Week 1: Mike Plett response to reading/viewings

Social change through collaboration seemed to be the strongest theme connecting both the transmedia hangout discussion and the work being done at Scribe Video.

Although I’ve been living in a world of transmedia like everyone else, I’ve never heard of the term until this class. The concept of transmedia is still a bit fuzzy to me; however, I don’t feel so bad because each panelist in the hangout discussion seemed to have their own interpretation.  My understanding of the term is this: The plethora of communications tools at our disposal (such as videos, audio files, photos, text, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) allows us to tell stories through and across mediums. Since almost no one can master all of these forms, collaboration is an implicit part of transmedia. You don’t necessarily have to have social change as your goal to launch a transmedia project, but the ability to disperse a message or story so widely makes transmedia a powerful tool for social change.

Scribe Video allows groups that haven’t had much of a voice in the current media landscape the opportunity to collaborate on projects that can further social change. The folks at Scribe Video are using only one medium – video – to affect this change, but I suppose their videos are distributed through a variety of means – such as public broadcasting, DVDs, videos posted on the web – so they might be considered part of transmedia. (However, I know Professor Jenkins rejects multiple means of distribution as a form of transmedia).

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5 comments to Week 1: Mike Plett response to reading/viewings

  • oaldakhe@uoregon.edu

    Hey Mike. I can see that theme of social change as well through the reading and google hang out. But, do you think that transmedia can not be used as an informative meduim. I mean can it not be used to Just make people aware of something or know something without having them change or act?

  • dereky@uoregon.edu

    I think that the Precious Places videos are included in the transmedia discussion because they are collaborative efforts of a group of people. The collaboration idea confuses me a little. I think mainly about how a project is put together and the ways that collaboration and distribution is done (usually with technology). Can anyone help me understand the role of collaboration in transmedia?

  • natalieb@uoregon.edu

    As I understand it, Jenkins refutes the idea of transmedia being defined as just delivering media across multiple platforms. He considers that crossmedia. To be transmedia, you have to engage your audience in some way. I think of it as transcending the media to become an experience in some way for the viewer, causing them to act in some way, either online, in person doing something (buying something, writing a letter to a congressperson or acting in some other way, etc). I am not sure, but I think perhaps the content could be delivered via 1 medium and be considered transmedia if it engages the viewer/reader in some way to *become a participant,* or to act in some way. It transcends media by making the person not just a listener/viewer but a participant in some way.

  • natalieb@uoregon.edu

    I liken it actually to the word transgender, too. Part of the reason I think some people in the queer community like the word transgender is because they like the idea of transcending gender, of breaking out of the social construct of gender. Not just crossdressing, as in dressing up as the other sex, but transcending the whole thing. Breaking out of the whole jail cell that is gender.
    So I see transmedia as breaking out of the whole traditional construct of media as something that is delivered to you to consume and then be done with. It is more engaging than that.

  • summerh@uoregon.edu

    Natalie, I think you are really onto something here. The comparison of transmedia to transgender, and how it is breaking out of the social construct of gender, is brilliant. It really helps make a lot more sense of the word transmedia, especially after reading your comment of how to be transmedia means to become an experience in some way for the viewer.

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