The Profit of Transmedia

Henry Jenkins (2007) defines transmedia storytelling as ‘a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.’ Each medium that partakes in the transmedia process adds to the story.

In my own (simpler) words, transmedia is one story that is scattered over many channels. Each narrative can stand-alone, though contributes to the wholeness of the story. This concept has made industries, such as the film and television industry, very wealthy. Jenkins describes the way transmedia storytelling adds to the ‘economies of media consolidation… or “synergy”’. Media companies hold interests across a range of industries, such as books, comics, games and movies. Each provides the consumer with an enhanced experience of the full story. For an example of how Marvel has utilised transmediality for the success of The Avengers, check out this blog.

The media industries are not the only ones that utilise transmediality. With the evolution of technology, more marketing channels are emerging, and businesses are using the principle of transmedia to promote themselves, with Pinterest allowing great success for many brands. Pinterest has been utilised alongside Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites to tell different aspects of a business’s story. For example, the Martha Stewart brand includes magazines a website and several product lines. The brand has recently joined Pinterest with enormous success. With a Martha Stewart profile and a Martha Stewart Living profile, combined the two have more than 174 boards and approximately 23716 pins, which has earned a following of 798,700 people. Each medium compliments the Martha Stewart brand. Each medium that is utilised by a company can contribute to the overall story that it is trying to tell to its customers, or potential customers.

The Martha Stewart Pinterest page

The concept of ‘transmedia’ can be tricky to fully comprehend, however, I have found that One 3 Productions’ explanation makes the concept easier to understand.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 3.37.25 PM

Reference List

Henry, J 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, weblog post, March 22, 2007, viewed April 28, 2014

Moore, C 2014, BCM112 Convergent Media Practices: 2014 lecture notes 15th April 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 1, 2014.

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Leave…Miley…Alone!

As a previous virgin-blogger, this exercise has been an incredible learning journey; one guided and inspired by the blogs of my peers. I have learnt a lot about blogging, as a new style of writing, communicating… and venting, from my fellow classmates such as Mitch Churi and Anna Bowen.

Interacting with the blogs of others has also helped cement my understanding of the topics we cover each week. Week after week we cover so much content and touch on so many ideas that it is interesting to read the interpretations of other BCM110 students.

So to finalise my BCM110 blogging journey, I present to you, this week’s post.

A Parody of the original, ‘Leave Britney Alone!’ by Chris Crocker

Stanley Cohen describes a societies tendency to delve into periods of ‘moral panic’ (Cohen, 1972). Of late, there has been this moral panic relating to children and the media, in particular, centralised around the notion of the sexualisation of children. So, cue Miley Cyrus? For years, the child star was seen as a respectable role model for her young fans. But as a young woman, she has tried to cut all ties to her adolescent life, exemplified in her very sexualised MVA performance alongside Robin Thicke. On a relatable note, The Young Turks present an oppositional, ‘blasé’  view of Miley’s performance, which I found funny and relatable to my own opinion.

For me, the issue with Miley’s performance was not her actions but the complete neglect for her young, impressionable fans.

I’m not a huge Miley fan, but I don’t believe that a 20-year-old woman should be held accountable, for everyone else’s issues. My studies over the past few weeks have only confirmed my belief that the media, and its contents should not be held solely responsible for all of society’s mistakes.

This is the key concern, I feel, for children and their interaction with the media- that they are impressionable. When you are impressionable you are easily exploited. Children raise such a panic because they are seen as a target for exploitation. But is it always the media that is doing the exploiting? Programs such as Toddlers and Tiara’s (a guilty pleasure of mine) show that parents are willing to use the media to exploit their own children for a profitable gain, even against the child’s own will.

This blogging exercise has been an amazing starting point to my Communications and Media studies journey- not only building on my current beliefs, but also opening my mind up to new opinions and concepts, which will be developed upon as my studies continue.

References

Cohen, S 1972, Moral Panics

Hidden Between Beauty Products and Sex Tips

Friday night, as I waited for my Sydney-bound plane to take off, I flicked through May’s issue of Cosmo magazine, admiring the fashion and beauty, until coming across an article about the affects of birth control pills, The Pill: A Health Warning We Haven’t Been Getting.

The Pill: A Health Warning, from the May, 2014 issue of Cosmo

The Pill: A Health Warning, from the May, 2014 issue of Cosmo

The article brought light to the health complications that have arisen in users of the contraceptive pills, Yaz and Yasmin. Approximately 200,000 Australian take this form of contraception every day; around 700 of which have claimed they have suffered blood clots, heart attacks and strokes from taking the Yaz or Yasmin pills (Mayoh 2014). Articles such as this would create a serious discussion among the women that take that pill or similar brands, the Bayer Australia company (creators of the Yaz and Yasmin products) and among medical professionals.

After reading the article, I have been flicking through some of my older issues, to search for serious articles nestled in amongst the fashion ads and sex tips.

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In the January, 2013 issue an article recounting the abduction and abuse of a young woman, gives readers (also young women) tips on how to stay safe and avoid getting into a similar situations.

The international Cosmopolitan magazine exists in the mediated public sphere, as a compilation of fashion, gossip, beauty and sex articles. However, between the pages filled with beautiful clothes and stunning models lies serious articles, with the purpose to inform and educate the reader. These articles engage an audience that is not typically targeted by the Current Affair-style programs. The feature writers, editors and editorial coordinators of Cosmo are young women, so they know how to relate to and engage their readers, as they are their peers. These articles are also presented in a form and forum that allows for debate in the public sphere. Readers are encouraged to write in with their experiences and opinions, but in a less formal way, it creates discussion between readers; women such as myself and my friends who draw on articles as stimulus for conversation.

Reference List

Mayoh, L 2014, ‘The Pill: A Health Warning’, Cosmopolitan, May 2014, pp.64-65.

McGuire, A, ‘”I Was Abducted On My Way Home”‘, Cosmopolitan, January 2013, pp.68-71.

With Great Produsage Comes Great Responsibility

In the online environment, participants are no longer just passive spectators, rather they are participating in the content they consume; ‘they are productive users, or produsers, engaged in the act of produsage’ (Bruns, 2007). Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all examples of a social media platforms that encourages produsage.

The activity on Pinterest conforms to Brun’s four key characteristics of produsage, the first involving an organisational shift towards open participation. The more user’s participate the better quality the content becomes; through examination, evaluation and contribution (Bruns, 2007). The second characteristic of produsage is the fluid movement between roles (Bruns, 2007). There is an interchange between the role of the producers of content and the consumer’s of content. Pinterest users are able to consume and engage with what other users have posted, pinned and liked, but are also able to post, pin and like, their own content. The third characteristic is that the platform remains unfinished (Bruns, 2007). Pinterest’s content is continuous; the platform’s content can always be added to or edited, but this is dependent on the activity of the users. The fourth characteristic of produsage is that it is permissive and participatory; ‘participation in produsage projects is generally motivated mainly by the ability of produsers to contribute to a shared, communal purpose’ (Bruns, 2007). In this case, social media sites, such as Pinterest, are the ‘shared communal purpose’; without the activity of the users, Pinterest would be lifeless.

When given the opportunity it is amazing how much people are willing to contribute to their social media. From gym check-in’s to #foodporn, people who participate social media sites are still engaging in produsage.

Source: Truus Heremans, 2014, obtained from Avalon Hope's BCM112 blog

Source: Truus Heremans, 2014, obtained from Avalon Hope’s BCM112 blog

With the age of social media, it is clear that there is something to be said for user-participation and produsage in the media that we consume. People want to engage in their media because it gives them a sense of power to have their opinions and ideas voiced to the world, such as citizen journalism– even if those opinions and ideas are not the greatest. So if you are an active participator on social media platforms- you have the power… use it wisely.

Reference List

Burns, A 2007, Produsage: Key Principles, producage.org, viewed 10 April, 2014, <http://produsage.org/node/11>