Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cross country for cross-media (2)

The conference is almost over. There is still a morning session and than we will pack up and fly to Amsterdam again. We still have sometime to kill in the afternoon, but with the white mountains in the neighbourhood there will be enough to see and enjoy.

Yesterday we have started to discuss the term cross-media. The term cross-media has been used by many people in various ways, which made it hard to understand each other. It was almost like the use of the term multimedia. To publishers this term means multiple media: a newspaper with an internet site and a book with a CD-ROM. For digital media buffs the term means the integration of digital media types like text, sound and images into one stream, upon which the user can act upon. The same confusion exists in the cross-media world.

In my ACTeN essay of 2004 I have produced a description rather than a definition. To me cross-media involves;
- more than one medium, ranging from analogue to digital media or digital media only, which all support each other with their specific strengths;
- aims at an integrated production;
- is delivered /accessible on a range of devices such as PCs, mobiles, TV, iPODs and PDAs;
- the support of one theme/story/one purpose/one message, depending on the type of project;
- more than just the juxtaposition of different devices, but finds its relevance when the common message/story/goal is spread on different platforms and target groups and when the supporting interaction takes place in these different platforms and target groups.
Essential to the concept of cross-media is that there are more than one media/distribution devices involved which support the central theme of the project from their own strength.

The discussion is still in full swing. In the morning session we will discuss the terminology as it has some consequences to for example terminology like cross-media interactive design. I will come back to the issue.

I will write installments about the basics of cross-media as well as the use of it in games, education, environment and to print products. By midday the conference will be over, but will the discussion rage on, while messages between the participants will fly back and forth.

Blog Posting Number: 703

Tags: cross-media

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