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?

Facebook, a Company without a Vision

Mark zuckerberg f8 a l
Image via TrueRep

Facebook quietly retreated from its passive sharing model two weeks ago representing a departure from its current vision.

For those unfamiliar with passive sharing, it was originally and controversially dubbed frictionless sharing when Timeline was introduced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg one year ago. Frictionless sharing applications share every read or view of a site, whether or not the person is on Facebook.

Zuckerberg’s vision of every aspect of peoples’ lives shared with their friends included frictionless sharing as a core component.

This very same vision was dealt another blow two weeks ago when European regulators struck an agreement with Facebook that forces the company to delete facial recognition data garnered from public surveillance cameras.
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