From Coding to Stories: The Medium to the Message

swissnex San Francisco hosts a transmedia meetup organized by TransmediaSF, a San Francisco community dedicated to multiplatform storytelling.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


September 25, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

“19th century culture was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by cinema, and the culture of the 21st century will be defined by the interface.”

Lev Manovich, Visual arts professor and media theorist, in a synoptic Tweet of his essay, “Database as a Symbolic Form

Transmedia is a form and practice that consists of playing with forms and content, media, stories, narratives, and technology. Because transmedia is fundamentally about using all new media to create innovative forms of storytelling, technology holds a central place in the conversation. Bringing to life Marshall McLuhan’s assessment that “the medium is the message,” the code behind a story is often an inherent part of the narrative, as well as a starting point in the creative process. New tools like Twitter, HTML5, and mobile devices, along with new techniques like crowdsourcing and dating mining, have brought new story experiences to the public.

Traditionally, we have relegated storytellers and technologists to separate, distinct roles. In today’s transmedia world, they are two sides of the same coin, because in storytelling, the medium and the message are often one. The Meetup will focus on the relationship between narrative and technology: What is the tension between technical challenges and artistic aspirations in the creative process? What are the latest technologies currently used by digital storytellers?

Ten minutes will be set aside for attendees to offer 60-second pitches. This is your time and your platform to share with the community what you are working on, whether you are hiring or looking for collaborators, and if you’re looking for work or hosting an event. All pitches must be no longer than 60 seconds, and they must answer 4 questions: – What is my project? – What do I need? – What can I offer to the community? – How can I be contacted?


6:00 pm  doors open – come and have a drink!
6:30 pm  from Coding to Stories panel discussion
8:00 pm  60-Second Soap Boxes
8:10 pm  reception and networking
9:00 pm  doors close


David Austin

David Austin has more than 25 years of extensive product and corporate development experience. Prior to joining Turner Broadcasting, he was a senior director at Apple Inc. During his time there, David delivered a broad swath of consumer products working extensively with senior executive management, including working directly with the late Steve Jobs on the original Keynote and iWork products. He also co-founded a startup and worked for a boutique venture capital firm. Since leaving Apple in 2009, he has been an investor, advisor, and board member to many angel and venture-backed startups. David has a BS in math and computer science and holds three patents.


Geoff McGhee

Geoff McGhee is an online journalist specializing in multimedia and information graphics. Working at a Stanford University research center, he collaborates with media partners, researchers, and scholars to create interactive stories, data visualizations, and analytical tools. A veteran of online news, he has worked at the New York Times and, and in France at Le Monde Interactif, covering a wide range of stories from war and politics to natural disasters, history, art, and culture. In 2009-2010, he spent a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University studying data visualization, which resulted in the widely cited web documentary “Journalism in the Age of Data.”


Michael Chang

Michael Chang is a Creative Technologist at the Data Arts Team at Google, and the lead designer and programmer for independent video game Blade Symphony. He’s responsible for creating data visualizations at Google as well as procedurally animated brand and ad elements at Google. He is a graduate of UCLA Design Media Arts program and a martial arts film aficionado. Check out his Global Arms Trade Visualization Project.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

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