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There is more than one way to be a Human

What is the Trans-Revolution and what does it mean about humanity’s current evolution in consciousness

by Nathaniel Hansen, CEO, The Socializers

“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. “Roman Fever” sets it.

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.”

The Global University

How does all of this relate to media, to the marketing world, to entertainment, to the socialization of business and the enterprise?

The NOW of TV

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. And 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)

IMAGES OF TRANSMEDIA: SAMSUNGTV and THE GEO-SOCIAL UNIVERSE.

HIGH LEVEL EXAMPLES: EXAMPLE 1 and EXAMPLE 2 and EXAMPLE 3

FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRANSMEDIA HERE: THOUGHT 1 ON TRANSMEDIA and THOUGHT 2

A LEADING TRANSMEDIA GROUP: ACCOMPLICE MEDIA and ANOTHER: STORYLABS

Co-creating transmedia communities

I am speaking at a conference later this week called Arresting Audiences all about identifying and reaching an ‘audience’. OK not a big fan of audience as the word here because we are paradoxically talking about the audience becoming ‘users and/or contributors’ but do you have other great examples? See below:

The focus of  many DIY type film/TV conferences of course is getting eyeballs onto a linear proposition and my two talks are ‘Talking to an Audience’ and ‘Small Screens Big Connections’ – the later co-presenting with Winter Mead and the Glee SuperFan experience and also featured speaker is Buffy/Dollhouse/Galatica/Torchwood writer Jane Espensen

I have written a lot about the layering of real properties & artists into social story and crowd collab eg: The Good Bad and Ugly of Artists moving into Social Media but in preparing my talk/s (which will be on slideshare immediately before) I have the usual suspects to talk about (listed below) where moving the story into the social network, making the story an experience or making the narrative more collaborative have resulted in building loyalty around the property but wondered if any StoryLabers have some other great examples or works they have been involved in that had astounding results – particularly not the zillion dollar budget experiences…

  • Hiro’s blog, 360 & Evolutions – Heroes
  • Fanisodes – L Word
  • Community Created Content – Mob Mentality, The Mongoliad, Lost Zombies
  • The Cosmonaut – Crowd Funded
  • Margenes blog – Grey’s Anatomy
  • Crowd Created Content – Radiohead, Imogen Heap, Life in a Day (Ridley Scott)
  • Character tweets – Madmen, The Event
  • Crossing Jordan blog
  • Dwights blog -The Office US
  • Natalies blog – Monk
  • Tracey Fragments, Two Fist One Heart – MashUps
  • One Life to Live
  • Salt – Facebook Connect
  • Bluebird ARG – ABC
  • Find 815 – Lost
  • Community as Cast – Redd Inc, Forget the Rules
  • MyGeneration Synch Social TV – ABC US
  • Paranormal / Blair Witch – Social web enigma
  • Being Jo Sapien
  • Social narrative – Trent Reznor, Savage Country
  • Social good – Conspiracy for Good
  • & a zillion other forumlaic ARGs 🙂

After presentation – For reference here is the final presentation and a long post here

Healing the Eco-system and the Human Soul

How Transmodern Leaders And Social Strategists Gave Golden Keys To The Most Valuable Online Community And Set Them Free To Usher In a New World

“If you had time, you succeeded in working the human mud internally and turning it into spirit.”— Nikos Kazantzakis

“You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go. ”
— Nikos Kazantzakis

INDIVIDUALS ARE DROPPING INTO SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE DEWDROPS INTO THE SEA: Social networks are a dynamic eco-system of individual minds, isolated communities and seemingly opposed ideologies melding into an increasingly ripened spiritual entity.

The whole of humanity is in a process of realizing the fantastic truth of Oneness, of what it means to be separate AND one, of that famous Buddhist saying about dropping like dew drops into the sea. Producing intelligence reports for major brands and media projects using listening AND social monitoring tools, I have regular experiences of seeing this phenomenon occurring over and over within multiple online communities.

AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE ONLINE COMMUNITY – THE CULTURAL CREATIVES: I am currently working on projects for a major film, e-commerce platform, several media-conglomerates, global dance collective and several luminaries who all market to/live within the Cultural Creative tribe. A defining characteristic of Cultural Creatives is the ability to see oneself as part of something bigger. CC’s see that everything relates as an interwoven piece of nature. The movement is a healing movement. A core desire amongst CC’s is for things to be made whole and for mankind to wake up to their true desires. The core values of Cultural Creatives include:

▪ Authenticity, actions must be consistent with words and beliefs
▪ Engaged action and whole process learning; seeing the world as interwoven and connected
▪ Idealism and activism
▪ Globalism and ecology
▪ The importance of women

THE COMMUNITY WITH GREATEST POTENTIAL IN THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE WEB:It is my firm belief that no community has more potential to activate the social web spiritually than the Cultural Creatives. I will say it again: leaders of the various sub-cultures within the Cultural Creative movement ARE the movers and shakers when it comes to being Innerpreneurs, those who capitalize on the soul of humanity.

THE GOLDEN KEYS TO THE CULTURAL CREATIVES: One of the most amazing words in internet marketing is “keyword” or “keyphrase.” As I have worked this week to produce a list of the top keywords or keyphrases for the Cultural Creatives and their various sub-cultures AND thought about their potential to potentiate global spiritual revolution and activism, I am realizing that these words are golden keys…keys to open vaults of spiritual material within this swiftly forming global Homo Universalis or Collective Polymath.

In keeping with this, some of the TOP “GOLDEN KEYS” to the Cultural Creative wealth (ACCORDING TO global monthly search volume) include:

Family (37,200,000)
Secret (16,600,000)
Crystal (11,100,000)
Therapy (7,480,000)
Yoga (7,480,000)
environment (5,000,000)
psychology (5,000,000)
stress (5,000,000)
relationship (4,090,000)
success (3,350,000)
motivation (2,740,000)
counseling (2,740,000)
wealth (1,500,000)
the secret (1,500,000)
meditation (1,500,000)
spiritual (1,220,000)
inspiration (823,000)
home health (673,000
)

HOW TO USE THE GOLDEN KEYS (KEYWORDS) TO ACCESS THE HEART OF A COMMUNITY: One of the world’s foremost social community and strategy architects, Brian Solis, writes, “Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless.” Every golden key above contains etymological, mythological, cultural and personal significance.

To create “meaningful and actionable social programs” a social marketer should consider delving into each of these disciplines AS A MEANS OF UNPACKING THE SECRET OF EACH KEYWORD AND KEYPHRASE. For a social strategy to find its seed in a set of keywords with HUGE POTENCY is the equivalent of possessing Jack’s magic beans that led to the giant’s castle in the clouds. Use keyphrases, their meanings and their histories to inform your understanding of the living quality of the WORD, the COMMUNITY, and the OVER-ARCHING CAMPAIGN PHILOSOPHY. At the root of every word, there is a god or deity…a living and breathing presence. Understanding words AS living and breathing presences transforms keywords from plain data into VIBRANT DATA, DATA WITH VITALITY!

AN EXAMPLE: THE OVER-ARCHING CAMPAIGN PHILOSOPHY FOR THE CULTURAL CREATIVE UNIVERSE AND ITS VARIOUS SUB-CULTURES

To find an overarching philosophy for guiding an online social campaign, I suggest discovering THROUGH the keyphrases KEY INFLUENCERS and studying their root philosophies. Since the MOST COMMON theme for Cultural Creatives IS weaving community together and holistic practices in all disciplines, I submit that a person who captures the essence of WEAVING THE HEARTS OF THE WORLD TOGETHER could be a perfect informer of a CULTURAL CREATIVE strategy.

A LEADER FROM THE FUTURE IN OUR MIDST: Ziauddin Sardar, perhaps one of the world’s greatest living Polymaths (Renaissance Person), has said ‘there is more than one way to be human’. He writes ‘I do not regard “the human” either as “the” or as a priori given’. ‘The western way of being human is one amongst many. Similarly, the Islamic way of being human is also one amongst many. The Australian aboriginal way of being human is also another way of being human. I see each culture as a complete universe with its own way of knowing, being and doing – and hence, its own way of being human’. The corollary is that there are also different ways of knowing. The question that Sardar has always asked is: ‘how do you know? The answer depends a great deal on who ‘you’ are: ‘how you look at the world, how you shape your inquiry, the period and culture that shapes your outlook and the values that frame how you think’. (Source)

Sadar is from a tribe of people known as the Transmodernists. As the social web enters a season of vigorous competition in the Transmedia space, bringing multiple technologies, software platforms and “walled gardens” (large AND separate communties like Facebook, MySpace, AOL and Yahoo) together, philosophers who speak like Sardar speaks will be increasingly relevant. The programmers and software developers who can weave Transmodernist philosophy into their conceptual process WILL win in today’s pluralistic world.

HOW DOES ONE WEAVE TRANSMODERNIST PHILOSOPHY INTO AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL CAMPAIGN:

Paul H. Ray’s summary of Transmodern culture informs a process, as follows:

1. LISTEN and DISCOVER THE LEADERS IN THESE FOLLOWING AREAS:

KEYWORD is ENVIRONMENT: Ecological sustainability, beyond environmentalism: If you can name an aspect of ecology and sustainability, they are emphatically for it, and are leading the way. Cultural Creatives demonstrate awareness of a large range of issues, including wanting to rebuild neighborhoods and communities, ecological sustainability and limits to growth, seeing nature as sacred, wanting to stop corporate polluters, being anti-big-business, wanting voluntary simplicity, being willing to pay to clean up the environment and to stop global warming.

KEYWORD is RELATIONSHIP: Globalism: Two of the top values for Cultural Creatives are xenophilism (love of travel to foreign places, of foreigners and the exotic) and ecological sustainability, which strongly includes concern for the planetary ecology and stewardship, and population problems.

KEYWORDS are WOMEN and FAMILY: Feminism, women’s issues, relationships, family: The fact that Cultural Creatives are 60 percent women is a major key to understanding this subculture. Much of the focus on women’s issues in politics comes from them-including concerns about violence and abuse of women and children, desire to rebuild neighborhoods and community, desire to improve caring relationships, and concerns about family (though they are no more family-oriented than most North Americans, it is near the top in their list of values).

KEYWORDS include SPIRITUAL, PSYCHOLOGY, HOME HEALTH: Altruism, self-actualization, alternative health care, spirituality and spiritual psychology: This is a complex of highly interrelated beliefs and values centered on the inner life. In reality, this is a new sense of the sacred that incorporates personal growth psychology and the spiritual and service to others as all one orientation. It also includes a stronger trend toward holistic health and alternative health care as part of this complex.

KEYWORDS include INSPIRATION, SUCCESS and MOTIVATION. Well-developed social conscience and social optimism: Contrary to some social critics, an emphasis on the personal does not exclude the political or social conscience, though individuals may focus on them in sequence. Cultural Creatives are engaged in the world just as much as in personal and spiritual issues. Rebuilding and healing society is related to healing ourselves, physically and spiritually. With that goes a guarded social optimism.

2. EACH OF THESE ASPECTS OF THE CULTURAL CREATIVE IMAGINATION IS A COMMUNITY WITH REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL. FIRE THIS IMAGINATION WITH AGGREGATED, CONTEST-DRIVEN, COMMUNITY-SOURCED ACTIVITIES USING EXISTING SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY.

Discover media, products, in-the-flesh activities/meet-ups/events, and delivery platforms currently used by these communties and AGGREGATE this content/software THUS harnessing ALL that this community is. THEN conceive and run contests and reward-based programs that DRIVE or ATTRACT this community toward the fulfillment of it’s “ULTIMATE GOALS”. Show through these contests how quick goals are being scored GLOBALLY and LOCALLY to achieve these bigger goals.

3. KEEP THE VIRTUOUS CYCLE GOING!

Announce the victories won and capitalize on these wins through positive PR and by raising up new leaders to foment successive, community-sourced campaigns. Community-sourced EVERYTHING is a HUGE aspect of the social web and knowing what your community’s NEED is the MARK of good leadership.

4. AND IF YOU NEED HELP FUNDRAISING FOR YOUR CAUSE, CHECK OUT THESE FANTASTIC WORLD-SOURCING TOOLS FOR DOING SO!

a. KickStarter
b. Giveo
c. Kiva
d. 8 Funding Contests for Jumpstarting your Big Idea!

Personalization of Transmedia Story

I am sure we have all been inspired by Chris Milk’s very personal and emotive The Wilderness Downtown (try it if you haven’t!) and I think as well as showing where we are heading in terms of the power of using ‘users’ digital footprint in transmedia storytelling it raised three other questions:

  • Firstly transmedia definition issues again –  The Wilderness Downtown is on a single screen but obviously uses multiple media & services (video, google street view, google maps etc) coming onto a single screen. Is this still transmedia? Who cares?
  • Secondly – Apart from the opening where you type in your home address everything else is pushed, canned but still has real emotional impact. New network member Andrea Phillips does a great post entitled Does Transmedia Have to be Interactive – posing the key issues about canned or pre-scripted transmedia vs more transocialmedia 🙂
  • Thirdly and most importantly – personalization, resonance, . We have seen plenty of services using twitter and facebook APIs to pull in a little of the users ‘story world’ into the main narrative arcs, are we going to see more of this?

Extending the third point – Going right back to the days of StoryLabs mentor Tim Wright’s Online Caroline in 1998 or so that picked up keywords in your email replies, through hundreds of other transmedia stories that integrated a ‘little’ of the user into the narrative (even at a superficial level such as the Doritos webcam your photo into serial killers lair element to 626) –  I think the power of mangling personal story with authored story is critical AND I know we all do this to greater or lesser degrees, but The Wilderness Downtown did something else, merged past and present and most critical for me there is a moment where you ‘typed’ a message back to the former ‘child like you’ – so a little bit of creativity and really gets you thinking about ‘who you have become’…

Did anyone hate it, see it as old hat and just a tech html5 demo? Or did others see something deeper happening?

How popular will ARGs become?

Doing some shopping yesterday and came across this stand in my local Target. Really surprised that you can now buy a box complete with dvd of TV shows, ready to upload faux company websites, control web dashboards for sms etc: and they had a big selection of ARGs too!

Boxed Alternate Reality Games!

So do we think given there is a fine line continuum between boxed after dinner party. murder mystery games all the way up to more ‘earthy’ subculture ARGs that this company ‘argbox’ will do well? Too much effort for the users, the ‘consumer’ puppet masters? Or might we one day see every second house playing self hosted ARGs in a few years time?

Thoughts?

©2018 StoryLabs
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