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Esther Lim - The Estuary, LLC. San Francisco, CA, US

Esther Lim

CEO and Chief Experience Architect | The Estuary, LLC

San Francisco, CA, UNITED STATES

Passionately exploring the convergence of social media, storytelling, big data and emerging tech in marketing and digital entertainment




Kreative.Asia: Constructing Scalable Social Business Practices & communities Driving Engagement with Transmedia Narrative Xml bath collapsing distances SXSW 2012: The Rise of Co-Created Storyworld Communities Transforming stories into transmedia experiences 10.17 Sxsw 2011 the role of social mediums as a narrative platform





Esther Lim is a well respected Digital Marketing Leader, Transmedia Producer, Social Media Strategist, and Game Analyst. She has over fifteen years of combined interactive agency and consulting experience creating digital, social media and transmedia storytelling programs for Fortune 500 brands.

Esther founded The Estuary, a digital marketing agency working with Fortune 500 brands to develop new forms of multi-platform interactive engagement, social media, and community programs. Her projects include PIE Theory, Sun Microsystem’s alternate reality game, Cluetracker, ABC Family’s alternate reality game for the Kyle XY pilot, Verizon Surround/Verizon Presents, Verizon’s entertainment portal, community and concert series, and more.

Esther is an active international speaker on transmedia storytelling, storyworld community development and co-creation, and social media analytics at SXSWi 2011, SXSW Digital Domain, 2012, X Media Labs: Bath and Perth, Kreative Asia, Murdoch University, Cinekids Professional and StoryWorld Expo + Conference. She also blogs for Girls in Tech and has been quoted by Forbes in articles on Women in Gaming, The Wire Magazine on Interactive Narratives, Digital Book World on Co-Collaborative Interactive Narratives and Social Media Today.

Industry Expertise (10)

Computer Gaming

Media Production


Market Research

Media - Online


Social Media

Information Technology and Services



Areas of Expertise (10)

Social Media Analytics

Big Data Narrative


Community Co-Creation

Social Media Strategies




Transmedia Storytelling

Digital Narratives: Co-Created Storyworld Communities

Accomplishments (9)

Siggraph Unified Juror 4 years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 (professional)

Selected to be a Unified Juror for Siggraph USA Conference, and accepted role of Chair of Arts and Visualization for Siggraph 2010 Role involved reviewing and analyzing general submissions for Studio, Emerging Technology, Posters, Talks and Sessions for the conference years listed

International Mentor to Start-Ups and Incubators in New Media and Entertainment (professional)

Selected to be an international mentor to several dozen companies across the world looking to integrate social media as part of their digital content strategy, promotion and IP. Close to a dozen of those start-ups have gone on to receive funding.

Blue Ribbon Judge for the 2011 Emmys for Outstanding Interactive Creative Media (professional)

Invited to be part of a select group of peers within the Interactive Media Peer Group of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to select the winner for the Most Outstanding Interactive Creative Award in 2011.

Guest Lecturer at Murdoch University (professional)


Invited to speak on the future of digital narrative to the School of New Media Communication at Murdoch University.

Digital and Social Media Advisor (professional)


Invited to be an advisor in the digital think tank session with the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums of Western Australia to discuss new ways to bring content to life in the digital era. The purpose of the meeting was to develop strategies to deliver experiences to a new generation of Western Australians, in a way that was both compelling, engaging and relevant.

Digital Thought Leader and Advisor for the Bernard Van Leer Foundation (professional)


Invited to participate in a two day Expert Meeting to help shape the future of the funding program for the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The foundation's mission is to enable the global production of quality new media children's programming. The goal of the meeting was to brainstorm funding approaches, program submission and selection criteria to ensure the funding goes towards IP that will drive innovation in the way childrens' programming is developed in the 21st century.

Digital and Social Media Advisor to the Bath Ministry of Culture and Tourism (professional)


Invited to participate in a private round table discussion on how to utilize digital and social narrative as a means to create more immersive stories about the history of the city.

Received a Transmedia Producer Accredition through the Producers Guild of America (professional)

One of the early few to receive a Transmedia Producer accreditation from the Producers Guild of America in recognition for my work in Digital and Social Storytelling, Transmedia Production and Alternate Reality Game development.

Unified Juror and Chair of Posters and Sketches, Siggraph Asia 2008, 2009 (professional)

Selected to be a unified juror for Siggraph Asia's inaugural event in 2008. Later invited to be the Chair of the Posters and Sketches program in 2009.

Education (1)

San Francisco State University: French language, art history and literature, Bachelor of Arts 1991

Affiliations (1)

  • Siggraph, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Producers Guild of America, International Game Developers Association, Women In Gaming, Girls in Tech

Testimonials (6)

Paulien Dresscher , Head of New Media and Programming & Festival Programmer Cinekid | Cinekids Professional

Esther Lim has been an inspiring speaker for the Cinekid Conference in 2011 on the topic of Transmedia Storytelling. Cinekid is an international film, television, and new media festival with a large professionals division containing a cross-media conference, screening club, expert meeting, conference and seminars. Esther's experience as a speaker, her knowledge on the topics of new media, storytelling, and her technical depth have most definitely had an added value to the conference and the debate. Her talks are inspired, funny, profound and intelligent at the same time.

Erin K. Mumy, SXSW Film Conference Manager | SXSW

Esther was dedicated and committed in her preparation for her speaking engagement as a part of the Digital Domain at SXSW 2012. She handled the vast array of requirements for putting on her panel with aplomb and it's her hard work and passion that allowed for a fantastic session for registrants at SXSW.

Megan Elliot, Director | X Media Lab

Ms Lim is an internationally renowned talent in her field of interactive media and specializes in social media, location and mobile services. Her masterclasses and keynote presentations are highly sought after all over the world. We have been fortunate enough to secure Ms Lim to be an International Keynote Speaker and Masterclass Instructor at our event in KL, and have already sold hundreds of tickets to the event. Her arrival is eagerly anticipated.

Jeff Gomez, CEO | Starlight Runner Entertainment

Knowing the great need for excellent speakers on the subject of Social Media, particularly where it intersects with marketing, transmedia and practical applications, I wanted to strongly recommend my friend and colleague Esther Lim. I have seen Esther speak at major functions such as X Media Lab in Australia, Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles, and the recent Digital Conference in Bath, UK. She is a dynamic speaker, full of energy, capable of conveying cutting edge concepts with clarity and substance. She is always well-received and reviews of her talks are exceptional. Of course, Esther is highly experienced within the social media space, being the Digital Strategist and Chief Experience Architect at The Estuary, LLC in San Francisco.

Megan Elliott, Director | X Media Lab

Esther's deep knowledge of her subject matter combined with her genuine and infectious warmth makes her an inspiring speaker every time. Her sensitivity to her audience (in both preparation and presentation) and the sheer beauty of her voice, makes her one of the most engaging speakers and mentors I have had the pleasure to work with. Esther is welcome at X Media Lab anywhere anytime. Megan Elliott, Director, X Media Lab

Lauren Scime, Director of Panels & Education | Wyrd Con 2012

Esther Lim’s presence as a presenter and panelist at Wyrd Con 2012 was integral to this years successful programming. She brought to the discussions around transmedia storytelling, world building, and fan participatory culture something unique: an understanding of how users engage emotionally with narrative and actively seek content around products, advertising campaigns and other commercial applications of transmedia storytelling. Her expertise is obvious, and her vast knowledge of the subjects she presented were well received by enthusiastic attendees. I would not hesitate to invite Esther back again next year to speak!

Event Appearances (17)

The Rise of Co-Created Storyworld Communities

SXSW 2012, Digital Domain  Austin, Texas


Collapsing Distances, Connecting People with Social, Local and Mobile Technologies (So-Lo-Mo)

X Media Lab Digital Entertainment  Bath, UK


Refining the ROI Equation for Social Media

Kreative.Asia: Get Noticed  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Driving Engagement with Transmedia Narrative

Kreative Asia: Get Noticed  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Constructing Scalable Social Business Practices & Communities

Kreative Asia: Get Noticed  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Foundations of Storyworld Building

Tri WyrdCon 2012  Costa Mesa, CA


Transmedia Storytelling 101

Tri Wyrdcon 2012  Costa Mesa, CA


Transforming Stories Into Transmedia Experiences

Tri Wyrdcon 2012  Costa Mesa, CA


Generation C and Shared StoryWorlds

Storyworld Expo and Conference 2011  San Francisco, CA


Transforming Stories Into Transmedia Experiences

Cinekids Professional 2011  Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Viral Gaming – Latest Trends in Marketing and Promoting Games Online

LA Games Conference  Los Angeles, CA


Community Collaboration: Embracing the Future of Interactive Storytelling

X Media Lab Perth: What's Your Story  Perth, Australia


Interactive Storytelling

Murdoch University Guest Lecturer  Perth, Australia


Using Social Media to Promote Your Content

LA Web Festival  Los Angeles, CA


Interactive Narratives: Creating the Future of Storytelling

SXSW Interactive, 2011  Austin, Texas


Social Media Metrics

Online Market World  San Francisco, CA


Turning Customers Into Brand Advocates

Online Market World  San Francisco, CA


Sample Talks (5)

Transforming Stories Into Transmedia Experiences

Stories used to be a static activity created for a single medium. With new technologies and the mass use of social media, storytelling has evolved into an immersive, multi-platform experience that is dynamic, interactive and social. New mediums require new approaches that include an interactive design strategy, community development, game design, and social analytics to improve the transmedia experience and build sustainable storyworld communities.

Community Collaboration: Embracing the Future of Interactive Storytelling

Key Take Away: Community development and collaboration will play an integral part in creating repeatable frameworks for developing and monetizing interactive storytelling experiences in the future. Talk Highlights: How community collaboration can be used to help extend a story universe, sustain the story experience beyond the story's conclusion, build audiences and leverage them for future franchises, and create new ways to generate funding/revenue.

Constructing Scalable Social Business Practices and Communities

A pragmatic discussion about how to build, maintain and grow your social business practices in a scalable manner by identifying and leveraging community advocates. This talk also focuses on tactical steps for building a tiered community management system using light gamification techniques.

Defining the ROI Equation in Social Media

A strategic discussion about the need to define and evaluate metrics for social media measurement and effectiveness. This talk focuses on the progress we've made as an industry to date, the misconceptions that continue to persist today. This talk also examines how we develop and measure key performance metrics to provide more concrete and actionable strategies that deliver very quantifiable business cases for continued company investment in human and financial resources.

Engaging Audiences through Transmedia Narrative

A very tactical talk about how marketers leverage the power of story to attract, engage and retain audiences inside their brand universes. The talk focuses on how to design stories that resonate with audiences, starting with an in-depth exploration on how to develop audience personas to drive story development and build brand experiences. Tactical learnings continue into the use of social analytics for insights gathering with exercises on how to derive the narrative from the data collected.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Corporate Training


3000 to 10000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee