Week of 2/6 Post


Jenkins, “Interactive Audiences”

In this article, Jenkins discusses the participatory nature of media audiences and he outlines three trends that caused the trend to appear:

  1. New tools and technologies enable consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content;
  2. a range of subcultures promote DIY media production, a discourse that shapes how consumers have deployed those technologies; and
  3. economic trends favoring the horizontally integrated media conglomerates encourage the flow of images, ideas, and narratives across multiple media channels and demand more active modes of spectatorship

In this article, the separation between self-organized groups and other groups is recognized. Self-organized Web communities break down the barriers of communication and can shift to different communities when their interests change. Jenkins describes online fan communities as “expansive self-organizing groups focused around the collective production, debate, and circulation of meanings, interpretations, and fantasies in response to various artifacts of contemporary popular culture.” He also talks about science fiction fans, and how the fandom even created more science fiction writers. The Star Trek fandom began as a group lobbying to keep the show on the air. Jenkins then talks about how computers changed the concept of fandoms, as they allowed fans to communicate across different platforms, and sped up the spread of information. A notion from Jenkins I really enjoyed is that “television producers are increasingly knowledgeable about their fan communities, often soliciting their support through networked computing.”

While I read this article, I think of the transmedia storytelling we learned about in Media Audiences — especially, of course, that involved in Mr. Robot. The show’s creator, Sam Esmail, often spreads Mr. Robot’s influence to other platforms. One of the most recent examples of Esmail taking advantage of new technology is the VR experience he created for San Diego Comic-Con — the experience showed a 13 minute video following Elliot, the main character, and allowing the audience to hear his commentary and thoughts.

This relates to the reading because Jenkins talks about an interactive audience — Esmail knows that the Mr. Robot audience is intelligent, always looking for clues. In order to allow them to interact with the media, Esmail leaves hints throughout the series, and provides countless ways for the audience to interact with the television show. Jenkins explains how new tools allow audiences to interact with content, and I feel that the virtual reality (VR) experience is really him taking advantage of one of the newest technologies to immerse fans into the Mr. Robot world. This article explains the VR in more detail.


Jenkins & Bertozzi, “Artistic Expression in the Age of Participatory Culture”

In this reading, Jenkins and Bertozzi start off by describing Chloe, a fan of Japanese culture. I laughed a lot while reading this part because I was really in to Japanese music and culture in middle and high school, and this described my life to a T. The article then talks about how the lines between professionals and amateurs are blurring, because people are “developing reputations within a larger community.” The chapter focuses on a “new participatory culture” that has strong support for young people to share and create, compiling information from seven young artists. Young people are constantly producing media, but people still complain that the youth are not involved in the arts heavily. As young people, we also have more access to information and the means of cultural production and distribution than the generations before us.

When I read this article, I thought of my experience in the Japanese rock, or J-Rock, community. I used to find new bands to listen to, research artists and then eventually got into learning two of the three Japanese alphabets. I would always come home from school and practice the alphabets, then find more manga to read and try and see what I could translate. I loved learning about the culture and developed a presence and found friends with similar interests on LiveJournal as well as Tumblr, and other websites I can’t recall.

This relates to the reading because Jenkins and Bertozzi discuss the youth using the information they are given through the impressive amount of media we have access to. I was able to express myself and create my own content because of my interests. Without the internet, I’m not sure I could have learned the Japanese alphabet as quickly as I did, or find more phrases and general aspects of Japanese culture.


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