Thursday, December 27, 2007

Revising crossmedia

The time of looking back and looking forward has begun again. One starts looking back over the year and the developments. In the coming days I will revisit some of the events I have been in over the last year and reflect on it, but also look forward. The first reflection will be on conference on Crossmedia and Interaction Design (CMID07) in Hemavan (Sweden).

The conference was held in a winter sports village up north. And there was snow (which I hate), but it was not even freezing cold. The timing of the conference was interesting. I had been discussing crossmedia without giving it a name with amongst others Damien Marchi (who is in 2008 starting to work for FremantleMedia), when he presented the lessons from the French Big Brother/Loft Story crossmedia production. In the Spring of 2004 I was wrestling with the definition of crossmedia, which eventually resulted in an ACTeN e-content report. The report was later on one of the contributions to the reader on e-content published by Springer Verlag. So three years later I was up North to discuss crossmedia.

And the conference did deliver some primers, valuable contacts and new insights. First of all Hemavan was the closest I had come to the North Pole. It still was no reason for me to start skiing or snowboarding. I met a group of new people. The organisers from Hemavan and Umea and a group of Nordic delegates from other institutions than I am used to. Two people made a deep impression on me as persons and my thinking about crossmedia: Christy Dena and Monique de Haas.

Christy showed the depth of the ‘discipline’ crossmedia and I am glad to see that she has stopped her blog and devotes her time to finishing her thesis in 2008; for we need a standard work on this ‘discipline’ and not the superficial articles, workshops and MBA courses touting the term crossmedia. So in 2008 I will be following Christy closely.

Monique de Haas, a compatriot, I knew only by name, as I had never met her in The Netherlands or abroad. These days she has a captive motto: Crossmedia is one big flirt. But besides using catchy phrases, she made me think about crossmedia from the user perspective. In the e-content report, I approached crossmedia from the forward production chain, not taking in consideration that in the online age interactivity had become the leading principle. So the theoretical part of sending a message to the user through various media is an element in crossmedia, but not the only one. The user is also challenged to respond through various media, using the various opportunities of the media such as a max. 196 character SMS message or a more elaborate reaction in text or by image to a blog posting.

In January 2008 I have been asked to write a new article on crossmedia for a book, which will be published by mid-2008. I have been asked to take the e-content report for departure and to integrate this with the Hemavan lecture and the conference results. This will be a nice challenge to bring three themes together: crossmedia, production chain, various media response from users and crossmedia as an instrument for regional planning.

Yet I am still convinced that crossmedia is a multi-functional, fashionable term to replace the misconceived term of multimedia, which never got any depth. I also believe that it will disappear as it is now only used for a lack of a better term. And I keep wondering why it is that the term is in use mainly in Europe (and only in some countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and Belgium and Italy. There is enough material to think about in the first month of 2008, besides other assignments.

Blog Posting Number: 961


No comments: