Transmedia Storytelling Tools: Part 1

Over the past few year, I’ve been exploring transmedia and non-linear storytelling. Transmedia storytelling is the practice of telling a story across multiple platforms and formats. It follows the distributed, non-linear way the web is set up, with hyperlinks and content split across multiple sites, and is a radically different way of telling stories.

Part of my research has been on the tools we can use to do this. I’ve listed a few below. Hopefully you can use a few of them to start telling new kinds of digital stories.

Images and Multimedia Platforms

Thinglink allows you to create interactive images by adding popup interactivity. Spread out across multiple images, this could be a really interesting way to explore a story.

Klynt is a webapp that allows you to create rich, multimedia content. It is a paid platform, but has a good set of features and integrations.

Meograph is another multimedia content tool, but has a smaller feature set.

Cowbird is a storytelling community. It uses a very simple set of interactions to tell human interest stories. As part of a larger narrative, it would be a very good way to explore a characters motivations or inner thoughts. A Jonathan Harris project.

Aesop Story Engine is a WordPress theme that uses a variety of plugins for different story content. This gets very close to the atomic narrative content I discussed in my FOWD talk in London.

Zeega is another multimedia content tool. The emphasis on audio and gifs makes it accessible for the modern web.

StoryCorps is a platform for telling personal stories. It is focused on the American experience, and offers a great model for audience-led personal narrative.

Twine is an open-source tool for telling non-linear, hyperlinked stories. It is one of those pure web tools, and does not rely on extensive functionality or tools to work, but is kind of inaccessible for those with no technical background. For an example, see Transit

Mapstory is community focused on sharing data and knowledge. The emphasis here is on spatial, open-source data. This model could potentially be used in other contexts, such as to create starmaps, or other fictional narrative content.

I will be posting more examples in Part 2, so stay tuned!