Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hiring People for Your Transmedia Team

First and foremost, throw out the thought that everyone needs a degree. In the digital world, your social interactions are your Klout.

Creativity is also a key. You have to be a storyteller on steroids and be able to think up numerous ways to branch out into many different platforms. That also means knowing the platforms, who plays in them, and how that audience wants to be engaged.

The transmedia team will include photographers, videographers, and digital managers, such as a different person looking after each platform.

But when it comes right down to it, besides storytelling and marketing skills, knowing how to be a kick-ass community manager is at the top of the needs list. These are skills that are not taught in school. They don't come with a degree. They are easily found, just by viewing the Internet footprint of each candidate and how they participate in their social platforms.

In my book Publishing and Marketing in the Digital Age, I list the following skills that are essential before anyone should be hired as a transmedia manager:

  1. Strong communication and literacy skills.
  2. Strong people skills.
  3. Ability to write blog posts, guest articles, emails, proposals, social content, and messages to fit any medium.
  4. Outgoing, friendly, and relatable online presence.
  5. Comfortable interacting with people (a natural networker).
  6. Good judgement, level-headed.
  7. Good at curating.
  8. Have an idea what to share, how to share, and when to share.
  9. Determine the best ways to handle feedback and how to respond in an appropriate fashion.
  10. Know the audience and be able to effectively converse with them and see their perspective.
  11. Be able to respond in a reasonable time (ideally within 24 hours or faster).
  12. Be the face of the brand or a brand ambassador.
  13. Create a customer experience.
  14. Manage multiple platforms and track feedback.
  15. Flexibility. 
  16. Be able to do multiple job responsibilities (e.g. marketing, public relations, and communications).
  17. Use analytics to determine what is working and not working.
  18. Enable and empower your community, create conversations. 

Each transmedia project may have more requirements, such as knowledge of film industry, music industry, publishing industry, or other, but that is something that still isn't in a degree. Anyone can be a great transmedia manager, if you do the work. The ROI of your efforts is in your audience reaction, not in numbers of followers. If people comment, reshare, and sing your praises, that is all an HR team might need to determine your cred.

The Internet wasn't cooperating and cut short the video below to about three minutes, but it mentions the #CMGRHangout that happens every Friday, and is the brainchild of +Tim McDonald. Go to for archived Hangouts and tips and insight into community management, which you can consider as part of your transmedia management training.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Super Bowl: The Biggest Transmedia Party

If you need a clear-cut example of how an entertainment product or a brand can use transmedia, look no further than the Super Bowl. 

Everything leads up to the big game, the final contest between the two teams that finish the National Football League season. Everything. 

Super Bowl 50 landed an estimated 111.9 million eyeballs on the television broadcast alone. This doesn't include how many watched in a bar, on a legal or illegal video stream, or on affiliated networks (such as ESPN Deportes). 

The Super Bowl is transmedia on steroids. 

Think about it. The Twitter conversations alone are enough to make a brand's head spin to try and catch up. During the game, you'll see trending hashtags for any significant play that happens, a commercial that resonates, a comment made during the broadcast, the halftime show. If the trend really resonates, you'll see someone create a new Twitter handle (see @leftshark). 

Then there are the memes -- the blessed memes. These are what make the Internet great. Here are a few examples from Super Bowl 50:

Besides the hundreds of accredited media attending the main event, you have fans and celebrities documenting their journeys and experience of the game. 

There are all the side stories leading up to the game: player profiles, the impact on the community, late night television interviews, product placement, and even a movie.

Then there are the commercials. The game is not just the icing on the NFL season; it is also championship day for advertisers and advertising firms. In the past few years, we're seeing more and more of these commercials receiving their own transmedia treatment, with teasers, contests, and some are also prelaunched the week before the actual game. 

There isn't a social media, media outlet (whether it's sports, news, or entertainment), establishment that has not had some form of discussion about the Super Bowl. That is transmedia on steroids.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Disabled Streamers Online


At the end of a video chat on, I met a fellow who inspired this post. Kevin is visually impaired and he invited me to the Facebook Group: Disabled Live Streamers after I told him I used to work at the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) many years ago.

It got me thinking about how the Internet creates an even playing ground for some of those who might otherwise get overlooked for opportunity in a brick and mortar situation. (If you've ever been temporarily disabled or have had to escort someone who is in a wheelchair, you know what I mean. There may be ramps and main doors that open with a button, but try a bathroom door inside that building.)

Computers have been a saving grace for years. We've seen numerous movies where computers have been used to improve the lives of someone disabled. Lorenzo's Oil, The Theory of Everything, Tin Man, and Knight and Day are just a handful of examples.

There are opportunities galore, especially in streaming video. Anyone can create their own visual real estate on the web, and what a great way to integrate the disabled. 

The Disabled Online Users Association is also just one example of the wealth of resources available at the end of a Google search. But more than just a way to earn a living, the computer eliminates isolation. It is easy to find like-minded people and others who share a similar experience. You are never alone.

So whether you're blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, autistic, brain injured, have a speech disorder, chances are you can adapt your computer or mobile device to make the Internet easier to navigate multiple platforms in many different ways.  

Check out +boogie2988


#computer #disabledonlineusers #DisabledOnlineUsersAssociation #videostreaming

Friday, February 5, 2016

Crowdsourcing Engagement


Before you build your transmedia platforms, it's important to know where your audience lives and how many demographics you will be approaching.

In using +Marvel Movies as an example, an audience can stretch over several generations. There is no one size fits all for demographics. Even though they may all come together for their love of Spiderman and Captain America, the interests and platforms of a 10 year old will differ largely from that of a teenager, from a twenty-something mom, to a 40-year-old professional, to a retired tradesman.

Know where your audience "lives" and what they look for (how they want to be approached). Ask them to participate. I don't mean "like my Facebook page." That means dick squat. What milkshake does your Facebook have to bring all the people to your yard? Once they are there, do you ignore them? Also, when you do ask for their participation, don't waste their time. Be brain-dead clear and concise.

Here are a couple of tips from the Australia website

  1. Most people want advertising to feel like a story or game (see every Super Bowl).
  2. Most want brands to treat the real world like a platform.
  3. Most feel more compelled to jump in if the activity is in real time.
  4. Most of all the media people consume is screen-based.

Managing audience engagement is crucial. Silence begets silence, and it is also important to make your content easy to share. Replies to comments and queries should be timely. If email, sometimes a few days is okay to wait, but in Twitter or Facebook, if you don't respond within a day, people have moved on and it seems like you have disregarded them.

If you make it hard for people to share your content, they won't. Digital currency is based on likes, comments, and shares. There are some traditional media sites that still throw up roadblocks to sharing online content. If your blog or post doesn't have a relevant photograph (we also see some media posts that don't), you won't be able to pin the story to Pinterest and if it just shows up as text in a feed, it may get glossed over.

There are a whole host of platforms one can use to extend their storyline: blogs, videos, podcasts, special Twitter hashtags, email, social media, web series, website, book, music, SMS, location-based games, novellas, comics, memes, the list is endless.

The following Blab offers up a few examples of getting audiences to engage in multiple platforms. You don't have to go very far to find ideas to inspire your own projects. These two creative websites are the ones mentioned in the video: and