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Category Archives: Technology

Transmedia: The Amazing Website

An entire quarters worth of work has been summed up on my new website, Transmedia Evolution  (http://transmediaevolution.wordpress.com/). You can find information on the past, present, and future of Transmedia. You can also download my presentation, paper, and annotated bibliography. If you have any questions let me know. Thanks for a good quarter everyone!

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Transmedia Presentation

The following slide deck is for my presentation on Transmedia in Evolutions and Trends in Digital Media at the University of Washington. It may not make too much sense on it’s own. If you have any questions post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks!

 

How Government Broadcasting Stations can Provide a Benefit to Society

This week’s post will focus on The Media Monopoly, by Ben H. Bagdikian. Bagdikian’s thesis is that mass media will choose what is better for businesses over what is better for society. I agree with his thesis, and would like to expand on some of his ideas further.

My work experience has put me in an interesting position. I have worked in a government broadcasting station for about two years and have seen the direct benefit a taxpayer-funded station can have on the public. With unbelievably limited staff resources, we can produce programs that educate and inform the public. Bagdikian states that government funded stations

“live on the knife-edge of unstable political appropriations and conservative attacks. Most stay alive by endless efforts to raise their own money from subscribers, and are forced to run commercials that duplicate those on the commercial stations. As a result, a real spectrum of non-commercial radio and television in the United States has remained skeletal” (Bagdikian, 1997).

He couldn’t be more right.

Even though these public stations have remained “skeletal”, I believe they still have a chance to thrive. Because of the evolution of technology it has become much easier to produce content. What used to take weeks can now be done in hours with tools like Final Cut Pro. High Definition video can be recorded with a cell phone. We don’t even need to capture content from tapes because of SD cards with well over 100 gigabytes of storage. A relatively small staff can create content that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars ten years ago. Because of these changes, government funded stations can produce higher quality content for a fraction of the price.
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Transmedia Theoretical framework for Com546

Which Course theories best explain what has happened / might happen to Transmedia?

One of the best examples of course theory that pertains to Transmedia can be seen through Seeing What’s Next. In the book the authors explain that Undershot Customers are “consumers who consume a product but are frustrated with its limitations; they display willingness to pay more for enhancements along dimensions most important to them” (Anthony, Christensen, & Roth, 2004). People who engage with Transmedia are frustrated that they can only get a small portion of a story through one medium. They want the world to be expanded upon, and are willing to pay for comic books, video games, and other media that do that for them.

I may be able to use the theories of network effects to explain if a media property would benefit financially from Transmedia. If a show does not have that large of an audience, it may not be economically viable to create a Transmedia campaign for it. Some properties have a cult following where people create comics, video games, and other media for it. I will argue that while it may not be economically viable to create a Transmedia community, it can create a dedicated and engaged community.

Another course theory that explains how Transmedia provides a more engaging user experience is Fidler’s idea of Mediamorphosis. Transmedia is taking advantage of both social and technological innovations that have come along with Mediamorphosis. Socially, people want to dive deeper into their media. Technologically, the Internet has made it easier for the distribution of Transmedia stories across multiple platforms. I will use both Fidler and Henry Jenkins to talk about convergence culture.

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Transmedia Annotated Bibliography for Com546

This anotated bibliography will help explain how the future of media will be much richer and engaging through Transmedia storytelling.

Annotated Bibliography

Brooker, W. (2009). All Our Variant Futures: The Many Narratives of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Popular Communication, 7(2), 79-91. doi:10.1080/15405700802659056

The article focuses on Blade Runner, the cult science fiction movie. It goes into depth on how the franchise was able to reinvent itself multiple times through releasing alternate versions of the movie. It also compares Blade Runner to other Transmedia campaigns, including the Star Wars franchise.

The author, Will Booker, is a professor at Kingston University in Australia.

I will use this work to compare techniques in Transmedia storytelling. I will explore the way Blade Runner was able to change it’s narrative multiple times in comparison with Star Wars, where the story can never be changed.

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Reading Reflection: A Dark Future for the Internet

Even though the term “Tipping Point” might be overrated, it is a perfect phrase to explain the current state of the Internet.  We are moving away from an era where independent websites could compete against larger ones, to a time when the largest websites on the Internet take up the majority of users time online. In addition to taking up users time, the websites will also be owned by a minority of companies. The article I choose to focus on for this weeks post in Evolutions and Trends in Digital Media was: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, by Yochai Benkler. Benkler raised some interesting points, but one area stood out that needs further exploration. On the topic of the Internet, the author stated that “The Internet as a technology, and the networked information economy as an organizational and social model for information and cultural production, promise the emergence of a substantial alternative platform for the public sphere”, I believe he is right, but this idea needs much more examination.

The overarching theme from Evolutions and Trends in Digital Media (and the TV show Battlestar Galactica) is: This has happened before and it will happen again. It seems as if new technologies are likely to follow the pattern of those that came before it. In this case, I think that the Internet will provide an “alternative platform for the public sphere”, but it will follow the same pattern of media concentration that television, radio, and print did.

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Sci-fi, Technology, and Evolution

Science fiction is by far, my favorite genera of Entertainment. Dr. Who, Battlestar Gallatica, Farscape, Stargate, I’ve seen it all. The reason for my love of sci-fi lies in technology. The genera allows for an examination of what is possible with new technology, and by doing so, explores the positive and negative effects it can have on a species. Just as the cell phone was influenced by StarTrek, what we see today will be influential for the scientists and engineers of the future.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a Stargate, Sonic Screwdriver, or engineering degree, but I do have the ability to predict the evolution of technology.

This quarter in the Master of Communication in Digital Media program at the University of Washington, I am lucky enough to take Evolutions & Trends in Digital Media with Kathy Gill. Just as sci-fi allows me to imagine worlds of the future, this course will allow me to pursue my passion for exploring the future of technology. By analyzing technology’s past, present, and future, I will be in a position to help shape where it should go, and understand and explain why.

In addition to exploring the future of technology, I also have an interest in the production and distribution of online video. Over six years ago I started watching video podcasts like Diggnation and The Totally Rad Show. While watching, I realized that video had changed forever. Instead of watching programs when the networks told you to, you could make your own choice as to when you wanted to watch a program. Individuals could create their own content and bring in millions more viewers than many networks could ever achieve. The possibilities of online video inspired me to get into video production, and to also join the MCDM. I am looking forward to combining my passion for predicting the future of technology with my interest in online video.

*Tardis CC image by aussiegall

 

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