If I had a story to tell, and I do, and we all do because storytelling is the essence of humankind, how would I tell it? Well, when I started the storytelling process at an early age, I grabbed my grandmother or whoever was next to me and started babbling. In school, I wrote essays with intriguing titles such as “How I spent my summer vacation” or “What it is like to live in the country.” At the end of my twenties, I volunteered for a local radio station and had my own show in which I talked about cultural events in Munich (not in the country anymore!)
Today I am writing a blog, I am setting up a website, I am thinking about my own podcast, I am creating Machinimas to be posted on YouTube. I tweed, I am on Facebook, I can reach anyone, anywhere, at any time. That’s fascinating!
As a scholar, I am interested in complex narratives that are told across a variety of media. Digital media smoothed the way to a form of storytelling, that received many definitions: transmedia storytelling, multi platform storytelling, cross media communication, the list is long. All these definitions come with different concepts but the question that is relevant to all of them is: How do we manage those stories, and how do we manage the media appropriated to tell them? We need a strategy! The focus of my research is narrative management strategy with all the implications on the production and reception side. I do believe we need to teach transmedia (and Henry Jenkins, who piqued my interest in the topic during my master’s degree, does so already at ULCA) and we need to teach with transmedia. My students are born digital. They study, interact, work, write differently, and as one student recently admitted: “Our generation does not read anymore”--read in the traditional sense. I’ll talk about that soon.
We have come a long way in the storytelling process, but we are only at the beginning of an exciting road to new narrative strategies. I am excited that I am part of this, and I am equally thrilled to be part of HASTAC. Well, that’s me! I look forward to meeting many of you.