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Frank Rose
New York
Author of The Art of Immersion
Recent Activity
Thanks Peter. Yes, in fact it's still playing in New York. Details at
Thank you! I'm eager to experience it myself. I saw a scale model at Cooper Hewitt but it was a bit like looking into an oversized shoebox.
Agreed. I'm particularly intrigued by your second point—that media companies need to define success differently for different types of stories. Breaking news is going to have a short-term spike, while thought pieces should (ideally) be much more evergreen. And certain types of stories, including stories aimed at a particular sub-community, are likely to spark much more engagement even if they draw less traffic than the norm. Which ought to have a lot to do with how you determine success. Incidentally, speaking of evergreen, the interviews I did with Henry Jenkins for Spreadable Media, the book you did together, seem to draw more traffic than just about anything anything else on this blog. Nice.
Thanks, Sarah. Very interesting about the success of the live blog format in increasing time on site. Of course live blogging is mainly used for breaking news stories, which are particularly likely to keep people glued to a screen, so that makes sense. The Guardian certainly does this a lot—in fact they've got one going right now on the situation in Greece.
Sarah, I suspect you have a point. But I don't think the problem is with the Pen itself—it's more a question of expectations. Decades ago, when audioguides were introduced, I'm sure they seemed like a major advance—you could actually tour the Met with Philippe de Montebello speaking into your ear! Now they just seem dreary. The Pen is far more interactive and versatile than the audioguides and the smartphone apps that are supplanting them, but it's not immersive in the way you describe. And if we're ever able to step into a Vermeer, I'm sure the Pen will seem quaint. But it will also be one of the things that helped get us there.
Adam, nice to hear from you. I agree about the benefits of watercooler culture, virtual or otherwise—I just don't think we need blockbusters to get there. Which is good, because I don't think we're going to get blockbusters in the classic sense—hits yes, but a handful of massive hits that crowd everything else out, no. Which strikes me as a pretty healthy scenario.
Thanks, Arthur. An excellent point.
Thanks, Sarah. I totally agree. There's nothing inherently wrong with SEO. There is something wrong when it's used to game the system, tricking people into clicking on links that aren't going to give them what they want. Google's Panda algorithm—and in particular the updates that went into effect in 2013—was specifically intended to penalize low-value content farms like Demand Media. The good news is, it worked.
Thanks, Daniel. That's a good question. I certainly don't think it's going to achieve smartphone-like penetration. But I think the people who want a head-mounted display like the Oculus Rift are going to really, really want it, even if they're not a huge subset of the population. I suspect it will resemble the participation levels of deeply immersive entertainment experiences like Why So Serious? for The Dark Knight—they take on a funnel shape, with large numbers of people following the action online, smaller numbers of people solving puzzles and contributing to the online discussion, and even smaller numbers of people venturing out into the real world to retrieve cakes that turn out to have phones in them. The deeper the engagement, the fewer the participants, and the greater the reward. I could be wrong, but that seems to be the pattern.
Thanks, Sarah, much appreciated. In fact I've recently joined Future of Storytelling's board of advisors, so let me see what I can do about an invitation. This year's conference is being held on Thursday October 3, and I believe there are a few spaces still available.
Nice—very nice. Thanks for sharing this. Now I'm eager for the series, out next month:
Precisely. I think a great deal of confusion could be avoided if more people understood the difference between digital media and physical media. Infinite objects v. scarce objects is a good way to put it.
Thanks, Tim. CONTAINER sounds fascinating. Please keep me posted.