What can you expect when going to a Transmedia event? If you answered a lot of smart people in a room talking about the future of storytelling and the tools that will take us there, then you’d be spot on.
A few days ago, I attended an event put on by Transmedia SF that was titled “From Coding to Stories: The Medium Is The Message”. The night featured three great speakers: David Austin of Turner’s Media Camp, online journalist Geoff McGhee, and Michael Chang who’s the Creative Technologist on the Data Arts team at Google.
David Austin started off the night by going through the history of storytelling:
— JawboneTV (@JawboneTV) September 25, 2012
And while Austin admitted that the answer to “What’s next?” in storytelling technology isn’t clear, he pointed out some trends. Namely, how creation, funding, and distribution have all been democratized. He also made a point that I think resonates quite well: that while technology is making telling a story easier, great storytelling is still really hard to get right. He then went on to provide some details about the Media Camp accelerator.
Michael Chang then spoke about how he arrived at his role at Google. He wanted to use data to tell a story, which he did with his intriguing Global Arms Trade Visualization (make sure you visit in Chrome or Firefox).
Geoff McGhee gave some great insight into what he has learned while conducting research on online journalism at Stanford. Little nuggets about the design and experience of their interactive graphics were especially enlightening. He recommends watching Journalism in the Age of Data, and checking out this paper of Narrative Visualization.
All in all, a great line up of speakers with some incredible work and perspective. If you’re in the Bay Area, make sure you follow Transmedia SF and come to their next event.