The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Albert Einstein
In today’s connection economy storytelling is pretty much everywhere. Entrepreneurs use storytelling techniques to promote their businesses, prepare pitches and convince investors. Students use similar techniques to present their projects. Storytelling also plays a major role in Personal Marketing. Whether you are looking for a job or promoting your services as a small business, knowing how to tell your story is a valuable skill.
Storytelling is a fascinating subject. It reflects the times we live in, the people we meet, the way they communicate, the stories that inspire them. And techniques are evolving at a crazy pace with all the opportunities offered by smartphones, tablets and new technology.
If you read my posts on storytelling, follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you can imagine how excited I was to participate on September 27th to X|Media|Lab Switzerland’s Transmedia Pro Day Conference at the ECAL in Lausanne. During this event I had the opportunity to assist to the keynotes of some of the biggest names of transmedia in the world. Here is a short glimpse of the speaker list:
- Jeff Gomez, Transmedia producer of Avatar and Pirates of the Caribean
- Eric Huang, Interactive Publishing Pioneer
- Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives, Tribeca Film Institute
- Gianfranco Cordara, Publisher – Global Magazines, Comics and Partworks, Disney Publishing Worldwide
- Karine Halpern, Founder of Transmedia Ready and Transmedia Alliance – Paris
So what is Transmedia Storytelling?
First things first. Let’s start with a theoretical definition found on Wikipedia:
“Transmedia storytelling (also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies. It is not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises, sequels or adaptations”
In other words, transmedia storytelling is a technique that leverages current digital technologies to turn stories into experiences that can be delivered to different publics.
Active Audiences want experiences
When it comes to transmedia storytelling, it all started with evolution of audiences and the development of digital technologies. As Disney’s Gianfranco Cordara stated during his keynote: audiences have evolved. Not so long ago, people just watched movies or series, read books. They were “passive”.
Technology and social media have changed all that nowadays. Audiences want to interact with their smartphones , tablets or laptops. They want to be part of a story or a community. They want to engage with their favorite characters on Twitter. Active audiences want to live a unique experience they can relate to and share with their friends.
For Gianfranco Cordara the real challenge for creatives and marketers will be delivering one-to-one experiences based on engaging stories. To achieve this, transmedia producers must work today with teams of specialists coming from very different horizons (writers, publishers, marketers, web developpers) that have the skills to conceive stories and their experiences.
Keep on making great stories
Knowing how storytelling is evolving, a question comes to mind. Will technology prevail in the future over a good story? In my opinion, nothing beats a good story. Making a story so good people will talk about it, is still the best marketing. Just ask J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Now If you also have the technical and human ressources to reach your communities and deliver the experiences, just imagine what could be done. Time to create, tell and experience!
Don’t hesitate to check regularly this blog for more posts coming soon. Should you have any comments, do not hesitate to post them. I look forward to read them and join the discussion. See you soon :)