Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Transmedia and the Audience

The Audience. Your task? To get them to turn around, pay attention and invest in your content!
In a post in February I talked about what I saw as the ”Five pillars of transmedia”, the different types of people that need to work together to successfully develop, produce and launch a transmedia project. There was a sixth pillar as well, which was the Audience. This is what I wrote back then:
All of this |the five pillars written about earlier in the post] leads to one thing; the need to create a transmedia experience that will engage, excite, enable and enrich an audience. This, while all the people representing the five pillars above need to communicate fully and thoroughly with each other, communication which may or may not include the use of translators and glossaries to assist with the understanding. 
What it all boils down to is that everyone must strive to understand everyone else and open one's eyes to the possibilities and challenges that will arise. Or, rather, open one eye to possibilities and challenges, as the other eye needs to stay constantly fixed on the audience, ready to adapt, respond, re-develop and communicate. The audience is the foundation that all these pillars need to be grounded on, else we’ll just have a heap of rabble in the end. More on them in another post.

I’ve been having a number of discussions lately on this subject, transmedia and the audience. Here then, a brief post looking at some of the issues:

Experiences from an earlier life

I have a solid background in traditional media, newspapers, tv and a lot of radio. I still think I could do a three hour radio show without breaking a sweat (although my music selection might be a bit dated). When doing radio, the target audience becomes extremely important. I used to close my eyes and imagine the persons I was addressing my next speak to; listening to it afterwards, the voice changes, the wording changes, the whole persona changes – which is something that cuts through the static and reaches people.

The same goes for transmedia project, only here it’s not enough just to close your eyes and imagine an audience. Having done that, you need to research that audience, find out what they do, what they like, how they behave, how they connect, how they share, how they play and who they really are. This is, in parts, gruelsome work, especially in the beginning. But the more data you have, the more knowledge you have, the more you have to build on for future projects, and the more knowledge you have about what knowledge is actually necessary to focus on. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the need to target your audience.

The inactive audience

This is a mistake I still do, when I get too caught up in the whirlwind of creativity. Fact is that the major part of your project’s audience, be it on TV or online or wherever, will choose not to be interactive. So, when planning and developing and producing anything, you need to make sure this large part of the audience are offered a full experience even without interactivity. That is, you need to make a great show or a great project, that simply becomes EVEN GREATER if someone chooses to interact with it. I’ve seen quite a few pitches go haywire on this point, as the show might be good, but no one on the creative team could answer the question ”what do the people who don’t have an iPad do then?”. Think of everyone in the audience.

The active audience

That said, you will (hopefully) have an eager crowd participating and being active and interactive. In which way this happens is of course dependent on your project and what you have developed.  One thing I’ve learned (and heard in discussions with a number of other creators) is that you can never create too for too much interaction. If you’re aiming for an ARG or for interaction with characters or for exploration of the greater narrative, the audience – if your content is compelling and engaging enough – will always be quicker than you anticipated. As you’d ideally like to have an audience hungry for more, you need to create more in order to not have a sated (or even worse, frustrated) audience at some point. This in turn takes its toll on resources and manpower; one solution is to design for audience co-creation in a more open environment, but this needs to be incorporated from the very beginning of the development process. Or the project will be limited in scope and time, which ultimately will make it more of a one-off. Choices, choices… but as a rule, use transmedia storytelling methods to always create more than you think you have to.    

Harnessing in the long run

In the same vein, think about what to actually do with your audience. Be they silent spectators or active participants, they have still invested either time or effort or both in what you have created. Providing the experience was a positive one you’ll have a more or less devoted audience to engage with. Many projects, for practical, financial or other reasons, think of their project in the scope of what is at hand, nothing more. I’d argue that it pays off to think a bit further, from the outset. Yes, it is harder to think of your project as a two- or three-step rocket. Yes, it is very much difficult enough to create ONE good project and get it financed and produced. But at the same time, not doing so will mean you’ll have to play catch-up at the point when you HAVE an audience, and that audience is clamoring for more. 

Also, think about what else you’d like to use your audience for; perhaps you’d like to do research on a very specific target group? Perhaps you’d like to engage them in a charity or get exposure for a start-up or something else? If this is something you want to do, you need to plan for it from the beginning, so that it in some way sits naturally in the narrative and the story world; having the main character support UNICEF at some point will make it possible for you to champion UNICEF’s cause to your audience, for instance. Bottom line, think ahead (there are always painkillers for the inevitable headaches).

Respect without groveling

Finally, I think this is a point well worth remembering. The audience deserves our respect. This would in my book involve not hoaxing them, not stepping outside given ramifications, not exploiting them, not treating them like commodity. ”Do unto others” is a phrase that comes to mind. That said, there is no need to grovel; you have created something, of which you have all the right in the world to be proud. If someone else starts giving you a hard time over it, just give them a friendly reminder that they can go do something else with their time. Haters gonna hate, no matter what; don’t let it get to you. Sensible and constructive critizism on the other hand, THAT is something you should let get to you J.

Good resources

I’ll finish by stating, as a disclaimer, that the views above are from my limited point of view. There are many others with insights greater than mine, who discuss the importance of the audience, who explore the interaction with audiences in their work and who are great people to keep tabs on in this regard. Lance Weiler comes naturally to mind, as do Nuno Bernardo and Gary P Hayes.  I will post a follow-up with more resources later on.


Anonymous said...

agvnwyo [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] mkkauua yfwdlgt [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]gucci 財布[/url] qbbnrlb ilmzuxv [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] rnnjdzu uervlzc http://www.lovelovegucci.com/ グッチ アウトレット jdooepq huvkert http://www.gucciiget.com/ グッチ アウトレット uxcxngj seytimu [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ メンズ[/url] cqbgxsr ihguzdc [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] xjllfbp sfyprwy [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] nobtmvf raodnrc [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] tzihbfa brdejsi http://www.guccisprings.com/ グッチ 財布 メンズ trkpcup kteaben [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] gnnvqti apjkjmk [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ 財布 メンズ[/url] fruzirz eitjttg [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] cepxczo ywyxerb [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] efylnau xmcjmub [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] vjfkhbv uzmugpj [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ アウトレット[/url] bvkqau wcjidi [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] ymhwou mwsjmy [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ 財布新作[/url] dcupav rigkjw http://www.chloefind.com/ jfruly mckjsbw [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] stzncu rixbwt [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] mpoqek taibrw [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ アウトレット[/url] xwvjnc fphuzz http://www.chloe2013ss.com/ zphcsd
gowzdxr http://www.gucciiget.com/ グッチ メンズ ldsvjjk
ztbwxvz http://www.lovelovegucci.com/ グッチ バッグ foqoyir
nqibihx http://www.guccisprings.com/ グッチ 財布 メンズ zkzduyg

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS.
I don't know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS problems?
Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!


Here is my web-site: ミュウミュウ

Anonymous said...

I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

my web page www.toryburchoutletshop2013.com

Anonymous said...

This paragraph gives clear idea designed for the new users of blogging, that genuinely how to do running a

my homepage :: http://www.chloeoutletshopx.com/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for any other wonderful article. Where else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect way of writing?
I have a presentation subsequent week, and I'm on the look for such info.

Also visit my web page ミュウミュウ

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

Also visit my web page トリーバーチバッグ

Anonymous said...

After looking into a few of the articles on your
blog, I honestly appreciate your way of writing a blog.
I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking
back in the near future. Take a look at my web site
as well and tell me what you think.

Here is my homepage トリーバーチ財布

Anonymous said...

Useful information. Lucky me I found your website accidentally, and I'm stunned why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

my web site :: interactus.com.ar

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why
waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Feel free to surf to my blog: chloe バッグ

Anonymous said...

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.
I am attempting to find things to improve my website!
I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

My web-site ... クロエ店舗

Anonymous said...

Marvelous, what a web site it is! This web site provides useful information
to us, keep it up.

Take a look at my page コーチバッグ

Anonymous said...

Hi, Neat post. There's an issue along with your web site in internet explorer, would test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good element of other folks will leave out your wonderful writing because of this problem.

My web blog :: ミュウミュウ新作

Anonymous said...

Good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon).
I've saved as a favorite for later!

Feel free to surf to my homepage クロエ店舗

Anonymous said...

Hello, I think your website could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues.

Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it
looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some
overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up!
Besides that, excellent blog!

My weblog - クリスチャンルブタン

Anonymous said...

Keep this going please, great job!

Also visit my website: トリーバーチ靴

Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to
my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Also visit my page トリーバーチ靴

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable to pay a visit this web page and reading the views of all mates on the topic of this post, while I am also keen of getting familiarity.

my blog :: コーチ 財布

Anonymous said...

Wοnderful gоoԁs from you, man.
I havе haѵе іn mind youг stuff pгіor tο and yоu аre just tоo mаgnificent.
I rеally like what you hаve obtained right hеrе,
гeally like what you aгe stаting and thе wаy in
which wherein you say it. You make it enteгtаinіng anԁ уou stіll cаre for tο ѕtаy it
ѕensіble. ӏ can't wait to read much more from you. This is actually a tremendous site.

Also visit my weblog ... http://crearfacebook.weebly.com/

Anonymous said...

Нi thеre eѵerybody, here every one iѕ
shаring thеsе famіliaritу,
therefore it's fastidious to read this website, and I used to pay a quick visit this website daily.

Here is my website ... Abrir cuenta facebook

Anonymous said...

The Sims FreePlay Cheats Several avid gamers really feel so tricky to get prosperous with actively playing
this specific game. And so many of us maked something which
will help you then become prosperous ingame.

It is possible to obtain endless details in addition to simoleons that happen to be essential without
having donate your dollars.

Anonymous said...

Saya juga baca artikel dari kakak mengenai :
obat vimax original
masalah seksual yang sering dialami pria
cara membesarkan mr p

John said...

pandora charms outlet
moncler coats
michael kors outlet store
mulberry handbags
polo ralph lauren outlet
basketball shoes
coach factory outlet online
ralph lauren sale
hermes bag
ugg outlet