Friday, September 30, 2011


Open (P2P0 Design @ Pixelversity, Helsinki 16.09.2011


Etienne Mineur, Play & The Invention of Appmates

Really interesting interview with inventor, Etienne Mineur who talks about the importance of playing and seeing the world from the point of view of a child.

"Mix high technology & low technology" - Etienne Mineur

Mineur invented technology that allows real life toys to connect & talk to the iPad. Disney recently released an ipad game/toy  hybrid using this technology called APPMATES.

Find Etienne Mineur here

Interview from VentureBeat with Disney's Bart Decrem about Appmates

Disney Appmates: The New Mobile Application Toys for iPad

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#kidsconf11 London

Tweets & links from The Bookseller Children's Conference 2011
find the conference site here

Orna O' Brien
and we re off! Big crowd, mostly female! First off Philip stone
Peter McKay
Children's down 1% cf total (print) down 7% at
Peter McKay
School textbooks up 13% at £2.2m
Peter McKay
Children's fiction up 8% t
Moshi Monsters books have brought in £1.2m so far this year.
YA fiction down £9.5m in 2011. Vampires dying off? nope, Neil Denny says they will be big in 2012
Dystopian BIG for 2012
Peter McKay
Keep your horizon scanning focused on internet connected TV
Peter McKay
Online media consumption is growing among the 55 to 64 year olds hooray
Tia Fisher
"content makers are coming face to face with their audiences"
Peter McKay
go where your audience is e.g. Myspace and take an advertiser with you
Peter McKay
check out SORTED on youTube social media cooking for youngsters
Elaina O'Neill
Book sales down but storytelling way up - Andrew piller
Mike Richards
Massively impressed by the work done by FMX Freemantle - and the thinking behind it.
Peter McKay
Makes me think about what Fourth Story Media are up to - storytelling on a gaming platform
Elaina O'Neill
Adolescence : age 10-25! News to me ...
Peter McKay
Dr Clarke demonstrates that social networking is transforming the concept of "friends" for 10 to 14 year olds
Peter McKay
Transmedia gamification, words we need to understand
Dr Clarke says that kids prefer one screen, & don't talk about what they watched on TV last night - they chat on FB in realtime
Susie Day
RT : If you strip out dark romance YA fiction sales are up 20% year on year. Yay.
Fiction Express
readers are buying fewer print books - maybe because they're all reading our interactive e-books instead!?! ;)
Peter McKay
- storytelling platforms - book - film - tv - computer games - gaming - PAPERLAND/ SCREENLAND/ DIGILAND
Tia Fisher
Dubit: Children are platform agnostic. Content can start on any platform and move to another.
Peter McKay
Hour spent on books is holding steady for all age ranges but time on digital is growing fast and exceed books for older kids
Ian Chia
RT :"Kids r platform agnostic, they only care about the story & the story can start anywhere"-Dubit
Dubit's Claudio Franco: "Don't be afraid to change your story for online".  
Egmont Press: "take stories to where children are".
Transmedia doesn't have to be expensive; check out:  Trailer: .
Egmont Press: don't undervalue the importance of skilled writers in games < couldn't agree more.
Kirsty Bell
Cally Poplak of Egmont emphasizing need for publishers to develop a "digital instinct", translating & reinterpreting stories
The Bookseller
Poplak stressing the importance of quality writing by practised, professional authors in projects with digital dimension
The Bookseller
Egmont talking about its BSRK transmedia project, which starts online, then a game, app, and finally culminates in the book  
Peter McKay
check out
Enjoying virtual worlds at ? Follow and visit we take books online.
Vicky Cowell sounds amazing, though aimed at 7-12 year old boys. Do I still qualify?!
Published World
we have over 1 million children and parents reading our magazines in only 6 months so should we now go digital?
The Bookseller
interesting details about the Horrible Histories virtual world. took 18 months to create. 15k registered users in its 1st month
The Bookseller
costs now being detailed, from £50,000 for simple prototype to £200,000 plus for full virtual world..
The Bookseller
Also ongoing costs to moderate the virtual world and have an ongoing strategy to keep your users involved
Usernames 1 of the hardest things to moderate. You can create predefined usernames to save money & keep users safe
Sara, check out bottom set of PDFs re:advergames/virtual worlds/tweens/commercial v
Sam Missingham
. of Penguin talking about virtual world tie-in books Moshi Monsters - sold 3/4 of a million books in UK
How book IP's/kids brands and VWs are doing business
The Bookseller
Amanda Wood of Templar being frank about not making £ out of the web-based digital 'ology' experiment they undertook last yr
Peter McKay
Nukotoys up with Templar talking about the technology
oohs from the crowd at Nukotoys tap technology - tap a card on the ipad screen and the image comes to life and scampers! lovely  
Ian Chia
Peter McKay
Almost everyone I talk to with a print heritage has a print semantic frame and don't seem to realize how limiting it is
Peter McKay
Apps Rules from HC - innate sharing, great sory, media to aid retell, invite conversation, show off

Ian Chia
RT : User age profiles for Moshi Monsters and Bin Weevils +


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Transliteracy Notes

Transliteracy is an umbrella term encompassing different literacies and multiple communication channels that require active participation with and across a range of platforms, and embracing both linear and non-linear messages. -Dr. Susie Andretta, London Metropolitan University.

Transliteracy is a "convergence of literacies", (Lippincott, 2007:17) -Dr. Susie Andretta, London Metropolitan University.

Slideshare presented at the School Library Journal Leadership Summit where the theme was 'The New World of Reading'.  
Transliteracy and the Young Child: slides by Laura Fleming (@larfleming) & Buffy Hamilton (@buffyhamilton) & Andy Plemmons (@plemmonsa)
Read more
Laura Fleming's BLOG: EdTech Insight
Buffy Hamilton's BLOG: The Unquiet Librarian
Andy Plemmon's BLOG: Barrow Media Center

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How Can You Tell Stories In A Spreadable Participatory Culture?

How do storytellers create stories with value in a spreadable participatory culture?

Lance Weiler talks about creating social interactions and how important data becomes in constructing the story architecture & storyworld.

"Data is the future of everything." -Lance Weiler

Q:  How do you create value for the casual user?
A:  "Make ways that you can bring people together." -Lance Weiler

FOLLOW: @lanceweiler ,

Sticky Vs Spreadable: If It Doesn't Spread, It's Dead by Henry Jenkins

In THE LAND OF INFINITE MASHUPS,  it's hard to keep up.
I count on my twitter friends to share information,  inspiration or insight into the continually shifting transmedia/cross media landscape.
One needs a guidepost.
Enter Lance Weiler, the critically acclaimed writer & director.  Wired magazine named him “One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.”

Lance recently shared the syllabus for his upcoming class at Columbia University which included this white paper produced by the Convergence Culture Consortium in 2008: If It Doesn't Spread,  It's Dead: Creating Value in a Speadable Marketplace by Henry Jenkins,  Xiaochang,  and Ana Domb. You can find the PDF here.

"Given these limitations, we are proposing an alternative model which we think better accounts for how and why media content circulates at the present time, the idea of spreadable media.
A spreadable model emphasizes the activity of consumers — or what Grant McCracken calls “multipliers” — in shaping the circulation of media content, often expanding potential meanings and opening up brands to unanticipated new markets. Rather than emphasizing the direct replication of “memes,” a spreadable model assumes that the repurposing and transformation of media content adds value, allowing media content to be localized to diverse contexts of use.  This notion of spreadability is intended as a contrast to older models of stickiness which emphasize centralized control over distribution and attempts to maintain ‘purity’ of message." -Henry Jenkins


Stickiness seeks to attract and hold the attention of site visitors; Spreadability seeks to motivate and facilitate the efforts of fans and enthusiasts to “spread” the word.

• Stickiness depends on concentrating the attention of all interested parties on a specific site or through a specific channel; spreadability seeks to expand consumer awareness by dispersing the content across many potential points of contact.

• Stickiness depends on creating a unified consumer experience as consumers enter into branded spaces; spreadability depends on creating a diversified experience as brands enter into the spaces where people already live and interact.

• Stickiness depends on prestructured interactivity to shape visitor experiences; spreadability relies on open–ended participation as diversely motivated but deeply engaged consumers retrofit content to the contours of different niche communities.

• Stickiness typically tracks the migrations of individual consumers within a site; Spreadability maps the flow of ideas through social networks.

• Under stickiness, a sales force markets to consumers; under spreadability, grassroots intermediaries become advocates for brands.

• Stickiness is a logical outgrowth of the shift from broadcasting’s push model to the web’s pull model; spreadability restores some aspects of the push model through relying on consumers to circulate the content within their own communities.

• Under stickiness, producers, marketers, and consumers are separate and distinct roles; spreadability depends on increased collaboration across and even a blurring of the distinction between these roles.

• Stickiness depends on a finite number of channels for communicating with consumers; spreadability takes for granted an almost infinite number of often localized and many times temporary networks through which media content circulates.

FOLLOW: @Lanceweiler, Founder of
FOLLOW: @henryjenkins,  Confessions of an ACA-FAN

Enjoy the read!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Randy Nelson: Collaboration is Amplification

"Collaboration is amplification."
"Mastery in something is a pretty good indicator of mastery in anything."
"We want someone who is more interested than interesting."
-Randy Nelson

Randy Nelson, the former Dean of Pixar University explains why depth, breath, communication & collaboration are the most important qualities for producing great work.

New Digital Partnerships

Here are a few new digital partnerships that are worth noting in the children's APP space.

1. Ruckus will join Scholastic and create a new digital imprint.
"The venture is also looking to create “transmedia” properties, the practice of creating new and distinctive versions of a property for different media including film and print, gaming and online and interactive formats. While Berger said it was unlikely that they would be marketed as transmedia, she said works offered across multiple platforms “will be developed with creativity to a high standard in all the formats.”
Read the full article here.

2. Pearson & TikaTok (Barnes & Noble) announced a strategic partnership to integrate an interactive digital platform for creating personalized online storybooks with Pearson’s new myWorld Social Studies elementary grades program.
"A growing body of research points to the effectiveness of digital storytelling as an educational tool to engage students, to empower them as writers, and to ensure they can retain and comprehend information. Digital storytelling ensures students “know their facts, make decisions about the key elements, and shape those within the parameters of telling a story. Such work involves high-level information literacy, critical thinking and creativity; the result is an original and authentic product of the child's knowledge and imagination," said Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor California State University, Long Beach, in her report Using Technology for Digital Storytelling: Tools for Children."
Read the full article here. 

3. Random House & Smashing Ideas (may 2011)
"Smashing Ideas was actually not a newbie formed around the tablet opportunity; it was a digital developer with a decade of experience working with a variety of big non-publishing brands. But they had the tech chops to pursue the tablet opportunity and had been developing children’s apps for Random House for several months before the acquisition. Random House saw the opportunity to accelerate their own development of digital product creation skills by cross-pollinating the SI team with their own. And their stated intention, at least so far, is to allow SI to sustain its third-party development business, even for competing publishers. " - Mike Shatzkin
Read the full article here

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Transmedia Education: Digital Literacy Skills For The 21st Century

In order to participate and prosper in the 21st century children will need to develop a new range of media literacy skills.
Henry Jenkins  identifies 11 core media literacy skills in his book Confronting The Challenges of Participatory Culture, Media Education for the 21st Century published by The MIT Pres and available here as a free download.

1.  PLAY: The Capacity to experiment with the Surroundings as a form of problem solving
2.  SIMULATION: The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
3.  PERFORMANCE: The ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
4.  APPROPRIATION:  The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
5.  MULTITASKING:  The ability to scan the environment and shift focus onto salient details
6.  DISTRIBUTED COGNITION:  The ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
7.  COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE:  The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
8.  JUDGEMENT:  The ability to evaluate the readability and credibility of different information sources
9.  TRANSMEDIA NAVIGATION:  he ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
10.  NETWORKING:  The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
11.  NEGOTIATION:  The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms

How many new media literacy skills do you have as an adult?
Do you share them with the children in your life? 
If you are a teacher,  how do you share them in your classroom?

Transmedia methods used for education are transforming the classroom from an isolated top down system to a connected global network of virtual classrooms.

"Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story." -  Henry Jenkins, Sandbox Summit 2010

Here's what a media literacies class project might look like.
Explore Locally, Excel Digitally by Vanessa Vartabedian

Did you know, "65% of young people are creating media?"-Henry Jenkins

Doug Belshaw's presentation to the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales (Australia) ICT Managers Conference 2011

Read more about transmedia & education
Transmedia & Education: Three Essential Readings, Jeff Watson

Iasac Asimov with Bill Moyers On Creativity

"Every idea I've ever had I've written down." -Isaac Asimov

Bill Moyers: Can we have a revolution in learning?
Isaac Asimov: Yes
"As computers take over tasks, there will be nothing left for humans to do but the more creative types of endeavor."
"If from the start children are educated into appreciating their own creativity, then probably almost all of us can be creative." -Isaac Asimov

Did you know that Isaac Asimov was "self-trained" in astronomy and has a PhD in chemistry?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gamification by Michael Wu, PhD

Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics. You can find his blog Lithium Lithosphere here.  This is a popular presentation he gave at Digital Surrey,  a not-for-profit communtiy of digital professionals.

Another good GAMIFICATION read mentioned by Wu:
Mark Wilson: The Science of Gamification ( @mich8elwu at #digitalsurrey )

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Collaboration Spaces & Game Mechanics

Right now I'm rereading reality Is Broken by Jane McGonigal.  I'm sure I'll be reading it again.  For GAME MECHANIC NEWBIES like myself it's a must read.
I've been pulling out quotes I find interesting and need to mull over a bit more.
Like this from Sam Willison, software developer  hired by the Guardian to create the game Investigate Your MP'S Expenses in order to crowd source data investigation.

"Anytime you're trying to get people to give you stuff,  to do stuff for you,  the most important thing is that people know what they're doing is having an effect.
If you're not giving people the 'I ROCK' vibe,  you're not getting people to stick around."

McGonigal goes on to describe the "I ROCK" vibe as "another way of talking about classic game rewards,  such as having a clear sense of purpose,  making an obvious impact,  making continuous progress,  enjoying a good chance of success, and experiencing plenty of fiero moments."

Still mulling it over in relation to collaboration spaces that inspire teens to take action for social good.

FOLLOW Jane McGonigal: @avantgame

One of my all time favorite TED TALKS.