Share Your Sandy Experience: Transmedia Project

By now every New Yorker has a story about Sandy. Some of us faired well but were astonished to see the waters covering the beloved East Village. Some of us were devastated by the destruction. In the end, we all stood together — as New Yorkers. And we continue to stand together.

During Social Media Week New York, our friends at Red on Black Productions will be showcasing the stories of our experiences during Hurricane Sandy through the mobile storytelling platform, Moveable Feast.

They want your stories.

They are looking for the stories of those who experienced the storm firsthand, as well as the hundreds of volunteers who came to help from all over the country. They will be capturing stories through video and audio to share with the others throughout the city and the world, making what we heard and saw through the news come to life.

At SMW NYC select locations, we’ll have touch points where you will be prompted to hear an immersive experience. While free, donations to Sandy Relief and the Red Cross will be accepted.

If you are interested in sharing your story, send an email to You can record yourself or they can assist with the production. In addition, please feel free to share your personal images and video from Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath to accompany the stories. The deadline is February 1.

Image by David Shankbone via Flickr

A Student’s Perspective: What the hell is transmedia?

Donovan X. Ramsey is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism and one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC.

What the hell is transmedia? It was certainly the question on my mind. Having been trained as a print journalist, I considered it a feather in my cap to have digital media skills. In fact, I was live tweeting the “Collaborative Storytelling” panel as a part of New York’s Social Media Week. Twitter is something journalists are just starting to really understand. Now this? So there I was, and iPad in my lap for note taking, my digital camera around my neck and cell phone in hand for tweeting. Was I creating in transmedia? The panelists would attempt an answer.

The panel was lively, made possible in part by gag slides displayed behind the speakers. It included Lina Srivastava, Mark Harris, Brian Clark and Aina Abiodun, who served as moderator. The diverse group was often funny and consistently thoughtful.

Srivastava studied law at New York University and now runs Lina Srivastava Consulting, where she promotes transmedia activism. She also makes documentaries like “Born into Brothels” and “The Devil Came on Horseback.” Mark Harris makes films too and unlike the other panelists he might be considered something of a techie. Harris develops software to “facilitate transmedia experiences.” Brian Clark is the CEO of GMD Studios, a company I deduce is an ad agency that works across platforms. He calls himself an “experience designer.” Our moderator, Aina Abiodun, said she stumbled into transmedia while working on a film. She is yet another filmmaker that has expanded the reach of her work through the elusive “transmedia.”

In an interview with Ad Geek in 2011, Abiodun defined transmedia as “a style of storytelling in which one core narrative idea sprouts many rich, new story tentacles across media platforms.” The discussion kicked off with each panelist’s individual definition of the term. This led to the first tangible revelation surrounding transmedia: no one can agree on exactly what it is. There were words that came up regularly however. There was talk of storytelling, experiences and collaboration. 

Clark brought up the popular “It Gets Better” campaign as an example. “It Gets Better,” the series of videos across the Internet is certainly collaborative. Everyone from President Obama to average Youtube users has recorded themselves to share stories of adversity in youth with the underlying mission of preventing suicide in LGBT teenagers. Abiodun didn’t think that was transmedia. She argued that the medium was still practically the same: video.

Then Abiodun asked a question that was sure to raise some dander “Is the bible transmedia?” The panel bounced the idea around for a while. There is the story told by a cathedral for example and that of the text. There are sermons and stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes. Heck, there are even movies like “The Ten Commandments.” The debate fired up. Srivastava offered that transmedia can’t be accidental, there has to be some intention. Did Matthew, Mark, Luke and John intend on a multi-platform experience?

A slide appeared behind the speakers that read, “You’ve grown old and died at this panel.” I looked to my phone and saw tweets flooding in with the hashtag #smwtransmedia. The audience was uploading and sharing pictures of the slide, arguing about the concepts of transmedia while the panel did. One Twitter user wrote, “#smwtransmedia wondering if the slide experience is dependent on the conversation.”

If Srivastava, Harris, Clark and Abiodun couldn’t agree on a definition, they may have designed an experience toward one.


SMWNYC Day 4: Transmedia, Deadly Sins, Tangible Action

Penultimate Day 4 of Social Media Week NYC 2012 was an amalgamation of transmedia storytelling, social media anti-best practices, and social good discussions, all centered around the integral importance of collaboration. Here are some of the day’s highlights:

  • Collaborative Storytelling: Transmedia and Social Media: A panel of creators from Broadcastr, GMD Studios, Lina Srivastava Consulting, and host Storycode dove into discussion on how exactly the transmedia form enhances collaboration and innovation platforms, and what it means for the future of entertainment, activism, marketing, branding and business. Amidst the debate, the speakers utilized an interactive demo of an innovative digital storytelling tool to outline how social media storytelling in a variety of sectors can benefit from the practice of Transmedia.
  • How and Why We Share: The Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media: A fine group of panelists from various advertising, digital media, and publication backgrounds came together to address how social media vices and virtues drive our actions online — from cyber-bullying behaviors to blind re-tweeting and rampant over-sharing. The highly interactive conversation between the panelists and audience alike incorporated various trends, research findings and real life examples that added a layer of necessary concreteness to a largely anecdotal panel theme.
  • New Business Models to Convert Human Intent into Tangible Action (followed by free after party): The evening came to a close with a fascinating discussion – held at the very cool Brooklyn Brewery – from an expert panel addressing how new business models they have created leverage social media to unlock underutilized human intent for social good and convert it into tangible action. From living greener to hitting the gym more often, the diverse panelists from StickK, Purpose, Oceana, Opower,, and host The Mutual highlighted some very enlightening ways that social media can guide us to better lifestyle choices. The Mutual sponsored after party that followed – featuring an amazing open bar of Brooklyn Brewery drafts and enormous spread of appetizers – capped the evening off with perfection.
Greg is a motivated Cornell University Hotel School alumnus, affectionately known as a Hotelie for life, with keen interests in social and digital marketing for hospitality and lifestyle brands. He’s passionate about sales and marketing in the hospitality industry, specifically as it relates to the dynamic online space. In his free time, Greg obsesses over growing his musical intellect (both modern and past-time artists apply), tennis, and running skills. Check out his lifestyle blog covering these topics at and follow him on Twitter.