Checklist for creators – are we really doing what we should be doing?

choices

In my podcast series “Evolving Media” (yeah, my imagination didn’t reach further than just taking the name from this blog and using it for the podcast series as well… but hey, why change a winning concept?) I’m privileged to be able to chat with some of the brighter minds in the media sphere to talk about where the world of media is heading and why.

In my last episode I had a talk with Houston Howard, who was at the same inaugural Storyworld conference as I was attending in San Francisco back in 2011. For me the conference, the keynotes, the topics and the people involved were all huge eye-openers; the world of transmedia was enticing and alluring, the possibilities seemed endless, the future as bright as anything.

I was reminded of those days when I talked with Houston last week. He has a pragmatic outlook on the creative and content industry which I find resonates with me quite strongly. Back in 2011 we were all about the possibilities that new technologies and new audience habits could give us. That’s still the case, but an entrepreneurial mindset has become increasingly important as a part of the skillset creators today have to equip themselves with.   

The conversation with Houston made me draw up an outline for a checklist to mirror projects against. I thought I’d share it here as well – my goal would be to have a checklist for any new project you’re instigating or becoming a part of, to be able to correlate it with anything and everything else you could be doing, and make rational choices regarding what direction to take the project in. As it now stands, it’s a simple enough list, so I welcome thoughts and ideas regarding it as I’ll continue to evolve it – have a look:

  • GOALS:
    • What is my goal with the project? Is it experimental, is it a learning process, is it something that will bring revenue, is it something that will build my or my company’s brand, is it something that will assist in outreach, is it something else?
    • Is it multiple things, and is it different things for different partners in the project – and if so, do the different goals support each other or do they clash?
  • TRANSMEDIA:
    • What are the transmedia possibilities of the project?
    • What is the world the core story resides in and what other stories can rise from it, and on what platforms?
    • Which should be considered core platforms, taking the target audiences, the possibilities of revenue and the skillset of the crew into consideration?
  • DEMANDS:
    • What are the demands on me and the rest of the creative team?
    • What do we need to know, who do we need to collaborate with?
    • Will the time and effort put into the learning process be something that is of use to me and us in the long run, or is it specific to this project only?
    • What are the technical demands and do they make sense, taking all other things like revenue and competence and audience habits into consideration?
  • AUDIENCE:
    • Who can we target and how can we engage with them over a longer period of time?
    • What interactions will constitute a logical part of our overall offering and support the other parts of the project in the best possible way?
    • How can we validate their interaction and foster organic loyalty and engagement? 
  • REVENUE:
    • What are the revenue possibilities of the project, with platforms, target audiences and scope taken into consideration?
    • What demands do such possibilities put on us and on the project?
  • LONGEVITY:
    • Is this a project I can see running for a long time?
    • What demands would that put on the project? What demands would that put on me?
    • Is this a project I can see myself involved in in the long run?
    • Is it possible to hand it over to someone else?
  • VIABILITY:
    • Overall, taking all things above into consideration, is this a viable project?
    • Will it stand out as unique and be able to take on competitors in the field? Will it get traction, vitality, eyeballs?
    • Are the demands on me greater than the possible rewards in the end?

Every project I’m working on – if I can find credible and logical answers to all the questions above, that do not lead me to question said project – I would tend to believe to be a viable and feasible project worth pursuing. Let me know what you think – sound off in the comments!

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