“Transmedia is a fancy word for a simple concept: telling stories across multiple platforms.” ~”Heroes” Creator Tim Kring
A criticism of Transmedia really has a psychological/cultural issue at its core that involves fear AND requires a balance of compassion and harsh evolutionary movement/instruction. It is an issue that requires, as the motto of The Economist (a world champion of globalization) states, humanity “…to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” Monotheistic cultures often experience fear upon encountering polytheistic, trans-cultural, pluralistic perspectives and eco-systems. The fear of multiplicity within the psyches of monos is normal – like a child entering a large city alone. Again, the analogy is of a person from a small WASPy town in the MidWest entering New York, London, Paris, or San Francisco for the first time…or the Burning Man Festival. Or the complex and beautiful tapestry of a nation like India. A “Roman Fever” of sorts sets in for the mono.
Writers like Pico Iyer (Nowhere Man) and thinkers like the transmodernist Ziauddin Sardar (Mad World) understand very well the juxtaposition of mono and trans cultures. The fundamental principle of Sardar’s thought is that ‘there is more than one way to be human’. He goes on to emphasize the importance of “keep(ing) the future open to all potentials, alternatives and dissenting possibilities,” stating that, “…it is necessary to envisage alternative futures from different civilizational and cultural perspectives. Pico Iyer writes, “We don’t have a home, we have a hundred homes. And we can mix and match as the situation demands.”
How does all of this relate to media, to the marketing world, to entertainment, to the socialization of business and the enterprise?
In the February 2010 “Red Papers” document entitled Socialize the Business (handed out to Ogilvy staff), John Bell writes, “Word of mouth trumps most other forms of communication in its influence on purchase decisions and opinions.” Simon Clift, former CMO of Unilever is quoted in the document saying, “We may be ahead of our competitors, but we’re most definitely behind consumers.” Transmedia gives humanity truly fantastic, multiple channels for a blossoming of expression, interaction and monetization – all! We live in the age of the Polymath – all humanity is involved in rapid education of mind and spirit through the internet.
Much has been said about the transition the internet has taken from web and browser-based interaction with content to apps, gigantic communities like Facebook and MySpace, and alternative communication modalities like Skype and Facebooking vs. emailing. The evolution of the internet from the open web accessed via the browser INTO complex hanging gardens, walled sanctuaries and massive gated labyrinths reflects humanity’s boundless imagination and is an image of our collective psyche that cannot help but produce and re-produce.
Transmedia works horizontally through ALL of these environments. Tools like Avaaz, The Rosetta Project and The Conversation Prism all reflect the truth of a world that is truly transcultural, “trans-app-tual” and therefore in need of MORE transmedia content, apps and communities. The days of the rainbow are HERE NOW. Accordingly, the message to critics of transmedia, transculture and transmodernism is BE HERE NOW!
A SIMPLE DEFINITION OF TRANSMEDIA: “Transmedia,” “Heroes” Creator Tim Kring says, is a “fancy word for a simple concept: telling stories across multiple platforms.” (Source)