Impetus to Act

One of the most important aspects of cross-media storytelling is having the audience move to each unit of your story. Without the cross-media or cross-story movement, your work collapses. Areas of research and practice that you can utilise are the advertising industry (motivation to buy) and hypertext rhetoric (research into hyperlinked stories). On the former there are plenty of examples. An excellent resource is the International Database of Corporate Commands. This blog allows anyone to submit a ‘corporate command’, which is described as:

A Corporate Command is an instruction work, a call to action in the form of an imperative: “Just Do It”, “Turn on the Future”, “Live without Limits”, “Tap into great taste”, “Think different”, “Ride the light”. 

The funny part of this site is the project that is associated with it: The Institute for Infinitely Small Things actually do what is commanded and take photos. The hypothesis of the research project/performance is that the commands are

largely and consciously ignored by a public over-saturated with advertisements, function at the level of the infinitely small. Tiny events that do not disturb one’s consciousness or disrupt one’s identity as “free” agents, these commands seep under the surface of the individual and lay claim to the territory of the Deleuzian Virtual. 

The later (hypertext rhetoric) was a recent topic in my teaching. I asked my students to offer up examples of hyperlinks that motivate them to click. [No harm in utilising students for research!] Here are some funny sites that (ironically) inspire you to click:

The Really Big Button That Doesn’t Do Anything

Take your photo online for free

Do Not Push the Red Button

Click the Button

There are some more here at Nick Ciske’s site.

I know you, the readers of this blog, are very quiet (you like to watch), but I’m working on a paper that describes lots of different examples of cross-media motivation. If you have one to offer, please do so.

Cross-Media & Kids

A workshop on how to create cross-platform works for kids (7-20) is currently running in Sweden. The workshop, Let’s Work with Kids!: The Third European Workshop on Children, Youth and Cross Media, targets producers, project managers and researchers in the field of TV, radio, web, and other forms of interactive media. Over the 3 days they share case-studies and then run a workshop where themes are workshopped. The themes listed on the site are: Concept and evaluation; Children on screen; Communitys and broadcast media. It is run by Swedish Television and the Interactive Institute, in cooperation with Växjö University, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Prix Europa and EBU.

Thanks Monique.

LAMP Update

Here is info about what some of the best cross-media creators are doing in Australia, from the Laboratory for Advanced Media Production that was run in Melbourne yesterday. It was great being around producers and creators who are committed and contemplate cross-media storytelling. I cannot upload my presentation, as there are still more workshops being run around Australia (I’ll be at Adelaide and Sydney over the next 2 weeks). But, I can pass on (some) details about fellow cross-media creators and their projects.

Sohail Dahdal of 6moons Interactive showed his 2 projects: Long Journey, Young Lives (which I’ve seen before and have been impressed by); and one that is just started: Swapping Lives.

Gary Hayes gave a fantastic talk, showing the various projects that have an excellent user-navigation that is ‘in-story’ most of the time. Of particular interest is what is perhaps the post-boy of the cliff-hanger style of cross-media navigation: Mitsubishi’s ‘See What Happens’ commercial that was broadcast during the SuperBowl in 2004. The first part of the cross-media ad is a TVC with two drivers dodging ever-increasing items being thrown out of a truck. Just when 2 cars start tumbling towards them the commercial stops with the website address of The site received over 31 million visits during the Super Bowl. Since then, the site has had over 8 million unique visits and so Mitsubishi have launched another (web only) campaign, feelwhathappens. The campaign is housed at the seewhathappens website. They should of kept the original work at the seewhathappens site because people are going there to see it. It was good, and could continue to be good. I understand the idea of reusing the site address, because it has guaranteed traffic, but the abuse of trust and not rewarding the effort to visit the site is a big negative.

There is a case-study on the ad, written by Joseph Jaffe, the creator of the ‘word-of-mouse’ term and the author of an excellent book I’m currently reading: Life After the 30-Second Spot. But more about that in another post.

More info about cross-media production in Oz and beyond coming soon.