Time and time again, The Standard (in all its forms and incarnations) has proven that stories are the most powerful way to get ideas out into the world, and share visions. We learn best, change and create change from hearing and reading stories that strike a chord within us. Studies show that we are wired to remember stories much more than data, facts, and figures. However, when data and story are used together, audiences are moved both emotionally and intellectually.
Many of us have retained more from fairy tales and adventure novels than from the dry textbooks we had to learn in school. Those who write straight research and analyses know they have readers, but these are mostly academics. For the rest of us, however, even the most intelligent, stories are what count.
Stories and messages have been delivered across different media every since the early cavemen figured out ways to use mineral pigments like iron oxide and black manganese on rocks and caves. Whether chronicling life, communicating with others, or creating an inspirational image, there are always stories being told.
With technology’s increasingly sophisticated and jaw-dropping capabilities, the tools are becoming simultaneously more accessible and user-friendly, creating the ability to orchestrate a story across multiple media platforms– a phenomenon called transmedia storytelling.
Transmedia storytelling can be a complex creative endeavor. It is not a simple matter of taking a material and repurposing it for use in another medium. As shown by some of the earliest users of transmedia storytelling including The Matrix franchise, it involves weaving together individual strands of a story into a larger and richer interactive fabric and offers the audience multiple ways to participate, collaborate and interact.
In spite of all these modern advances in technology, however, the basics have not changed. Much as we would like to think otherwise, the human brain is still slower to evolve than the technology. Our brains still respond to content by looking for the story to make sense out of the experience. No matter what the technology, the meaning starts in the brain. Those in transmedia technology may get the congratulate themselves for the “wow factor” technology brings, but the success of the transmedia effort still rests on the resonance, authenticity, and richness created by the storyteller.
The truth is, the confusion created by these technologies have strengthened the demand for fundamentals: authenticity, participation, and engagement. When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share. This is the basis for cultural and social change.
And this is the way we work.