Thursday, April 21, 2011

Transmedia Ecosystem 01: The Medium and The Message

May 2008
It took just a few months of being Botgirl to realize that avatar identity can extend far beyond Second Life. The image on the right was my first attempt to visualize the play of identities across social networks, blogs and media sharing sites.

As you can see, my initial interest revolved around who and where. Although sites specializing in specific mediums like graphics or video were depicted, the focus was more about audience and identity than form and content.

Over the past year or so, I've started to play around with channeling a particular creative concept through different mediums. One of my first experiments in that direction was the TweetStory. The idea was to tell a story one tweet at a time at a pace of no more than two tweets per hour. There were many interesting challenges. For instance, each tweet had to be interesting on its own right since the majority of followers wouldn't be reading them all in sequence.

The next link in the transmedia chain was blogging. I consolidated each day's tweets into a blog post, giving readers a page at once versus a tweet by tweet rendition. The content was identical, but the reader's experience was very different.

Finally, I translated the first five tweets into comic panels. I intentionally used very surrealistic visuals to illustrate how dramatically a new medium can shift meaning.

Here are the first five tweets in text. Please try to imagine what it would be like reading a few of them over the course of a day on Twitter:
I came to consciosness as if in a dream, looking down on a massive brute raping a woman bound face-down on a stone floor. 
"I own you now, you fucking RefuV," he panted as he magically flipped the slender captive onto her back like a puppet on a string. 
I felt strangely detatched peering down from about twenty meters above. Then suddenly, I shifted into that poor girl's POV. 
"You can't escape that way," he sneered. "I control your fucking camera." 
Damn! That "poor girl" must be me.
Here are the comic pages:






The next post on this topic will discuss a more recent transmedia workflow I've been having fun with.

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