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Week 3 Intro to Media lecture - Convergence and Remediation

Intro to Media MDIA1002 Lecture Week 3

Kim Barbour

on 11 December 2018

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Transcript of Week 3 Intro to Media lecture - Convergence and Remediation

Convergence and Remediation
MDIA 1002 Introduction to Media Lecture 3
Today's class
What is convergence?

What is remediation?

What are the implications of these ideas for the ways that we understand digital media?
Lecture builds off Jenkins reading, with some reference to Lanzara's application of 'remediation'.
Jenkins discussing grassroots movements as examples of convergence and remediation, rather than platform dependent.
Our models have changed. What does that mean?
What are the changes?
Directionality - from one to many, to many to many
To who controls:
the text
the message
the distribution
the ownership
the use
the revenue
Changing models also challenge some of our existing theories
Pyschoanalytic film theory – we are no longer merely spectators
Stereotyping and selection – now there are more producers than before – will there be more diversity in representation?
Ideology – relied on a concentration of ownership and control of the message being broadcast. If ownership patterns change, will the rich and powerful still control the media we engage with?
Henry Jenkins: convergence culture
"the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want" (p. 2).
Key elements of convergence:
Content moves
Cooperation between media industries
Migratory behaviour of audiences across platforms
Commercial media and grassroots/amateur media
Technological, industrial, cultural, social convergences
Movement of content
We can track content as it is migrated across platforms by different users
Who is driving the mobility?
Commercial/industrial sector?
Amateur sector?
How does it change as it moves?
Who changes it?
Are they 'allowed' to change it?
Participatory Media
Very active 'audience'
Have become producers
Not all producers are equal
Power is unevenly distributed
Sometimes corporate power is dominant (agenda setting, IP, attention, data mining)
Sometimes grassroots power can dominate - distributed and networked power can be effective
Fan Production
The internet and digital media make it possible to:
Reproduce content easily
Distribute content across a wider/global audience
Edit/remix and mash-up content
Publish fan-fiction to a wider audience and create large fan communities
Emergent forms
Old media do not disappear
They are
through new forms
through technology
AND through the social and cultural practices in which they are embedded
The Guild
Draws on the codes and conventions of Multiplayer Online Games, music videos, animation, online social cultures, television
Draws on television soap opera, but short form webisodes
Starts amateur, goes viral, becomes commercial
Sustainable niche audience
Translates to DVD & merchandise
Convergences in
The Guild

YouTube platform, internet, video equipment, distribution channel, comment streams, optional 'producers commentary', format - short and low resolution
spawned through grassroots media, BUT YouTube is big business and owned by a bigger one. Series sponsorship by Sprint Mobile. Note: none of these are traditional media companies.
Convergences in
The Guild
: requires a niche understanding of gamer culture, language, and stereotypes. Emerges out of growing and innovative culture of amateur and participatory production, as well as shift to gig culture, job insecurity, casualisation etc (connects to industrial convergence)
: More dialogic than TV - fans & producers communicate directly. Viral distribution through social networks rather than broadcasters. Plays on marginalisation of gamer identity
And this! - Live streaming through Twitch TV
Media as social communication
Foregrounding a bit - we have a topic on this later in the semester
Personal communications are much more mediated now
We communicate through 'social media'
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, text messaging, are all used many times a day, cross-platform spread of content
This creates new forms of relationships - social convergence
The data trails created are commodifiable, creating new businesses - industrial convergence
This creates new issues about power, control, and privacy - cultural convergence
Affordances and constraints
What does the remediation allow us to do that is different?
How do we know what a new piece of media technology is for? How should we use it?
What did we used to be able to do that we can't do now?
Composition software for music students
VCR technology for trial lawyers
Convergence and remediation: Streaming TV
Bringing together:
broadcast length episodes (30/60 minutes)
story and character arcs that stretch across multiple episodes or seasons
collections of episodes as seasons
communications and entertainment technologies
subscription models
But also creating new:
consumption patterns ->
on-demand viewing
binge watching
Challenging cable, which challenged free-to-air (although both are still there)
production and distribution industries
Key Concepts for today
Convergence - social, cultural, technological, industrial
Remediation - taking existing media content/tech/concepts and making something new from it
Affordances and constraints - what does a converged and/or remediated form allow us to do or stop us from doing?
For next week
Emily van der Nagel, From usernames to profiles: the development of pseudonymity in Internet communication, Internet Histories, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 312-331.

Lee Farquhar, 2013. Performing and interpreting identity through Facebook imagery. Convergence 19, 446–471.
There will be a couple questions on Echo 360 during the break, but you can jump on and answer the first one now.
Full transcript