Convergence Culture & Innovation

Mitch Joel points to this excellent video by Henry Jenkins, which outlines some of the key points from his book Convergence Culture:

Mitch uses this to point out the importance of storytelling in marketing:

The brands that win are the brands that tell a great story. When it comes to transmedia storytelling, the brands that win are the brands that tell many great stories and are able to connect them all together. One way to get better at telling great stories, comes from understanding the structure, form and ingredients of a great story.

He then includes 15 books that help explain how to create a great story.

I think that this is also critically important for innovation. One of the issues in innovation is that we not only have to come up with great ideas, and figure out ways to make them work, but we must also figure out how to get them to spread. This is a storytelling problem.

Transmedia is the idea that we now have multiple media channels that we can use to tell our stories. Michael Wu criticises the simplistic view of this which views the multiple channels as simply more routes to take in broadcasting from us to our customers. He includes this graphic, which shows the ideal in the third panel:

He encourages using these multiple channels to encourage interactions among the people using our ideas.

This is an essential innovation lesson. Getting our great ideas to spread is the last step of the innovation process. We now have many new methods that can be used to do this. If we’re smart, we won’t simply use these as new channels that allow us to do the same old thing. Instead, we’ll also be innovative in our use of the new media pathways. That’s the best way to improve the chances of getting our ideas to spread.

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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