This website is the final project for my master's degree in communication. I joined the New England Sustainability Consortium in June 2014 and spent the summer interviewing members of the Maine Shellfish Advisory Council. As I continued to work on the project, I became very interested in beaches and shellfish in the region, especially how these industries are portrayed and publicized.
Over the next year, I was able to study and explore storytelling methods in my graduate classes and decided to make NEST the topic of my master's project. To be able to tell the story of NEST in a way that adequately explained some of the complexities, challenges, and dynamics of a large consortium like this, I chose transmedia storytelling as my way to share.
Media scholar Henry Jenkins describes transmedia storytelling as "the art of world making" (Convergence Culture, page 21) and has written a number of books and articles that explain it as an especially engaging way to tell fictional stories. But there is a current move in transmedia studies to adapt the method for use in non-fictional narratives as well. The most powerful example of this that I've found so far is Welcome to Pine Point, an interactive web-based documentary about a now-abandoned mining town in Canada's Northwest Territories.
Transmedia storytelling was the perfect choice for sharing NEST's work because unlike multimedia (where different types of media are collapsed into one rigid form), it allows for each piece of media to illuminate a different aspect of the story, with each fragment working with the others to provide a rich picture of the narrative. I like to think of transmedia as an ecological approach to storytelling, where a project like this website is a habitat in which different "species" of story segments participate together in a larger system. In this way, my approach to reporting is inspired by and closely mirrors the structure of NEST itself as well as the systems it studies.
Finally, transmedia is important because it engages people. Beyond simply telling or even showing the engagements already going on through NEST, this website embraced a transmedia strategy that allowed you as a reader, visitor, and co-producer to put yourself in the story, participate in its telling, and imagine your Consortium differently. The final and most important piece of this transmedia story is you and what you will do after having heard about NEST. So thank you very much for taking the time to share this journey. And thank you to everyone who made this project possible.
Transmedia Research Project by: Tyler Quiring
Project Advisor: Dr. Jennifer E. Moore
Advisory Committee: Drs. Kristin M. Langellier, Laura A. Lindenfeld, & Michael J. Socolow
Dr. Steve Jones
Dr. Darren Ranco
Dr. Bridie McGreavy
Frederick J. Moore III
Dr. Charlie Colgan
Dr. Kathleen P. Bell
Dr. Laura A. Lindenfeld
Dr. Bridie McGreavy
Dr. Teresa Johnson