Over the past 11 years in my frequent capacity of training traditional producers in the craft of emerging media production I have used a variety of tool/s, representations, diagrams, exercises, metaphors etc: that have helped them grasp a little of the complexity. There are some taxonomies and schematics in the attached wiki (formats) which are always dated as soon as you begin. Speaking of dated the diagram below is a montage of a small sample of representations from the dim and distant past – to be buried in the depths of ‘media training’ antiquity.

Gary Montage

Given that the variety of devices, delivery and media ‘packages’ are changing all the time I am constantly re-evaluating the best ways to represent this ‘changing’ world. I think (1) the pure industry route of describing the world in business jargon too limiting, (2) the academic route of describing everything using overtly flowery semantics, too disenfranchising and (3) a range of 3d visualisation engines, pretty but in the end, impractical. I am always after simple frameworks to both apply and hopefully use as a tool to aid thinking and production.

So with my work at LAMP, on-going consultation and guiding traditional programme makers/students I am starting yet another approach (keeps us fresh ;-). This first piece I have as a foundation is a schema/array for describing a media entity. There are further dimensions and components mapped against this such as plaformisation, user journeys, temporal, interaction, personalisation which I will continue in the wiki.

Media Matrix

The following diagram is a ‘simple’ one dimensional array – it’s use is described below. The intention is to describe any ‘popular’ media form that we know of in the media world using a simple alphanumeric code. (still in dev of course)
Media Journey - Media Array

Day one at media descriptor school kids. OK here is the quiz (dont cheat and read the ‘ans’wers! before you have had a go).

ques – What is a5b1c2d1 ans – TV broadcast

ques – What is a1b4c8d6 ans – a serial book or magazine

ques – What is a7b5c5d5 – a portable wireless game synched to (?)

ques – Code for someone telling you a story in person ans – a4b1c1d6

ques – Code for multistream interactive TV service ans – a5b3c2d1

ques – Code for a movie in cinema ans – a5b1c7d4

Of course we can have multiple entries per category but I think the other dimensions mapped to this will work better. Will leave you to play with the array, if you have time. Some of the items in the array are in-appropriate of course but the schema will make sense in the next installment. Don’t miss it!

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006