To create successful cross-platform story experiences, it’s important to understand there are two sides to the transmedia coin. Transmedia only begins at creating story across platforms; the other half is building a cohesive cross-platform audience experience. The two go hand in hand when building engaging, moving story experiences.
Several years ago, understanding that storytelling was evolving in a new media age, the visionary Lance Weiler made a shift in how he identified as a storyteller and he moved away from identifying as a filmmaker to that of a story architect.
“At one point I considered myself a film-maker but those days are long gone. I now consider myself something akin to a story architect, in the sense that the stories I tell encompass design, delivery and technology.” – Lance Weiler, 2009
As we build story experiences in this connected digital age, one side of creating story experiences is building story architecture and the other is building audience architecture. Like Lance Weiler, some storytellers are intuitively wired for 21st century storytelling and are able to simultaneously craft audience architecture within story architecture. Though many storytellers have not been trained to weave in the important element of audience engagement in building out story. That’s why many attempts at creating cross-platform (or transmedia) story experiences are unsuccessful. Creative talents who are amazing with story but have not been trained to build audience engagement into a story experience, would be wise to invite an audience architect to help guide them in building cross-platform audience strategies around their story world.
What does an Audience Architect do?
Designs and builds a seamless, cohesive audience experience across platforms that intertwines with story
Gets to know the audience via analysis of data, analytics and social behavioral patterns
Creates audience strategies that informs the creation of intentional story experiences aimed to involve, inspire and move the audience, thus ultimately building increased story engagement
Nurtures and grows the audience and story community throughout the life of the story experience
Becomes the audience advocate that brings the voice of the audience to the table during development of story experiences
21st century storytelling requires new talents to support the creation of successful story experiences that engage, move and build audiences. A key new role that has emerged is the need for an audience architect who can build a cohesive cross-platform audience experience around a story world.