Transmedia Storytelling and Net Neutrality were the topics of the night last Tuesday at the MDCM’s first ever Four Peaks public salon. The salon started with a live broadcast of MediaSpaceTV featuring an interview between MCDM director Hanson Hosein and Brent Friedman, CEO of Electric Farm Entertainment. Transmedia Storytelling, an interactive and multi-platform storytelling method, is according to Friedman, a way of exploring “additional tributaries,” and selecting tools from a “digital sandbox.”
One example, a show called “Valemont” developed by Friedman for MTV, is a teenage murder mystery told through multiple digital platforms, including television, websites, and mobile apps. Friedman extolled the virtues of a digitally literate audience—one that watches television behind the glow of a laptop—who will “work” for good content by searching the web and downloading mobile apps in addition to viewing television.
Most of these concepts are familiar to gamers who have long enjoyed controlling stories with multiple characters, objectives and potential plotlines. But the backing of major companies in new mediums such as T.V. speak to a growing interest in interactive storytelling and new media delivery systems.
When the live broadcast concluded, Hosein and Friedman then joined a bustling crowd in Kane Hall for a salon-style discussion about net neutrality. The panelists, or “conversation lubricators,” Hosein’s preferred term, were a veritable Whidbey Island Mafia: John de Pre Gauntt, from Media Dojo (see his post The Transmedia Hairball), Russell Sparkman, of Fusionspark Media, and Friedman, all do business from the lovely Puget Sound region, sparking some to wonder on the live Twitter feed whether the region is emerging as a “storytelling capitol.”
The question of the night became quickly became “who owns the pipes?” a discussion of Net Neutrality in response to the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC, which was announced earlier that day and approved that very evening. Net Neutrality, or the idea that neither government nor service providers (like Comcast) should regulate the many facets of the Internet, has polarized people across the nation.read more