Audiences eh. What to call them?
‘Audience’ just doesn’t cut it when the projects are designed to interact and encourage engagement. Participant is too easily confused with the people helping to make the project/up on the stage/running the workshop/delete as applicable.
I’ve just spent a very clunky and irritating 3 hours writing a funding application calling them ‘audience/participants’. Helps my words per minute stats, but surely I can do better than this.
I don’t know why I spent so long thinking about terminology and sector-specific phrasing yesterday ahead of last night’s event. There was a woman there who sets mathematical models to music.
This afternoon I’m going to an event put on by Creative Works to introduce their voucher scheme and to talk about the consumer (audience) as co-creator. Looking at the attendee list, lots of forward-thinking people from the arts sector who want to discuss how to better involve their audiences in the development of their programmes- which will then of course lead to increased audiences for their programmes. It felt that only a year ago the arts world were only thinking about using tech to create innovative marketing campaigns, now it seems like people are really engaging with the possibilities around creating content with audiences.
I’m very excited. Lately I’ve been so frustrated that there’s this hugely exciting explosion of people making crossplatform stories, yet theatre makers don’t seem to be in that first wave- they seem to be entirely left out of the dialogue. Despite there being quite a few brilliant interactive theatre shows that explore the audience as co-creator, and often use technology to take those audiences on journeys as participants, I don’t see the creators of those shows at transmedia networking events, where everyone tends to have a background in the audiovisual industries. I’ve never met anyone else from the theatre sector there, and it’s been a lonely experience!
So I want to think carefully about what language I’m using when I talk to people this afternoon- I’m concerned that the word ‘transmedia’ is a huge turnoff in the arts world (it has the word ‘media’ in it for starters)! I talk with ‘transmedia’ people about making immersive stories that are ‘platform agnostic’ (i.e story comes first, decide on platform afterwards) and how audiences can interact and direct the story- both of which are increasingly concepts the theatre world can get on board with.
So I guess all I need to do this afternoon is talk about how I ‘make immersive stories that engage the audiences as co-creators’, and I’m essentially spanning sectors. And more importantly, hopefully engaging people in the idea that the mistakes and successes currently being made in transmedia has a lot to teach the arts world.
Wish me luck.
An attempt to take an old and popular format- Pitch Up! (complete with peppy, unsquashable exclamation mark) and make it work for the crossplatform storytelling world. Imaginatively titled ‘Cross Platform Pitch Up!’
I ran this event at BAFTA last week. The format needs some tweaks but there’s potential to take it further.
What I’m really interested in doing is providing a pitching competition for people who are at an earlier stage in their careers than those who pitch to Power To The Pixel. I am also really interested in making sure that people from the immersive theatre and arts/tech worlds get involved. Such inclusiveness will all come down to the marketing.
For fans of Coney, and particularly for fans of A Small Town Anywhere (and I know there’s quite a few of you out there) here’s an opportunity to see how a new Coney show gets built.
Coney is currently making Early Days Of A Better Nation (it’s a new development on from the successful A Small Town Anywhere)
Being an audience led- show, it can’t be developed without the audience. So we’re creating events to do that, and we’d like you to come along, play, and give us some feedback!
First, come to an informal ‘playtest‘ this Thursday 26th at Stoke Newington International Airport. It’s free and we’ll be testing some of the game -like structures that push you through the narrative.
Then, pay what you can (and a pound would do it) to come to the first public scratch, i.e work in development, at Battersea Arts Centre in south London.
I’m currently writing a proposal for an ‘enhanced eBook’ for children. Or perhaps just an eBook; has there been collective agreement on when an eBook becomes more enhanced than usual? Anyway. I found some interesting statistics compiled by Christopher Maselli. Thanks Christopher, I didn’t have to go far to find out a lot:
- Ebook sales grew 177% last year.
- 53% of those who buy ebook readers state that they now read more books than they did before.
- 2.6 Average number of books read by e-reader owners in a month.
- 1.9 Average number of books read by print-book readers in a month.
- Amazon sells 143 ebooks for every 100 hardcover books they sell
- The average Amazon customer buys 3.3x as many books after buying a Kindle than before they had one
- iPad sales are expected to be 15.6 million this year and 46 million next year.
- iPad users: 65% male, 63% under 35, 39% make more than $80k.
- Kindle users: 52% male, 47% under 35, 44% make more than $80k.
- 44% of people prefer Kindle on the iPad over the iBookstore.
The iPad statistics are particularly interesting at this point as we conceived this book with that device in mind- what else can offer web connectivity, apps, games, video etc etc. Actually, I hear the Kindle Fire can at a much lower price.
Geekdad in his Wired column articulated something that’s at the core of it for me- the independence of thought that these new tools could afford our children:
But, an eBook can go a ways toward helping children develop frameworks for exploration and help them learn the art of problem solving and information seeking. If books have traditionally nurtured a love of stories and words and knowledge, I want eBooks to empower my children to tell their own stories, to make up new words and definitions and to recognize and embrace knowledge in a way that is dynamic and creates a love of life.
Which is exactly what we want to embody in our eBook- playfulness, curiosity, exploration, an unwillingness to accept dogma (Ive just realised that Steve Jobs’ Stanford speech covers pretty much all of these)