Adapting ‘Power to the Pixel’ strategy to give ‘Power to the Publisher’?

OK – so my first post AND it’s nearly a fortnight late… but here goes…

Intrinsic to my PhD research on ‘Emerging Platforms for Writers, Fragmented Interaction & Pervasive Media‘ is a 360 view of how stories are being told, fragmented, distributed and received.  Which, of course, keeps me super-busy!

As advertising agencies are using story to sell – http://www.jawbone.tv/news/1-news/286-can-storytelling-create-better-products.html and story-specific ad agencies (http://www.storyworldwide.com/) are using story in far more innovative ways (and to potentially larger audiences) than publishers could possibly reach, it seems that the time for ‘shake-up’ is breathing right down traditional book publishers necks.    HBO’s Cube is a multi-dimensional experiment, fragmenting the film into more than 35 scenes each presented from four angles – a concept that is still, perhaps, being organically grown, and could be a couple of years away,  from a book publishers perspective.

Attending Power To The Pixel at the British Film Institute in London I was interested to see how I could adapt ideas for funding, production & distribution tactics to my own project – a transmedia romcom story with webcam video, product launch and additional iPhone and mobile gaming elements.  Over the next few posts I’m going to attempt to fragment and analyse theories discussed there and see how they could possibly adapt to help my project…

I’ll be looking at quotes from producer/director and CEO and Co-Founder of IndieFlix.com, Scilla Andreen –

  • ‘New media’ is no longer ‘new’, it’s now ‘expected’!
  • ‘Old media’ is only ‘‘old’ only by contrast – ‘territory’ and ‘rights’ are tying down distribution

Ted Hope, film producer and partner of http://www.thisisthatwebsite.comwho itemised the “6 pillars supporting cinema” which were content, production, discover, promotion, participation and presentation – and how only 2 of these are currently being optimised

Christy Dena’s clever insights into Story Bible – a concept of ‘mapping’ how and when transmedia elements appear – and more importantly WHY.  (This, I believe, is an essential addition to the traditional synopsis and 3 chapters that publishers traditionally like to see from authors)

and Brian Newman’s fascinating speech about freemium models – in a world of ‘free’ – ‘What Will People Pay For’.

So, welcome to everybody, I hope we can have some interesting and thought-provoking conversations here.  As a researcher, I don’t claim to know everything (or sometimes even anything!) but I’m hoping that by sharing what I’m learning we might break down some barriers….

Alison.x

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9 thoughts on “Adapting ‘Power to the Pixel’ strategy to give ‘Power to the Publisher’?

  1. Perhaps this is a compensatory attitude, but I have thought for a long time that the distinction between ‘media’ and ‘new media’ is irrelevant from the angle of originality, engagement and artistic quality. The fact that new media may be ‘expected’ in certain quarters is perhaps a catch-up – a reflection on its rather late acceptance into the critical canon, despite the fact that creative people have been working with technology since the 70s or even earlier, and (for instance) much ground-breaking work before even 2003-4 went largely unrecognised. I hope we can move into territory where the various kinds of media fall into the background and the artistic quality of the work becomes the prominent issue. Perhaps then, ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ will then co-exist without being categorised by their medium of delivery.

    • Hi Dave. I completely agree with you. To define experiences as ‘new media’ as we approach 2010 is shining the spotlight in the wrong direction, focussing on the fact that it’s ‘new’ rather than to engage and accept the work as it stands. As long as ‘new’ media is being bandied about perhaps it is placing a barrier between true convergence – where ‘trad’ and ‘new’ will hold hands and co-exist seamlessly. I feel the same about discussions that begin with ‘the future of….’ (insert medium of your choice here.) Was there ever a debate about ‘the future of records‘? (genuine question – if anybody knows the answer? I appreciate that iTunes didn’t happen overnight, and when cassettes and CD’s began to show their face there was confusion about the longevity of vinyl, but ‘the future of…..’ focusses on the medium of delivery rather than the experience). I agree that we should lose the distinction between ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ – perhaps to label a piece of work/project as ‘new’ media could be offputting in a commercial sense and may prevent readers/listeners of ‘trad’ from even taking a look.

      • The ‘future of records’ is a good example! ‘Future of’ statements often refer to technologies that already exist but aren’t widely adopted, with the suggestion that they are likely to become ‘normal’ in the not-too-distant future. The degree of evangelism in the forecasting – or lack of it – is a good measure of the anxiety of being ‘left behind’. But the word ‘new’ implies an urgency that isn’t warranted in the creative realm (which is why it appears so often in advertising).

  2. Because it is the kind of question that newspapers love to stamp on their articles (which means the same thing as “who cares if the future is even like that?”). The future is what we plan (ok, let a small portion to the unpredictable). You touched on the fundamental point. We believe in the future based on what we know from the past. Take the book, for example. The Amazon Kindle (and ebooks) represents very little or nothing of redefining the book (it’s the same packaged object with “closed” information between covers). Since April, I implement a project [http://www.teleread.org/2009/04/08/the-twitterization-of-santos-dumont-numero-8/] that attempts to assess the social networks as possible environment for the creation of narratives. A novel that I published in 2006 (on paper) is the object of the experiment. I dissected the history in artifacts and part goes to Twitter, and for Blip.fm, youtube, etc, including aspects such as machine translation (because I’m from Brazil and we speaks Portuguese, but my readers, I believe, are everywhere in the world). The central site is at http://santosdumontnumero8.com.br. I really enjoyed your blog, Alison, congratulations! I wish success in your research. I’ll pass by here whenever I can.

    Best regards,
    Claudio Soares
    http://twitter.com/cssoares

  3. Good to finally see another PhD student in my area! I’m looking at a similar topic – multimodal stories (print and digital). Looking forward to Reading your thoughts on the topic, and would love to chat.

  4. Hi Alison! It’s good to see you really getting going. Such a lot to think about – my hope is that, as other people have said, we can find ways to ‘keep the story central’ and use the various media to enhance and enrich it. (But as you know, I’m an old-fashioned old thing!)

    • Hi Jo – thanks for your comments.. The story is key and you’ve nailed it by saying that we need to use various media to enhance and enrich, and I believe they’ll only work if they’re relevant to the story AND to the platform! xx

  5. What if ‘the story’ is not something previously defined? Better: what if even there is a default version (the author’s version) the story is only one possibility from the combinatory of elements presented to the reader, with which he/she will mount his/her story-experience? I believe stories in the near future will be defined as memory + imagination + software (algorithm + data structure). Best!

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