Diagram by Gary Hayes
See also this set of diagrams and slidedeck
I met Lina Srivastava at SXSW last month and I found her clarifying commentary on the "What is the distinction between social media for charity and social good/systemic change?" very insightful. Ivan Boothe pointed me over to a blog post by Lina with an intriguing tweet "Transmedia activism with a co-creation network."
Now to dig into this topic because it combines a couple of interest - storytelling with social media and working in a networked way.
Lina offers a concise definition of Transmedia Storytelling, a concept and term coined by Henry Jenkins.
At first glance, it sounds like user-generated content strategy but with a more disciplined story telling structure and intentional networked approach than getting your supporters to share your messaging points in their own words or activating the activists with social media or cause-related marketing. Lina points out the marketing benefits of this approach for nonprofits and activists - namely that it not only engages and educates people about the social cause itself, but as part of the process they spread the story by creating content and sharing it through different platforms.
It is a much a deeper engagement with the content and the influencers or those most passionate about the cause.
Lina goes on to create a new term, TransMedia Activism, defined as:
She offers some examples of this approach from the activism field.
She also makes a strong case for why nonprofits should consider this approach:
Nonprofits engaged in social change initiatives should view storytelling as a necessary component of mission-fulfillment. Any individual institution engaging an audience—whether beneficiaries, funders, board members, community or other stakeholders—is required to convey clearly and artfully what it does, how its does it, where its work is most effective and necessary, and why they should support efforts to continue or grow the institution’s work.
In the larger view of systemic change, storytelling takes on an even bigger role, where a well-told story creates a shared experience and helps illuminate all factors (root cause and symptomatic) that effect social change efforts at both global and local levels, creating a comprehensive, connected, “best practice” view of achieving progress.
Nonprofits dealing with social change don’t need to get into the business of content production or multiplatform distribution—but it is a digital world now. It’s likely time to add storytelling to the task list.
Lina goes on to describe some of the how-tos in building a "co-creation network", particularly for nonprofits with very tight budgets. She also points to some funding sources. Her article brought up some great planning questions in my mind:
- How can your organization build a community (or network) that can connect with your cause?
- How well does your organization's business model support a co-creation network, and how it can be innovative in minimizing its cash outlay while maximizing its outreach?
- How do you encourage stakeholders to co-create and share their content?
- Does your organization have access to the technology tools and skills as well as the capacity to collaborate beyond your organization's firewall?
I'm going to list sources for some of these tools by general category.
Online Collaboration Tools: A co-creation network will require an organization to have the ability to collaborate online beyond the organization's firewalls. These tools can facilitate coordination/discussion/communication amongst key stakeholders about the content. The diagram below is Robin Good's Collaborative Map of Online Collaboration Tools.
5 Guiding Principles to Co-Creation by FutureLab