For the past three days, I’ve been at StoryWorld, the first Transmedia Conference put on by FW Media. I was there to speak about Wattpad and some of the projects we’ve been involved in, but also to see what other people were working on.
Transmedia is a small industry and I don’t want to repeat a lot of what has already been well summarized, but some of the most interesting topics and conversations to me are summarized below:
The opportunity for popular IPs drew quite a bit of excitement from attendees and the concern over ownership and copyright was at the forefront of discussions. In general, I found that the tone was cautious, rather than creative, which I think is a real lost opportunity.
A great resource on the legal issues in transmedia projects can be found on Simon Pulman’s transmythology blog.
After growing a community and creating interest around a transmedia world, many of the panels and questions were about what to do when your project was over, ran out of money, etc. The consensus was that story world creators needed to be loyal and remain authentic to their communities. Passing responsibility to the participants is one way to continue projects past their expiration dates and in some cases, improve upon them.
Partnerships are essential to transmedia projects, as many of the panelists shared. It is impossible to be an expert in all areas and by working with others, you create more entry points and expand your audience. One concern with partnerships is how to create consistency across channels with the presence of multiple co-authors. Responses varied; but knowing your audience stood out as the most obvious path to overcome this obstacle.
The Little Guys
Because transmedia is such a small field, there is often a focus on large projects produced by big names and with established brands. At Story World, attendees came from all corners of media: advertising, print, gaming, broadcast, publishing and others which suggested that more content creators are exploring this space and putting out successful and net-native projects.
A huge thank you to Alison Norrington for putting together such an amazing event.
Wattpad Meet Up
On the Sunday before Story World began, we held our first meet up in San Francisco. It was a blast to meet so many Wattpadders and hear about all of your stories and what you’ve been reading. Thanks to everyone who came!