Transmedia Storytelling: Meaning Comes from the Ability to Share, Explore, and Discover

Transmedia storytelling is not just for telling stories.  Thanks to social technologies, the principles that drive transmedia storytelling ensure that it will emerge as the basis for effective communication and engagement.  Transmedia — using multiple channels of communication and technologies — is unique in that it allows stories and messages to be constructed in the same the way we make sense of the world around us.  Transmedia storytelling works like the brain thinks — constructing holistic meanings from bits and pieces of information and experience.   We show ‘who we are’ through words, actions, and physical clues like clothes or hairstyles, not a sign around our necks that tells our ‘story’ like the synopsis of a TV show.  Our brains create stories out of the patterns we uncover around us; it is the natural way for us to process information.  Meaning comes from our ability to explore, share and discover.  As technologies advance, why should our use of media be different?

Transmedia storytelling transforms communications so that we can interact, construct, share, and create meaning within the storyteller’s world.  It will be the dominant form of communication strategy in marketing, management, entertainment, and education, because it creates a multi-sensory, immersive experience directed by the audience.  Transmedia storytelling starts with a story or message that, through multiple types of connection, becomes a rich, additive process.   Transmedia producers take the storyteller’s vision and provide a paint box of potential experiences, from face-to-face and legacy media to emerging technologies, that allows the audience to co-create their experience.

Transmedia storytelling is often associated with large entertainment franchises, but it also has profound implications for areas beyond the entertainment business model:  education, advocacy, organizational management, marketing and branding.

United by the first transmedia storytelling conference, StoryWorld Expo and inspired by the wide-reaching potential, the Transmedia SF meet-up and similar groups in places like Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, and Sydney, are creating hubs of activity and exchange, linking artist, producers, techies, investors, storytellers, and organizations anywhere in world who are passionate about transmedia storytelling — whether it’s learning about it,  exploring ways to collaborate, find partners and inspiration, or produce projects.  Transmedia SF may be in San Francisco, but the welcome mat is global, connecting the world through story.

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About Dr. Pamela Rutledge

Dr. Pamela B. Rutledge
Consultant, author, researcher, speaker
Director, Media Psychology Research Center
Adjunct Faculty, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Fielding Graduate University
Instructor, UC Irvine Extension and UCLA Extension
Blogger, Psychology Today