A nice little toy to play with down below which has resulted from a few recent think streams. I have been thinking hard about the potential millions of formats that can be created by mashing the many traditional media forms with even more new media forms – endless combinations of genre, platform, structure, intention and so on. This is nothing new for me as last century I was busy producing BBC cross-media forms, then working on the TV-Anytime (Mpeg7-21) classification dictionaries and of course recently leading LAMP and its transmedia work. I have blogged about media forms many times and regular readers may remember this simple ‘Media Universe’ diagram (right), that talks about community created content (including professional producers) but really about separating distribution from screen from media type so you can identify form(at) for audience.

So for a bit of fun I threw together an ‘Experience Generator’ (in good old shockwave) that plays on a few key concepts and potential new formats. It contains five of the sections of comprehensive classification dictionary I worked on with a small team at TV-anytime, originally a bloated and complex matrix of intention, format, content, commercial product, intended audience, origination, alert, media type and atmosphere – all used to describe content in depth so service providers and consumers are able to perform rich findability and personalization respectively. For the ‘Format Generator’ below I enhanced only five of the Classification Dictionary areas:

  • intention (what an experience is meant to achieve) – list of 27
  • content/genre (the subject or niche area) – 690
  • format (the shell or structure of the experience) – 108
  • media type (the actual key media element) – 17
  • atmosphere (a rather fluffy, mood the experience should create) (This is a very Far East input into the standard) – 55

So how to use it. Click once on the ‘app window below’, then press letter keys (ideally in sequence top to bottom) to randomly generate something unique and cool. The consider how you would produce the experience. Doing the sums based on the number of items in each list the possible combinations are 1 881 257 000 format/experiences! OK, it’s not perfect yet there is a little overlap between format and media type (still working on that), there are far fewer newer forms than older ones, but I think a very useful ‘format for thought’ generator. Enjoy (oh and good luck with the auto shockwave plugin browser