Crossmedia or Transmedia or ???? - does a common language exist?

 DRAFT - August 16, 2011
What's in a name?

Well, apparently, a lot, depending on whom you talk to and on what day and about what project....

Such is a major issue right now with Transmedia and related projects; trying to find a common language.

Here are a few articles and ideas on the general subject of trying to identify different type of projects. Sometimes I only list a specific article, but all of these wonderful people have written multiple times on the transmedia subject and I encourage you to chase down even more of their work.  I have added more references as many are now talking about this term and a lot is being written.  I am also finding more and more related terms, I'll keep adding those terms as I find them.
Check out a collection of definitions, quotes and thoughts on the Quotes and Soundbytes page as well as stopping by the Glossary  page.  Or check out the new wiki format -
 Related terms (useful in searching and description): 360 storytelling, augmented reality, branded entertainment/content, co-creation, collaborative entertainment/storytelling, Convergent Storytelling, crossmedia (cross-media, cross media), cross platform, cross-platform performance, crowdsourcing, deep media, distributed storytelling, distributed narratives, expansive narration, experiential fables, hybrid narrative,hypersociability, immersive storytelling, interactive narrative design, intermedia storytelling, mediascape, mobile narratives, multi-modality, multi-platform, multimedia stories, multimodal communication, multiple media platforms, narrative design, particibility, participatory culture, participatory narrative, persistent narrative, polymorphic fictions, situated narratives, storyworlds,transliteracy, Synergistic Storyscapes/storytelling, transmedia, 

transmedia intertextuality, 

transmedia narrative, transmedia navigation, transocialmedia, uber-media
Articles about defining Transmedia Projects - a blog by Nicoletta Iacobacci titled "From crossmedia to transmedia: thoughts on the future of entertainment".  It really nicely sums up the assorted thoughts and idea behind different project and begins to dissect differences, which also highlight similarities.

2. "Playing with Power in Movies, Television, and Video Games: From Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" by Marsha Kinder, 1991 (published in paperback in 1993) - uses the term 

transmedia intertextuality to define and discuss how narrative for children's projects moves across multiple sources and has levels of interaction - great thoughts and one of the very early works in the resurgence of the transmedia concept!

3. - by Henry Jenkins includes his definition and many great resources

4. bu Alicia Kan, very good blog post that not only gives a nice example of a transmedia project, she has a brief discussion on the difference of transmedia and multi-platform, as seen by her and the creators of the project she saw demonstrated.  from the article:

"As Peters and McHugh pointed out, transmedia is often confused with multi-platform. The first requires flow and a weaving of a trail through different channels: Content is contextual to the platform used. The second is usage of various channels, e.g. PR, web, advertising, social media, etc. for messaging. 

Multi-platform movie promotion, for example, would use a mix of theatre trailers, media interviews, product collaborations, etc. 

A transmedia campaign would be the year-long lead-up to the 1999 movie The Blair Witch Project."

5. - an article by scott Walker that brings up the point that a one-size fits all approach to transmedia and similar is not a good tact to take.

6. and - a couple of blog posts by Andrea Phillips - she really delves into some of the different definition, provides some great examples and discusses even the process of defining as a whole.  Check her blog for multiple post on discussing what transmedia looks like

7. - an article by Gary Hayes that look at the concept of TransocialMedia play - mixing all the concepts together : )

8. by Brooke Thompson, by Christy Dena and by Robert Pratten - as a general definition is agrees upon, the next level is to try and define realms within and how to describe, define, explain projects that use transmedia, social media and crossmedia.  Thee articles all address those issues and more (lots of great visuals spread through out their work as well)

9. - by Scott Walker - a very thoughtful article touching on when defining something as transmedia may not be the best.

10.  See the following sources for even more terms and both with a good overviews and multiple terms that tend to pop up.  
11. - by Simon Pulman - short overview and starts with, " At its simplest, transmedia allows the expansion of a mythology for a story or intellectual property."
12. - by Simon Staffans - I am going to copy three paragraphs from the article - I recommend reading the whole article (even better, leave comments and start a conversation).

By Simon Staffans - "There are still probably as many definitions of transmedia as there are people talking about transmedia. These are not necessarily differing all that much from each other, but rather in a nuance here or a nuance there. It’s all good though; we should all fear the day when we have the definite definition of what transmedia is. That’s the day when it’s time to start doing something else.

It’s not just talk either. A growing number of people are starting to venture into the field of transmedia to tell their stories. These range from major multi-million dollar ventures to small dramas or documentaries with next to no financial power behind them. Some will fail, even amongst the colossal ones, but some will succeed magnificently, even amongst the small ones – such is the way of the storytelling business.

As more and more projects are being developed, there seems to be a need to look beyond the ”what is transmedia?” or ”why transmedia?” to the much harder ”should I and this project go into transmedia?”

Simon Staffans provides a very short definition for transmedia in this article: "A nice summary of transmedia was provided by Simon Staffans, "transmedia is crossmedia with a deeper level of involvement, from the producers side as well as from the consumers. By building a narrative superstructure – a mythology, if you will – around your property, you’re at the same time building the possibilities for multiple entry points into your property for the audience" Dec. 7, 2010

13. - A basic description of what transmedia narrative entails and how Starlight Runner Entertainment uses transmedia in crafting story and projects.