Monday, November 29, 2010

Tools for Transmedia part two – ThingLink

There are so many services and tools out there that could be used to enhance a transmedia property, enable creators to implement new solutions or just plain make it easier to do what you want to do with your story. A service that could be a good tool to implement for producers and creators alike is ThingLink, a venture from Ulla-Maaria and Jyri Engeström (of Jaiku / Google fame).

ThingLink is a fairly simple tool, allowing you to tag photos. As the ThingLink ppl say themselves, it’s ”a product identification tool that makes it easy to add clickable tags to any image on the web and share the tagged images on social networks.” What it means is that it enables you to use elements in pictures to help you tell more of a story in a quicker, better streamlined and more logical way than for instance hyperlinking stuff.

It looks something like this:




ThingLink is mostly geared towards advertisers and brands, which might want to have an easy way to forward interested customers to “more info” or “webshop”. But as I see it, it is a tool that can and should also be used for transmedia storytelling.

It’s a very handy tool if you as a creator want to keep a part of your story that you publish online to be based on, for example, just one full screen picture, ThingLinking your audience to different aspects, different storylines etc. It’s also possible to get a mass-tagging version of the tool, although I would feel the impact of one high-res, full screen, detailed image would be more attractive than a number of pics. It could be the entry point to everything you're offering online, or just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle - the ease with which you can implement it makes it a good tool.

I just have one small favor to ask of the developers - please include some sort of stealth mode, so that you can implement the tagging but without the spots on the picture. That would turn it into a great big Easter Egg hunt, which from a storytelling perspective is oh so much more fun!

And, yeah, it’s free to use btw. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination and creativity.

5 comments:

Janne said...

Thanks for the writeup and the idea; we'll certainly consider it (probably as a user setting).

However, in the short term you could also make the logo disappear by forcing it to be invisible via CSS on your own website. That way you could get the desired effect on your own site. For example:

.tlImageContainer .tlMenu {
display:none !important;
}

/Janne, Thinglink CTO.

Simon said...

Thanks for the comment and info Janne. Yeah, I simply find it a really easy way to enhance whatever it is you want to show your audience/users - not having to bother with implementing hotspots yourself makes a big difference.

One questions I did have was about the scaling - will the tagged items stay tagged on a full screen picture, no matter where it's viewed? I'd assume so, but please do confirm :)

Janne said...

Yup. The tags are positioned relative to the displayed image size, so you can have a full-screen image as well, even from a small image.

Simon said...

looking forward to using ThingLink in a real project!

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