There’s an awful lot of tripe talked around digital products. They will change the world, and the way we read, but not to the extent their protagonists believe. The degree to which they are creating their own self-absorbed world is indicated by the blurb for an upcoming ‘transmedia’ conference this coming autumn in San Francisco. Read on:
‘Transmedia development takes a robust intellectual property and organically fragments it across territories, timelines and platforms to reach mass audiences, optimizing the rights holder’s revenue potential.’
‘In today’s era of media convergence, publishers, filmmakers, producers, directors, broadcasters, writers and gamers are seeing – and profiting from – creative collaboration with the ‘story’ at the center. Transmedia development takes the intellectual property or ‘story’ and moves it across myriad platforms to reach mass audiences, optimizing the value of the content, and creating a ‘world’ in which the story lives, morphs, and expands.’
How can I wonder the story’s integrity survive such fragmentation? And will the audience really be there to pick up on all these pieces. Might not they just want to go back to the original, to the unfragmented story, to the novel even, and might not that be what many authors will want? Not all of course. There are those who see marketing as branch of authorship of course, others who write to established formulae that they know work with their public.
Writing is so much more than story, and authorship so much more than holding rights.My optimism about the survival of good writing and integrity is authorship is I think well-founded, but we do still have to be very careful that the fragmenters and the rights-exploiters do not take over. That is their intent.