone has a novel in them, but often that's where it should stay."

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    3. Yolanda, I'm jealous. Your video is amazing. I really like the whimsical look and the use of video inside of a video - genius. The text fading in/out was great too. Also, great animation of the Twitter bird wearing glasses. Great job!

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    4. I really like your video, Yolanda. Yes, indeed books are no longer the ONLY way to enjoy fiction and you've done a good job giving a brief introduction to Twitter Fiction. What stood out to me is when you said "every literary medium has some kind of constraint. Twitter is the latest restriction." I was thinking about how the word "constraint" and "restriction" seem to have a negative connotation but to me it doesn't have to be a bad thing. The restriction can help us be more mindful of our word choices and help us to write more concisely. What do you think? There can be so much power in just one word. I see this especially in Six Word Stories. I love the example you provided in your video. Your last slide is my favourite because it really is all about embracing "creative experimentation in fiction and storytelling."

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  3. It's hard to fully generate a true reaction to the stories when they have already passed through their 1st life cycle. I would argue that one had to be there when the story was released to truly be part of the transmedia experience of it. For example, the web series the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, at the time of its release, played out on YouTube to audiences who could also simultaneously get involved and watch the story continue outside YouTube and on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. The primary characters all had Twitter accounts and interacted with other characters and viewers. Viewers, or followers, had more of a feeling of hanging out with the characters as they went about their everyday lives. Each piece here fed into a cohesive arc and enriched the experience.

    In this sense watching the web series post release is somewhat of a one-medium output.

    That being said, the transmedia stories listed were a captivating and immersive way of storytelling that puts the reader in the passenger seat. Their multi-modal nature allows for more opportunity for readers to get drawn into the story by becoming a pseudo character themselves. Knowing that the work is unfolding and we have a hand in its direction makes the works that much more captivating to audiences.

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  4. Assignment C – Animoto Review Video

    Cross-Platform News

    https://animoto.com/play/A0mzgT1sIRP6ZHKLpkIGDQ

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    1. Jag, your video really drives home a lot of concepts from a Brand Journalism workshop I attended yesterday, like the necessity of immediacy. And not just immediacy in and of itself, but how photographs and video are absolutely intertwined in the storytelling process for journalists.

      Text can only go so far, and as "information snacking" has become the norm, writers really need to create content with a strong title and teaser and use visual elements that can be disseminated easily over various social media platforms.

      A really great video on cross-platform news!

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    2. Great job Jag. I liked the way the words came up on the side bar and how the music slowed down at one point and sped up. Also, is that your dog? Adorable.

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    3. Nice work, Jag! I think your content, images, and music go well together. It is true, people want to access information quickly and you provided a solution of going digital and cross-platform. The different art forms (video, text, audio, etc) compliment each other and gives a story strength.

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  5. Assignment C – Animoto Video https://animoto.com/play/NxSuRl16g6IgVkxIwsAE1Q

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    1. Found the video very entertaining. I liked how you added the text like the 1920 silent film. Good job.

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    2. Love the pastoral soundtrack & light hearted poetry juxtaposed with the "horror" images. Purposeful selection of images to align with words -- I like the last shotof him with "poor boy" below. Very whimsical -- makes me want to give him a hug.

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  6. My favorite readings were High-rise: Out of My Window, Inside Disaster and lastly, the Goa Hippy Tribe. Each of them were beautifully displayed on screen and gave me an inside look into people’s lives.

    I have honestly never seen or “read” works like this before our class. The only transmedia platforms I’ve encountered were the branding styles, example like: Disney with movies and character franchises afterwards. Having the audience interact with the stories we read in our modules, was a WOW, moment for me. Maybe, I have lived a sheltered life before EXSM3989.

    Inside Disaster was a pick your adventure type with an educational element. I found out as an Aid worker, even when you see such horrible sites, you cannot just give items away – there is logistics and procedures that better help people. I’m also horrible as a journalist, not concentrating on getting the story, but by looking after people instead got be fired.

    Lastly, Goa Hippy Tribe, love that I got my own backpack on this adventure and I’m now a member. It’s a community not a story. Funny, how they all hated the one platform that brought them (and all new members) together: Facebook.

    With all the readings I’ve done this class from inanimate Alice to Goa Hippy Tribe, I am not sure if I have read the whole narrative. We can never be sure if we have read the whole narrative with transmedia, it can be endless. I can go back and select different paths on how to read the stories. I can share it with friends who have their own opinions. Also, with such transmedia platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, the story can continue on with each character’s point of view, a background story and probably future serial series. There could be movies, blogs, vlogs, ITunes music sales or streaming TV shows. Maybe, in the future we’ll find out more about Brad in inanimate Alice? Anything can happen.

    I believe Jill Walker when she mentions disunity arises by which work unfolds at the same time as our reading. From her article, she touched in so many vast stories that were transmedia. Including Shelley Jackson’s Skin story. Where she asked for volunteers to tattoo on word on themselves to be photographed and put into a story line. Since this makes the unity of bringing people together, not by space or time – but still have the story tell in an interactive and imaginative way.

    The sticker project from Jill Walker’s reading came home to me. At my job, last year we created stickers for Alberta Culture Days kickoff event in Calgary. People were handed out stickers about the three day event every September in Alberta. It promoted interaction, people posted them on the hands and took Instagram pictures, they put them on clothing or other billboards – it increased exposure and had people go to our website and event listings for more information. When I read this part, it rang a bell, at the time – we didn’t realize we created a transmedia story. Allowing people to get or see the stickers/posters to check out our website with event listings, following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to engage with the event and tell their story why Alberta culture means to them.

    Stories unfold the same time as our reading are best described by the two sides mentioned on Module 6 Blog posting: Transmedia can only, one - begin at creating the story across many platforms and, two – building a cross-platform for audience experience. The audience is the reader, author and editor of the transmedia story. Readers are responsible to interpretation, to continuing or researching the back story.

    This has be truly a rewarding experience. Never thought that storytelling can be so imaginative and out of the box. I am excited to see what comes next after Web 2.0 with the world of storytelling.

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  7. Assignment C - Animoto Review Video by Diana Rhodes
    Born Digital Fiction - a new way of learning

    https://animoto.com/play/tDeSp1FC6lsv1YHaCN2ruQ

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    1. Cool vid! Music worked really well with apt visuals that really reflected the words being displayed. An excellent example of the parts that make up digital fiction and what the possibilities are, well done!

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    2. Excellent marketing piece for born digital fiction. You've nicely highlighted the benefits of the genre and provided an inspirational soundtrack to boot -- Fac of Extension could use this to promote the course!

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  8. I can’t believe I am only coming across some of these types of reading now! The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the only one that was familiar to other Youtube videos. All of the stories pushed me to have a more open and diverse mentality. The transmedia stories that I find most moving are Inside Disaster and the Goa Hippy Tribe!

    Inside Disaster was like a learning tool to me. I struggled with deciding who to be first; the journalist, survivor, or aid worker. I started with being a journalist and ended up getting fired. I really got into it and was fully present because it felt as though I was one of the main characters. It felt so real. I even got emotional. I doubt I could do well in a real disastrous situation. I couldn’t move on without trying out the survivor and aid worker. It was well done! Definitely my favourite narrative in this course.

    I also think the online documentary, Goa Hippy Tribe, was very interesting! As I was going through it, I could relate to the tribe with the feeling of being “hungry for discovery”. I just wanted to know more especially about each member. I didn’t get through the extras in my backpack but by the time I learned about the tribe members, I got what I needed. I loved it but there was just a little too much going on and it was competing for my attention and time. So no, I doubt readers can be sure of reading the whole narrative but It is okay because I am very pleased with the value I received from watching and learning about the individual stories. It goes back to the idea of the author(s) surrendering control over how the work is spread and even interpreted.

    The work/story really does unfold at the same time as our reading, like Jill Walker suggests. I love thinking that the reader can be seen as a partner in the storytelling! The participation and different perspectives helps us to better understand the story and our world. At the end of the day, this is all about connections, collaborating, and information sharing. Which allows us to be more unified despite the differences in mediums and people.

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  9. The link to my Animoto Assignment is below:

    https://animoto.com/play/VPNELAhu0bACWk1tUIZifQ

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  10. I was immediately sucked into "The Lizzie Bennett Diaries" -- I love the quirky characters, rapid fire monologue and choppy editing. While I've never "read" anything like this, it seems like a great way to get through what some might consider a heavy-duty book, particularly for a younger audience (and me, clearly). I think I may need to watch the whole thing now, which seems like the only way to know you've made it through the narrative. Skipping ahead in the series would leave you with an incomplete understanding of characters and some of the subtext.

    The "Inside Disaster" narrative unfolded as I progressed through the scenario, although I never did arrive at "the end," which is fitting for what must feel like an interminable experience. Like the people going through it, there is no way to "skip ahead" to a part that feels more palatable, or to know what happens next. Through the transmedia story I felt almost embedded in Haiti -- the camera's point of view, sounds, and voice over made the experience intimate.

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  11. Here's my video: https://animoto.com/play/IHutc14Gh6rBSAJUyyW09w. Alice got me thinking on the whole "inanimate" thing, and what it means.

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    1. Oh that was cute! Love the mix of pictures and drawings, and it made me think of Brad as well!

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  12. I actually followed The Lizzie Bennett Diaries as it was "airing," so it was awesome to see it listed as one of the readings! It's been a while since it ended now so it was neat to go back and refresh my memory on the story and all the neat types of transmedia the show used. I remember avidly following all the LBD twitter accounts, which would include fun behind-the-vlog conversations, interactions, and pictures. I also thought it was neat how the show branched out to include a side series featuring Lizzie's sister Lydia in order to fully explore her relationship with George Wickham. I imagine it must be different to experience this story for the first time now that it is finished -- while it is easy to consume the vlogs all at once, one after another, that loses the element of all the side accounts and conversations behind the scenes. There was also something very neat about following the story in real time -- knowing that you can't just jump ahead to the end because it literally hasn't happened yet. It made the characters feel much more real, and I know it made me more invested in what happened to them!

    I also really enjoyed the Goa Hippy Tribe documentary. It was neat to have the combination of videos and info sheets, and be able to jump around to a degree while the method of unlocking sections gave the experience some structure and guidance. The colours, music, and faded graphics really gave a feel of jumping into the past to experience the freedom of these people.

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  13. For my animoto video, I explored the use of twitter in The Lizzie Bennett Diaries: https://animoto.com/play/v8qQpIhElnFXfqidyybhxg

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