Henry Jenkins’ (2007) definition of transmedia is “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience”, for example Star Wars. The first Star Wars filmed was released in 1977 and was a major success. Many companies wanted to cash in on this major success and that’s where transmedia was born (Hamilton 2013). It started with the movies then went on to comics, book, radio channels, TV shows and video games. The thing that makes the Star Wars franchise so brilliant is that it all ties in together, every world is set the same and stories connected. It took what is called the canonical approach (Hamilton 2013).
Jenkins has 10 steps to define a transmedia products. These include:
1. That it is dispersed
2. Has synergy
3. Is world building
4. Has extensions
5. Has different entry points
6. Makes a unique contribution to story
7. Makes sense and has co-ordination across media sectors
8. Has collective intelligence
9. Provides roles and goals
10. Has gaps which give extra details or hints which make viewers keep interested and to speculate
Although, one flaw with Jenkins steps made in 2007 to define a transmedia product needs to be updated as we now have ever changing technology and participatory technology. So the question is should prosumers and produsage be added to the definition of transmedia? I think yes.
Instagram is becoming a great home for transmedia texts for example the hashtag is a great use of collecting and housing one story across multiple different platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The Planking phenomenon is a classic example of the power of the hashtag in a transmedia experience. The hashtag separates all other stories only leaving you with what you want to see, in this case Planking. It could be seen across Twitter and Facebook and even mades its way on to the News. People demand to be involved (Moore 2014) and it is ever so easy these days that I think Jenkins needs to update his definitions.
Jenkins, H 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan- The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, 22nd March, weblog post, viewed on 18th April 2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html
Hamilton, J 2013, The Dawn of Modern Transmedia Storytelling: Star Wars, Jason Hamilton’s Blog, weblog post, 24th April, viewed on 18th April 2014, http://storyhobby.com/node/283
Moore, C 2014, Transmedia Narratives, Tutorial, University of Wollongong, 16th April