Story: Compose

How can you best employ the concept of compositionality to tell a story across multiple media platforms?

A transmedia (or multiplatform) storytelling experience involves the central idea or story arc and how it engages the senses and creates meaning through the combination of its form and content. Transmedia is compositional; the meaning of a text depends on the meanings of its subtextual parts and how they’re arranged and woven together.

We can think of transmedia as exhibiting compositionality. Individual parts of the narrative and their overall arrangement across platforms affect the experience of a text and often help shape a story or brand identity. For instance, Charity:water, a non-profit founded by Scott Harrison that works to bring clean and safe drinking water to developing nations, uses media compositionally.

Screenshots from Charity:Water Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, December 15, 2014.

Charity:water shares their simple yet important mission through various media— Facebook, Twitter, a Website, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each media element on each platform tells a slightly different story, while connecting to the organization’s larger theme to reinforce their overarching mission, attract supporters, and make people aware of their humanitarian efforts.