One interesting thing about social media is that they really get you in touch with a lot of different people. And that, sooner or later, brings interactions and conversations. Since I started writing this post series, some people have addressed me asking some doubts. I’m grateful to have awakened their interest and to have the opportunity to write a bit more about these matters.
One question was about which kind of company is needed in order to create transmedia narratives. I will use Space Nation’s story as an example to explore a bit more about this concept.
Space Nation is a fast moving & growing start-up in a fast changing innovative area and, since the very beginning, communication has been a relevant part of the process. By definition that makes Space Nation’s story a transmedia narrative. (For starters, they needed to tell their story in a lot of different ways to attract investment and talent).
All companies write their story day by day, but when you look at start-ups you can see it more clearly. I will save the company backstory for a better occasion: today I want to focus on the organizational structure of the company, because the daily activity of it becomes the story (or an important part of it). So, although the main goal of Space Nation is not to create a transmedia narrative, it does; and doing so it becomes a transmedia brand story.
But first I want to make a quick note on company’s activity. Not Space Nation, but any small business. Direct observation of the behavior of these environments is always very tricky. The problem is always not about what you see, but about the conclusions you make about what you have seen, because a lot of start-up’s behavior marks them as horizontal-flat organizations, but that’s only because there is a small number of people working there. As soon as they get bigger (or you study them closer) you see that at their heart they are vertical ones.
As Space Nation grows, this reflection came to the spotlight and some vital resolutions were taken. The company organized departments (galaxies in the internal code name) that have their specific identity (crew, goals, strategies, times and methodologies). Some people belong to only one galaxy while others are part of various and, finally, a few people participate in all of them.
If you imagine that structure, try to visualize it like real galaxies, so they keep moving and evolving, and even some elements (some people, even some galaxies), can move from one relative position to another one. Why would they move? Because balance is always a “balance in motion” (some would call it unstable equilibrium), not only in space, but in narrative and in business: something that today makes sense, tomorrow makes no sense at all. That’s why.
Everyone creates their own stories (with their personal relationships, past and path). And every galaxy does the same. And also does Space Nation as a whole.
And then you have all the stories outer members of the company tell (people and organizations belonging to the same brand universe, like users, stakeholders and many more).
Coming back to the first question: of course you will have “classic narrative teams” (filmmakers, copies, community managers, whatever) that they will do their job, but you also will have other members that will collect stories and that will take care about the coherence of the transmedia narrative, because it will be complex, and fragmented, but will also have an intention.
So, if you want to create a transmedia narrative you will need a sensible, flexible, multiplatform, multimedia team that understands the relevance of the details as well as the general vision, that will follow the conversation and evaluate which way will be the best way every moment, and whose goal will be to make sense of everything.
If you liked the post, please, share it. If you want to learn more about our project, visit https://www.spacenation.org and follow the conversation at https://twitter.com/space_citizens (ENG) and https://twitter.com/gentespacial (SPA). And if you have more questions, feel free to ask them: I’ll do my best to answer them or, at least, to open and contribute to the dialogue.
Images: original image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasacommons/9456562107/in/album-72157634965902099/ NASA on The Commons. Credits: No known copyright restrictions
Disclaimer: all this series only reflects my personal point of view, and you must never read it as official statements from the company although it is obvious that, mostly, both of them are on the same wavelength.