Tag Archives: new creative economy

Contemporary storytelling – transmedia paradigm shift

Wyoming Community Media (WCM) is developing a project in the New Creative Economy. WCM has partnered up with Laramie County Community College (LCCC), Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine (WLM) Media in the Public Interest (MPI), the Public News Service – Wyoming (WPNS) and a variety of Cheyenne community and economic development organizations with the hopes of teaching students how to use digital media arts as a way for the private sector can better tell their stories.

Storytelling is an art that involves creative and critical thinking, not a bunch of rules of structure. Stories well told mold the structure.

Stories have been told for centuries to convey information create relationships with others and be more empathetic to others. Stories haven’t changed much, but the ways they are conveyed have multiplied over the years. This day and age information flies at the speed of light around the world via TV, YouTube, Radio, TV reporting about YouTube and print media catering to a variety of niches.

As a result of the info explosion, Institutional wisdom isn’t as important as it used to be. In the not-so-distant past, the wise sages who held information and experiences of community or a business in their heads were revered. These days, that’s not the case. The wisdom of crowds prevails – Google, Wikipedia and user groups are kings.

If a company wants to sell goods or services and want to get a consistent message out there, one way to do that is through “transmedia storytelling” (TMS).

That sounds a little academic and it is. TMS began as a scholarly term first coined by Henry Jenkins in his book Convergence Culture. He says, “transmedia represents the integration of entertainment experiences across a range of different media platforms,” Jenkins goes on to say that transmedia storytelling  “immerses an audience in a story’s universe through a number of dispersed entry points, providing a comprehensive and coordinated experience of a complex story.”

A strong transmedia strategy means stories remain connected by the same main narrative and theme. Each entry point presents the story natively, in a way it does most effectively, rather than re-purposing the story for multi platforms. What kind of stories are we talking about? Any long or short form genre – documentary, commercial, narrative, journalistic news, essays, blogs.

In the current case, Howard Major, and Maryellen Tast of LCCC wrote about a Creative Economy community development model in their white paper, Cheyenne at Stake: Comprehensive Community Development For the 21st Century (2009).

WCM is developing in partnership with LCCC an alpha-level curriculum that will bridge digital media and traditional media. People will be trained to work with and within local non-profit organizations, reporting cultural events and private for profit businesses develop stories to sell their goods and services that will be presented initially through these transmedia portals – Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine hard copy, Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine web TV, Community TV on Bresnan channel 22 and more traditional news and information distribution through Media in the Public Interest and the Public News Service – Wyoming.

Local residents learning new skills for existing jobs, reinvented skills for entrepreneurs and potentially new residents moving to Cheyenne to ply their digital media arts skills in new jobs represent economic and community development components of the project. Will this model replace journalism? Journalism is an overlay to storytelling. It isn’t designed to be a replacement, although KQED PBS in San Francisco is using TMS to tell science and nature stories in photos, TV and for education.

Over the couple months, this project’s story will come together.

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The New West Creative Economy – Just talk or can it be real?

Wyoming Community Media (WCM) is embarking on a great little adventure by taking a stab at developing the New West Creative Economy in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Traditional “economic development” basically brings together elements of commerce and industry to come up ways of increasing the economic base with primary “value added” type jobs – making stuff; as opposed to the “service sector” which don’t really add value, but maintain value. Traditionally, arts and education are viewed as “add-ons” and reasons why a new employee would want to relocate to a given community.

The New West Creative Economy wrote a “white paper” in 2009 outlining how this all might be rolled out. There was a community gathering which resulted in author Daniel Pink eventually coming to Cheyenne in 2010. Download a copy of their paper by clicking on the logo.

The New West Creative Economy takes a little different approach and asks, what if arts and culture were integral parts of economic and community development in terms of developing a labor force that uses their entire brains, not just the left or right side?

With nothing much than an academic idea and some equity from the Wyoming Arts Council, WCM hopes that the initial strategic partnerships with Laramie County Community College, The Wyoming Film Office, The City of Cheyenne, Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine, Visit Cheyenne and LightsOn Downtown Group will be enough impetus to grow the collaboration in response to the New West Creative Economy’s basic premise.

The New Creative Economic paradigm shift, by Howard Major, and Maryellen Tast of Laramie County Community College

There are six goals:

  • Create community development in Southeast Wyoming by creating synergistic actions by individuals and groups promoting cultural development, economic development and educational development.
  • Facilitate a dialog about how all concerned residents can contribute to the growth and diversification of the South eastern Wyoming economy through continuing economic development and synergistic infusion of the cultural arts and PK-20 education.
  • Capture the wisdom of community developers who have merged cultural arts and economic and educational development in other regions of the country and apply those development concepts that are a good “fit” for Southeastern Wyoming.
  • Create and complete innovative projects that expand and develop Wyoming’s cultural and economic environments.
  • Develop new regional organizations and partnerships that promote the advancement of culture, education and high-tech industries.
  • Contribute to the role of cultural and educational organizations in community and economic development.

Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind,” appeared in Cheyenne to discuss the meaning and possibilities of an economy in which creative thinking becomes more dominant.

The key to getting the new west creative economy off to a good start is acceptance by the private sector. There are plenty of academics talking about this, lots of non-profits trying to hang their hats on it, and a few businesses accepting it. But the bottom line is this. The only reason this will become acceptable is if it results in not just job creation, but additional profits.

The New West Creative Economy is basically a think tank established by Laramie County Community College.

LCCC is taking this seriously, having brought in Daniel Pink to get everyone jazzed up about how right brained people will save the economy. The Wyoming Arts Council held an apres Pink talk back the next morning, which is ultimately what spurred on the WCM project.

The WCM project is a pilot project to use the “transmedia” story telling model by cross-utilizing traditional print media, photographers, videographers and web designers to help the private non-profit and for profit sectors become more relevant in the digital age.

Are we talking about a new type of “activist”?