A response: character and story in new media and transmedia

My reaction after reading The Atlantic piece on @MayorEmanuel was disappointment that I had not seen the story unfold in real time. When I think fake Twitter account, I think fake snake that escaped from the Bronx Zoo. I think light, fun and spontaneously crafted. I hadn’t, until now, considered a fake Twitter account to be a bonafide work of fiction. Sinker’s story is long enough to be a novella, but the way in which it was created is nothing like the traditional novella, novel, short story or anything else. I enjoyed reading about how the strictures — or perhaps they can be seen liberties — of Twitter, like the 140 character limit and the disjointed manner in which tweets are published, affected Sinker’s story.

You suck at Photoshop was pretty amusing. I admire the way in which the creator blends, quite seamlessly, storytelling and teaching. The videos could stand alone as entertaining pieces of fiction, but they also possess a practicality, a functionality — Donnie, through his melancholy and frustration with how his life has unfolded, actually is teaching people how to use Photoshop. I watched the first four videos — about 15 minutes — and already feel as though I have a strong understanding of the characters, especially Donnie. The details the creator has planted (the many photos of guns on Donnie’s home computer and the threatening [and unopened] emails from his boss on his work computer) are ingenious. There are some great lines, too, and I’ve actually learned a few things about Photoshop.

As a lover of classic literature, I was drawn to the concept behind The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice, but I appreciate when contemporary creators return to these old works. When researching a project like this one, I’m always impressed with the level of coordination across social media and different platforms. I’ve never been a “fan” of such show, and I’ve always wondered how fans are able to keep up with a show that is unfolding in so many different places. A show like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries requires not only the creators to be plugged in to a variety of networks, but it requires the same of its viewers. That’s a commitment that intrigues me, but it’s one I’m just not willing to undertake.

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