The art of predicting the future

The Scrying Ball. I wouldn’t mind one myself!

I’m a habitual blogger. When I feel I have something to share that might be of use to someone else, I write a blog post about it. Most often it is something rooted in something I’ve attended or some project I’ve been working on and challenges and solutions I’ve encountered while working on it. Sometimes my predictions come true, sometimes not. I’m relieved, though, to find an interview with me done a couple of years ago resurfacing now, and me not disagreeing with almost anything I said back then.

The interview was about brands and transmedia, and my main points still hold true – I firmly believe that brands and transmedia storytelling methods is a very good match. The needs of a brand is to create a strong identity that people can connect to, engage with and feel loyalty towards. What transmedia storytelling methods offer is precisely that – the possibility to create the story world of the brand, the key characters, values, history and innovations, and put them all in context to support each other. Perfect match, as it were.

The one point where I feel I missed out in the interview was in the very last answer, regarding the future. It was a case of of the classic Bill Gates quote again – “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

The question was about where I felt transmedia would be in the year 2015. I confidently answered:

I belive the term ”transmedia” in itself has become largely redundant. This, I believe, will be due to the fact that almost all media content are built according to transmedia storytelling methods and principles, which serves to make it the new ”media”, without any need for the distinction of ”trans-”.

So, in 2015 I believe we’ve come so far as storytellers, producers, creators and audience members, that most if not all projects take all platforms into consideration from the very beginning of a development process, utilizing the ones that make the most sense within the scope of the project, planning for audience engagement and for the long run, and executing it all in a very orderly fashion.

The term will apparently still be bandied about in 2015, by an ever increasing amount of professionals from a number of different fields. It’s meaning will continue to evolve, carrying with it different connotations depending on context and people involved.

The trends – in marketing, in the TV business etc – are going in the right direction though, with regards to the second paragraph above. Most campaigns or productions are created with a multiplatform angle in mind nowadays. ”Audience engagement” is a buzz word to rival ”transmedia”. Still often lacking though, is the coherence that arrives when utilizing the methods provided by transmedia storytelling, to have all the different narrative strands and engagement points ground themselves thoroughly in a common story world and support each other fully. We’re not there yet, but I very much believe we soon will be.

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