Sunsetting the Tenacity5 Brand

I am publishing this post with a profound sense of sadness. Over the past six months, Tenacity5 experienced a lovely spike in growth. It was followed by an epic collapse while I was in Africa, creating a challenging situation.

Some of the issues had to do with client acquisitions and reorganizations, but I would be lying if I didn’t note that some of our own mistakes contributed to this situation. Though they have been corrected, we have been grinding through the current slump for several months. Now I have decided to sunset the brand at the end of the year.

My decision to do this lies in three factors:

1) We’re not making great money.
2) The work we are getting is tactical and not highly engaging (social media community management, blogs, white papers).
3) The amount of effort needed to turn the company around is extremely demanding for a middle-aged man with a family.

Frankly, any one of these reasons would not be enough to stop me. Even two might be worth grinding through. All three, however, have forced some deep introspection and a decision to return to independent strategy consulting short term; some photojournalism work; and a new, more enjoyable challenge long term. I guess tenaciousness has its limits.

Erin Feldman will inherit our remaining content marketing accounts and execute on them through the rest of the year (and hopefully beyond). She is a fantastic marketing program creator and writer. I want to thank her for all of her hard work over the past two years. Erin is literally the best employee I have ever had, and a tremendous team player. My hat is off to you, “Write Right”.

We will keep the Tenacity5 site up for any residual leads. Peace to those who have supported us during the past two years. I am grateful for our experiences together.

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Experimenting with Extended Storytelling

Many entertainment brands have begun experimenting with transmedia, an academic term for extended storytelling across diverse social and traditional media forms. Since I am publishing a novel this year, I decided to experiment a little with transmedia.

From the extended Star Wars Universe to the X Factor, Hollywood is mixing in extended online media to build comprehensive experiences. Perhaps even more innovative are new projects like the City of Conspiracy in London, which combines rap music, a novel, events, photos and of course, web postings.

Here are some of the ways I am experimenting.

Jason on Twitter

After reading Goran Racic‘s approach to his fictional protagonist Thomas Cloud, I created a Twitter account for Jason, the antihero of Exodus. You can follow Jason on Twitter using the @JasonExodus handle.

With this handle, people can ask Jason questions, throw tomatoes at him, or just get book updates. I also intend to use Twitter as a means to extend the novel experience, and provide bridge teasers between books one and two of The Fundamentalists (the first of which I am targeting for an early 2015 release).

It’ll be fun reprising the role of Jason, and at the same time a challenge. I’m not really sure where the journey will take the character or impact book two (if at all), but in the social interaction era it seems silly to publish a static novel.

So if you’re game and want to experiment or you love the book, please follow @JasonExodus.

Special thanks to Erin Feldman for creating the character’s avatar. Erin was one of the developmental editors for the book so I asked her to sketch a personal interpretation of the young man.

Timeline of Events

The above timeline is a sequence of events that occur in Exodus prior to Chapter One.

All of the current entries are referred to the novel, but this medium allows for additional entries that backfill the story. After the novel has been out for a while, I intend to add critical moments in the book to the timeline.

I may add additional elements to the timeline that aren’t available in the novel as I begin writing the next books in the series, The War to Persevere and Hypocrisy.

I built the timeline with Timeline JS, a very friendly tool, which can be used for any chronological story.

Author’s Insights and Short Tales

The video trailer for Exodus provided some insights behind the novel. I hope to do a few more video shorts that describe some of the reasoning behind the book, but will likely wait for feedback to see what people are most interested in.

In addition, expect to see additional stories from The Fundamentalists world to be published on geoffreyrobertlivingston.com. These will likely be short stories that preceded the events in Exodus.

Nathan Burgess had several good ideas as well, and I may act on one or more of them. They include a Pinterest board of Jason’s recommended gear, a graphic novel, and a journal for Helen, Jason’s true love.

Exodus is coming out on August 26, but if you’d like to receive an advance copy email me at geoffliving [at] geofflivingston [dot] com.

What do you think of transmedia-based extended storytelling?