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Convergence Culture

Media Theory 2012
by

Brianna Burking

on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Convergence Culture

Convergence Culture Thesis Relevant Theories “…convergence culture represents a shift in the ways we think about our relations to media that we are making that shift first through our relations with popular culture but that the skills we acquire through play may have implications for how we learn, work, participate, and the political process, and connect with other people around the world” (p. 22-23). • Uses and Gratifications Theory– Aims to understand how, why, and with what purpose people use media in their everyday lives.
• Web Theory– The web is a flourishing location for the negotiating of new boundaries and delineations around identity.
• Network Theory– The meaning of information or messages takes place because the individuals who use the architecture “layer” meanings based upon the multiple realities of online and offline worlds
• Systems Theory– Different systems interact and modify group behavior through keeping each other in check while consensually moving toward a new sense of purpose Where Old and New Media Collide Henry Jenkins, PhD Henry Jenkins is the founder and director of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program and is the author or editor of twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture. He has consulted with leading media companies about consumer relations. This is relevant to the course objective of how the media interacts, detracts from, or reinforces the dominant cultural traditions and myths of American society. Collective Intelligence “The ability of virtual communities to leverage the combined experience of members” (p.26). Pierre Levy Argues “No one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity” (p. 27). Knowledge Culture “Knowledge culture has arisen as our ties to older forms of social community are breaking down, our rooting in physical geography is diminished, our bonds to the extended and even the nuclear family is disintegrating, and our allegiances to nation-states are being redefined” (p. 27). “New forms of community are emerging, however; these communities are defined through voluntary, temporarily, and tactical affiliations,reaffirmed through common intellectual enterprises and emotional investment” (p. 27). Why do people spoil television? “Spoiling is empowering in the literal sense in that it helps participants to understand how they may deploy new kinds of power that are emerging from participation within knowledge communities” (p.29). • Spoiling becomes a game Collective Intelligence & the Expert Paradigm Expert Paradigm Knowledge in individual can master
Creates an exterior and interior
Rules to how people process information
Experts have credentials Collective Intelligence Combined knowledge of a community
Each person has something to contribute
Disorderly, Undisciplined, Unruly
Document is required to demonstrate source of knowledge Spoiling Survivor American Idol By the end of the 2003 season, FOX was receiving more than 20 million phone calls and text messages 1/3 of those who participated in voting for American Idol had never sent a text message prior to voting Forbes ranked American Idol as the most profitable reality series Reality Television Can generate a lot of buzz
Short shelf-life and limited life-after syndication
Networks re-prioritize to fit the audience
Touch Points “Impress Me” There are many media options
Focusing on customers who have a long relationship and active engagement with media content
Expression Lovemarks and Emotional Capital Convergence
Lovemarks
Emotions
The 80/20 Rule
Inspirational Consumers How Gossip Fuels Convergence Allows people to talk about their common experiences, share expertise, and reinforce social norms
Builds common ground
A way of talking about yourself through critiquing the actions and values of others Zappers, Casuals, and Loyals Zappers: Only watch snippets of shows rather than watching one show all the way through
Loyals: Choose a select few shows to consistently watch
• Casuals: Fall between Zappers and Loyals
• Serialization
• How do you watch television? Talk Among Yourselves Brand Communities: Trying to better understand why some groups of consumers form intense bonds with the product, and through the product, with consumers The Matrix In the third chapter, the author focuses at how the Matrix franchise uses several platforms to reach its complex fan base, and considers it “entertainment for the age of media convergence, integrating multiple texts to create a narrative so large that it cannot contained within a single medium” (p. 96). Jenkins had a very sound research style. He presented evidence, and where applicable, discussed both sides of the argument. For example, he discussed how effective The Matrix was in using Transmedia, but admitted it “was a flawed experiment, an interesting failure”. He explained that it was a failure because the story was not expanded upon fully in each medium. Movie critics thought The Matrix sequels were poorly written because there seemed to be gaps in the stories. Similarly, people that played the video games, read the comics, and watched the animated version thought that those stories needed more substance The story may stretch far beyond the original plot, and the user creates it, and Jenkins explains that the convergence of media has allowed for such occurrences. However, Jenkins says that when creators have their hands in developing the other mediums, like video games, interactive Web creations and such, the stories are more likely to gain a following and develop further. His key point in the chapter was that while not all users will choose to “go deep” with material creators must allow the options. The consumer must enter all forms of the Matrix media to completely experience the story. “Why Heather Can Write:
Media literacy and the Harry Potter wars” Participation:

“Corporations imagine participation as something they can start and stop, channel and reroute, commodify and market.”

“Consumers, on the other side, are asserting a right to participate in the culture, on their own terms, when and where they wish.” (p. 175) “The Potter wars” • Religious resisting the book being in school libraries and bookstores
• Warner Bros. reining in fan appropriations infringing on intellectual property. Both examples threatened the right of children to participate within the imaginative world.
– One opposing the right to read through censorship
– The other the right to write through property rights Jenkins asserts that, at its core, “the Potter wars” and other similar struggles are a conflict over literacy or over who has the right to participate in our culture and one what terms. “Here, literacy is understood to include not simply what we can do with printed matter but also what we can do with media. Just as we would not traditionally assume that someone is literate if they can read but not write, we should not assume that someone possesses media literacy if they can consume but not express themselves” Current Shift: Political World Political information is brought closer to everyday experiences of citizens
Citizens are being granted the power to change the government
Popular culture has influenced how the public acts upon political discussion How it Works Content has to be consistent with what people more or less already believed about the world
We tend to seek out like-minded communities on the web
Challenge is getting supported ideas of the “movement” back into mainstream media where they reach people who do not already share commitments , use of broad circulation Pull & Tug of Media Push medium: messages go out to the public whether they seek messages or not
Pull medium: serves those with an active interest in seeking out info on a particular topic New ideas and alternative perspectives are more likely to emerge in the digital environment, but the mainstream media will be monitoring those channels Convergence New ideas and alternative perspectives are more likely to emerge in the digital environment, but the mainstream media will be monitoring those channels Youth & Popular Culture Young people felt that entertainment media, rather than traditional journalism more fully reflected their perspectives on current events

Young people were getting information from entertainment media instead of news media

Groups with ties to the entertainment community are using their visibility and influence to push young people toward greater participation in the political process more and more The advancement of the general public's access to the media including the ability to film videos at home, burn and rip music and film onto CD’s and MP3 files, rendering F/X on home computers and much more and the interaction with the media industry. Star Wars:
Grassroots creativity meets the media industry Grassroots- the basic level of an activity
The web has increased the ability for audiences to produce their own armature cultural production Within convergence culture everyone is a participant.
Interactivity- refers to the ways new technologies have been designed to be more responsive to consumer feedback.
Example- Television
Participation- is shaped by culture and protocols
Example- A movie theater “Fans are the most active segment of the media audience, one that simply refuses to accept what they are given, but rather insists on the right to become full participants. None of this is new, what has shifted is visibility of fan culture” (Pg. 135) The merge of media producers and the consumers • The balance of active committed consumers and consumer power
• Where do media companies draw the line between the relationships of producers and consumers?
• Star wars- the use of publicity on the web “In this world, fan workers can no longer be understood as simply derivative of mainstream materials but must be understood as themselves open to appropriation and re-working by the media industries. ” Disc. Questions What if the media disagrees with what the fans are producing, if the fan production goes against the views of the media, movie, film, writer etc. How can the media control the amateur filmmakers? Is this even possible?
Should companies loosen their copyright control? “In the end the media needs the fans just as much as the fans need the media” Arguments Jenkins argues AGAINST convergence being the technological process bringing together multiple media functions within the same device. Instead, convergence is a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content. Chapter 1: Mapping how knowledge communities work can help us better understand the social nature of contemporary media consumption.
Chapter 2: “Affective economics” encourages companies to blur the line between entertainment content and brand messages.
Chapter 3: To fully experience any fictional world, consumers must actively participate across media channels.
Chapter 4 + 5: Media must move across media channels, encouraging consumer participation.
Chapter 6: Popular culture takes on responsibilities for educating the public about politics and inspiring them to participate more fully. Evaluation and Conclusion Valuable argument– Presents a way to think about convergence that includes the cultural change that is happening alongside the technological change.

• Published in 2006– A lot has changed in the past six years.
While Jenkins may have seen more and more black boxes, it seems like we are seeing less and less.
– How does that affect the way we read
Convergence Culture today? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xiDQ4_BKYow#!
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