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A voice for opinions

Mar 4, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Having worked in Community Radio for 6 years, I’m so aware that audience engagement can be fleeting. Unless you grab their attention, then they’re on to the next thing.

Beautiful art and creativity is great, but there is a reason that most people don’t engage with it: They think that it’s not for them.

I did a week on newdesk at the Bournemouth Echo some years ago and know that even in daily papers information has to find a level at which people want to engage with it. So, I’m off to create a character who will bridge the gap between the high brow and the everyday. Someone that people will instantly love to hate. Someone that can make the content of the project appertising. Someone that will start to give shape and form to concept.

This is going to be fun 🙂 This is writing. This is creative.

Not all of the group is convinced, but I have a dream and some inspiration!

‘Sofalising’ the new Socialising?

Mar 3, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Today’s media thought is brought to you courtesy of Opinium research who reveal that:

  • More than a quarter (26%) of people spend more time communicating with friends online than in person
  • One in 10 (11%) adults is more likely to stay in at the weekend and catch up with friends online than go out to meet them in person
  • People use 11 different methods of communication with friends and family each day, including the likes of SMS, Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging.

See what the Daily Mail had to say about the phenomena:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327608/Why-socialise-just-stay-home-sofalise-Why-staying-new-going-out.html

Add meaning not media

Mar 2, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The old adage too many cooks spoiling the broth, could be applied to Transmedia practice. In other words if you over egg your cake, speaking metaphorically here of course, then perhaps your message will be too difficult to digest leaving the audience wondering what on earth you are talking about.

We are now faced with “Prosumers”, so an audience that can produce as well as consume. In the introduction to Rethinking the Media Audience the editor Pertti Alasuutari cites Hall (1999, p 3). “At a certain point [….] the broadcasting structure must yield an encoded message in the form of a meaningful discourse. The institutional-societal relations of production must pass into and thorough modes of a language for its products to be ‘realized’.” He continues: “Before this message can have an ‘effect’ (however defined), or satisfy a ‘need’ or be put to ‘use’, it must first be perceived as meaningful discourse and meaningfully de-coded”.

Bottom line people have to feel that the message is worth engaging with. So we need to add benefit in meaning and not just scatter gun a wooly or weak message.

The transmedia message that my group is getting its teeth into, is to deliver information about the arts in the Bournemouth area to an audience of 30+. The challenge therefore is to make the information appealing. We’ve got to go beyond the ‘so what’ factor and create engagement and demand.

Concept v content

Mar 1, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The old chicken and egg question now relates to Transmedia. If you’ve got something to say should your message drive the format or should the format drive and develop the message? A dilemma that hopefully will have resolved in the next four weeks.

As the writer in the group I’m already finding that we’re not all singing from the same hymn sheet. There seems to be confusion over the meaning of concept and the meaning of content. The definition of the two words seems to be merged in people’s minds. Oh dear. No white board in sight and a content offering that is already well ingrained in the group, who are new to writers and not sure what kind of beast we are. I have major concerns that this project is going to be content led because of this lack of basic clarity. No energetic brainstorming as the content flag has already been placed in the ground. Disappointed but maybe my fears will be unfounded.

I have however dug out a piece of artwork from my school days. This is called Dischord, but is the very picture of the concept content dilemma. Pieces may fit together, but what is the picture? And more importantly what does it mean?

A picture of dischord - items that fit on one level but don't make sense

The media consumer/user relationship

Feb 28, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

So are roles being reversed? Or are media channels and media empires, just trying to become our ‘friends’, in order to steal our lunch money when we’re not looking? If the consumer now believes that he is media savvy, then surely he is safe.

It appears that the media is like seams of gold and the media moguls are prospectors running from seam to seam, trying to get ahead of the competition and then moving on to the next hot spot, trying to get ahead of the competition, deftly moving so that the consumer/user is just a small step behind.

So maybe this competitive edge is all it needs to become the next media empire. Quick thinking, quick reactions and a nose for trends. Sounds a bit like the horse races again 🙂 And what’s all this about a new breed of consumer/producer a ‘prosumer’?

So maybe change is just an illusion?

What is the message?

Feb 27, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Message is key. But, it’s the correct choice of media that can make or break its impact. To start unpacking that thought I’d go back to basics and take a fresh look at the word MEDIA, the plural of MEDIUM=Dictionary definition courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com/media. There’s a lot to digest here, but it’s always good to get back to basics.

MEDIA:

1. Something, such as an intermediate course of action, that occupies a position or represents a condition midway between extremes.
2. An intervening substance through which something else is transmitted or carried on.
3. An agency by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or transferred: The train was the usual medium of transportation in those days.
4. pl. media Usage Problem

a. A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television.
b. media (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession.
5. pl. media Computer Science An object or device, such as a disk, on which data is stored.
6. pl. mediums A person thought to have the power to communicate with the spirits of the dead or with agents of another world or dimension. Also called psychic.
7. pl. media

a. A surrounding environment in which something functions and thrives.
b. The substance in which a specific organism lives and thrives.
c. A culture medium.
8.

a. A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography.
b. The materials used in a specific artistic technique: oils as a medium.
9. A solvent with which paint is thinned to the proper consistency.
10. Chemistry A filtering substance, such as filter paper.
11. A size of paper, usually 18 × 23 inches or 17 1/2 × 22 inches.
adj.

Occurring or being between two degrees, amounts, or quantities; intermediate.

[Latin, from neuter of medius, middle; see medhyo- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The etymologically plural form media is often used as a singular to refer to a particular means of communication, as in The Internet is the most exciting new media since television. Many people regard this usage as incorrect, preferring medium in such contexts. · People also use media with the definite article as a collective term to refer not to the forms of communication themselves so much as the communities and institutions behind them. In this sense, the media means something like “the press.” Like other collective nouns, it may take a singular or plural verb depending on the intended meaning. If the point is to emphasize the multifaceted nature of the press, a plural verb may be more appropriate: The media have covered the trial in a variety of formats. Frequently, however, media stands as a singular noun for the aggregate of journalists and broadcasters: The media has not shown much interest in covering the trial. This development of a singular media parallels that of more established words such as data and agenda, which are also Latin plurals that have acquired a singular meaning. · The singular medium cannot be used as a collective noun for the press. The sentence No medium has shown much interest in covering the issue, would suggest that the lack of interest is in the means of communication itself rather than in its practitioners.

Blank canvas

Feb 26, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

I’m looking forward to working in team on this production. Viewing projects from many perspectives can bring clarity and creative energy. For me transmedia is all about narratives in different flavours. It’s about association and engagement with an audience. The storyteller has always had to engage with their audience and make a connection. Now thanks to developments in technology the possibilities are endless.

But the art of engagement with the audience is the hook. Reading the lovely academic sandwich that is Textual Poacher  we learn that: “The reader’s activity is no longer seen simply as the task of recovering the author’s meanings but also as reworking borrowed materials to fit them into the context of the lived experience” (Jenkins 1992, p. 51).

So now the story has to be tailored to the consumer. Back to my narratives in different flavours theory. Example steak, steak pie, beefburger, sausage, meatballs, ready meal, microwave, boil in the bag, tinned etc…..however the audience likes to taste and digest its stories.

Hmm a challenge for the writer being all things to all people, a challenge for the industry in terms of where to invest their resources or which horse to back so to speak (good job we don’t live in France).

The white board a good starting point for any project

Process v product

Feb 25, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, blogtest  //  No Comments

This MA is really bringing to the surface that life is about process and somehow we’ve made it about product. Scriptwriting is all about getting the seed of an idea and then having the courage to let it grow. The best results are when people bring their ideas freely in the growing process and together an idea is birthed. Watch this space for ideas development.

Transmedia: a brave new world

Feb 24, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Almost half way through my MA in writing for the media and the new challenge is Cross Platform Practise or Transmedia. My understanding so far is that storytelling can be done in lots of ways and new media provides avenues that means that stories – or in our learned speak ‘narratives’ – can be expanded upon when delivered in a different media contexts/platforms. Make sense? Hopefully this time April 1st and all will be crystal clear 🙂 Let’s see if the Buggles were right, or perhaps we can all live happening ever converging.

A little bit of background about moi

Jul 7, 2010   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Hey I got to be interviewed. You can have a read at the following link.

www.eauk.org/forumforchange/culture-footprint-fiona-julian.cfm

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