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« Twitter for Activism Tool VS Strategy Debate and A New Twitter Activism Guide | Main | Marketers Are Getting Results With Social Media »


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That initial diagram is really cool.
I wonder if this is the kind of road map that can be parsed, assigned and managed or if it is best to cultivate the organic growth of the story as the participation emerges through the network (and time line).
It reminds me of the intense guerilla, viral marketing campaigns that are filled with easter eggs all over the web and are scripted out to help encourage each tipping point as it moves from one spot on the timeline to the next. - that is managed, but still dependent on consumers engaging in the story/campaign for it to be effective.

For NPO's, needing to deliver an authentic story, how much of this process do you think can be intentionally managed before it feels contrived?


Re: Gary's diagram:
Fascinating that the perceived level of influence is highest with the sharers, and lowest with the actual creators... Hmmm...

I get that this perceived level of influence is meant to relate to the degree of resonance, but still - it is an interesting concept to consider if we are the content creators. Can we create these stories with any degree of facility aimed at their eventual sharability, and hence, resonance? or is the content creation too far removed from the sharing to have any real impact on the type/depth of sharing that eventually occurs?

Lina Srivastava

Thank you so much, Beth, for writing about transmedia activism- and for taking the topic forward into a deeper discussion of planning and networked organizations. The key to having this type of activism succeed really is to create and maintain networks, as you've honed in on. In general, the process of engaging a community around content creation is similar to building community around cause for other purposes. To address Mike's point, since I've started looking at strategic planning for this process, I've found it's extremely helpful to proactively plan the process and recruit the network-- but to be aware of unsolicited opportunities and to allow room for the "story universe" to grow organically (though content creation from a variety of decentralized authors brings up aesthetic, technical and ownership issues, among others).

I think your question, Beth, about business planning to facilitate co-creation networks is particularly on point: It drives home that for organizations to use storytelling to effectively engage and energize community, they have to build/position their internal capacity and create external networks to manage co-creation in the first place. The thorny question here that directly impacts is how do you do this with minimum cash and resource outlay while still ensuring maximum outreach and stakeholder/network stewardship? I'm still working on the $$ questions and would love to hear others' ideas.


Lina -
I'd love to see Charity:Water and their interaction with @amanda and twestival run through a case study to flesh out the $$ question. With 200 cities self organizing, what was the charity's real cost to participate in the event?

You probably have some other case studies already.

Could TED be considered a case study to run through the model? ...central story, peripheral stories build the central brand, corporate sponsorship underwrites the distribution of those stories...

Yves Simon

Magnificent diagram, thanks for sharing !

Beth Kanter

@lidja see Gary's tweet

Beth Kanter

Laughing about this

Lina Srivastava If a film screens in the forest and no one's around to see it, did it make a sound...? Whether it did or not, nobody saw it, so it's not likely to work to create an audience or engage toward impact.

I'm not sure if I would say content creators have "less" influence than sharers-- but impact and audience/participation are tied in this process and you need to make certain content is seen to build a community of participants. So in that sense, the process is dependent on sharing, distribution and entry points into the story universe. But creators wield a separate kind of influence on this process in the ability to shape the content and its effect on perceptions.

Re: twestival and TED, I've never thought about them within the transmedia construct-- parts are certainly analogous, but I'm not sure a "story universe" is being created in either case. I'd be interested to hear thoughts on the other side of that.


I think there is a very interesting dynamic between creators and sharers - we have an inherent reverence for creators (intellectual property law is a clear indication of how we revere creators), but, as Gary says, the work of creators is nothing without the value added by sharers.

Is this not precisely the issue at hand for twitter right now? It began as a way for creators to share - it is now a tool for sharers to feel like they are creating...? And the creators are feeling the pinch to find another exclusive realm of creativity while sharers are right on their heels trying to crowd into that new realm...


I love your diagram and was intrigued by Transmedia. To answer your question on how co-creation can be applied to non-profit marketing and outreach, I am happy to say that we're an example of how to apply this in practice.

I work for an early stage start-up, TapSmack, and we've done exactly that with a large local blood center to build viral designs for getting the word out on the need for donations.

The biggest insight that I can share from our experience is that people are generally passionate about specific causes. The challenge then for non-profits to communicate with these groups IN THE LANGUAGE that works for them. The power of co-creation allows specific target groups to design products that resonate with members of their own group. For example, our community members designed novel giveaways for the blood center that constantly remind them and their (offline) social networks on the need to donate blood:

I'd love to talk in more depth on social media co-creation and how it can revolutionize outreach for non-profits. We've sort of stumbled upon this serendipitously and any insight would be very helpful.


The great part is the mind map (diagram), is ongoing, always receiving updates, and additions.

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