Content convergence trends and transmedia design (my SXSW notes)


Below are my notes and audio I recorded during the  “Future 15: Convergence” sessions at the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference. These sessions consisted of multiple 15 minute talks on a particular subjects. I attended two of the talks in the convergence session and the notes are listed separately below. Feel free to leave a comment. More SXSW notes to come. (please note: I tried to capture as many points as possible, hence the shorthand and occasional misspelled word. Also, the audio is not the best quality).

Panel: Convergence – What a Difference a Year Makes!

Speaker Dan Shust (@getshust)

Twitter hash tag: #sxconv

Cool things that started convergence in 2011

1. like button takes over. Social becomes the thread

like button changes social and blurs lines online with social integration

Coca cola had a wrist band that kids held up to a billboard and automatically liked something at festival

2. Passive checkins

Custom mobile spaces will be activated

You will walk into spaces and they will read your “always on” location check-in service and offer specific deals

3. Entertain me now

Variety of services available on multiple platforms

Netflix is great example

Netflix everywhere on all devices and platforms

4. Birth of front channel

Ability to have a Twitter or Facebook overlaying other viewing experiences

App-enabled tv like Google TV is example

The Oscar app allowed you to edit your tv viewing experience on the fly

5. Commerce atomizes

Making commerce happen not just on website but in other places

Distributed shopping platforms

You activate commerce system and it goes with you everywhere you surf online

6. Life is a game

Ability to add game mechanics to different experiences

RFID enabled services allow a bright experience around gaming and loyalty

7. Interactive products

QR codes

There’s been an intro of interactive engagement systems/app like “Into_Now” iPhone app

8. Augmented reality becomes real

There’s a real world aug reality rollout

“Word Lens” app is example of blurring lines between reality and digital

9. Digital is the new paper

The whole engagement of content now happens on iPad-like devices


Panel: Transmedia: What’s the Magical Formula for Successful Design?

Speaker: Anthea Foyer (@antheafoyer), The Labs (@the_labs)

Twitter hash tag: #Tmsuccess, #thelabs

TheLabs company does transmedia projects

5 elements to look at when building transmedia project

1. Provide audience with new and exciting ways of participation in story

Example is a project called “Time trimmers” by thelabs

It’s a mobile on and offline game

Sends kids to places to discover

Part of game is to collect and share objects to help get rid of demonic witch

Gives ppl experience of being in story

2. Create multiple points of entry and maximize audience exposure and uptake

All projects don’t need all platforms

Adding a Facebook page doesn’t make it transmedia

Platform must feed back to story world and have audience 

3. Drive content and audience thru interconnected platforms and channels

The Labs developed internal project for Cisco to teach employees about different platforms


Participants were forced to engage in content

4. Create momentum of audience participation that is trackable and far reaching

Audience should become part of project

They can create reach you didn’t think of

Allow them to share and expand storyline

Audiences are doing it regardless of your plan

Mad Men Twitter project was example

AMC was initially hesitant because audience were taking Mad Men character personalities and developing it

Allow ppl to take story in their own hands

5. Create meaningful content