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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Smart Distinction from Paul Bennun: 'Transmedia' holds back storytelling (Wired UK)



"..."Programme" was a one-word user manual for radio listeners and producers. It still is: "television programme" describes that product with a simplicity and accuracy that is almost the perfect opposite of "transmedia" or "multiplatform". The first is a noun; the other two are -- at best -- bloody obvious in the 21st century.

These words don't consider the true nature of our new "programmes" -- the way in which their elements interoperate. Until we fix that, we can't describe what we do; what we do won't live up to its potential.

Where the defining characteristic of broadcast technologies are their one-to-many, linear dissemination of content, something designed to capitalise on the affordances of the network is neither. It's atemporal. It's inherently personalised. More importantly, the network is a huge machine for processing information. When we're using network technologies to the full, the elements in our services have an active relationship governed by logic...they're part of a system.

Consider SuperMe, a Channel 4 commission from my company designed to teach teens about happiness. You can't really call it a website, although it has one. You could call it a game, but that would reduce the importance of the video or the minigames when fulfilling their purpose as syndicated media.

So we propose the phrase "content system" as the digital analogue to "television programme". A system processes information and energy. It implies an active relationship between pieces of disparate content. It understands state. It has a purpose, inherently designed. It can include television, a mobile phone baked into a cake, actors in the street, Twitter or an app...."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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