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Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways. Henry Jenkins, one of America's most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that a Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways. Henry Jenkins, one of America's most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that are taking place as media converge. He takes us into the secret world of "Survivor" Spoilers, where avid internet users pool their knowledge to unearth the show's secrets before they are revealed on the air. He introduces us to young "Harry Potter" fans who are writing their own Hogwarts tales while executives at Warner Brothers struggle for control of their franchise. He shows us how "The Matrix" has pushed transmedia storytelling to new levels, creating a fictional world where consumers track down bits of the story across multiple media channels.Jenkins argues that struggles over convergence will redefine the face of American popular culture. Industry leaders see opportunities to direct content across many channels to increase revenue and broaden markets. At the same time, consumers envision a liberated public sphere, free of network controls, in a decentralized media environment. Sometimes corporate and grassroots efforts reinforce each other, creating closer, more rewarding relations between media producers and consumers. Sometimes these two forces are at war. Jenkins provides a riveting introduction to the world where every story gets told and every brand gets sold across multiple media platforms. He explains the cultural shift that is occurring as consumers fight for control across disparate channels, changing the way we do business, elect our leaders, and educate our children.


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Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways. Henry Jenkins, one of America's most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that a Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways. Henry Jenkins, one of America's most respected media analysts, delves beneath the new media hype to uncover the important cultural transformations that are taking place as media converge. He takes us into the secret world of "Survivor" Spoilers, where avid internet users pool their knowledge to unearth the show's secrets before they are revealed on the air. He introduces us to young "Harry Potter" fans who are writing their own Hogwarts tales while executives at Warner Brothers struggle for control of their franchise. He shows us how "The Matrix" has pushed transmedia storytelling to new levels, creating a fictional world where consumers track down bits of the story across multiple media channels.Jenkins argues that struggles over convergence will redefine the face of American popular culture. Industry leaders see opportunities to direct content across many channels to increase revenue and broaden markets. At the same time, consumers envision a liberated public sphere, free of network controls, in a decentralized media environment. Sometimes corporate and grassroots efforts reinforce each other, creating closer, more rewarding relations between media producers and consumers. Sometimes these two forces are at war. Jenkins provides a riveting introduction to the world where every story gets told and every brand gets sold across multiple media platforms. He explains the cultural shift that is occurring as consumers fight for control across disparate channels, changing the way we do business, elect our leaders, and educate our children.

30 review for Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    INITIAL REVIEW BELOW-- HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO NOW, AND HERE? I joined Goodreads at the behest of a student in 2007. I teach lit. I get a chance daily to read and comment on reading with a circle of smart, engaged readers; I also am supposed to write about my reading, and connect with other readers and writers professionally. Why, I asked this student, would I want to get on a "social networking site for book geeks"? What on earth would be useful--or fun--when my every day is neck-deep in books an INITIAL REVIEW BELOW-- HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO NOW, AND HERE? I joined Goodreads at the behest of a student in 2007. I teach lit. I get a chance daily to read and comment on reading with a circle of smart, engaged readers; I also am supposed to write about my reading, and connect with other readers and writers professionally. Why, I asked this student, would I want to get on a "social networking site for book geeks"? What on earth would be useful--or fun--when my every day is neck-deep in books and writing about books? Heck, he said, you might find it interesting. I rambled about for a few weeks. Star ratings and reviews? Amazon has that, and Amazon is a store. Sort of helpful when scanning products, but not much of a resource for a deeper user investment. When I want reviews, I surf about to various (and ever-expanding) professional outlets. What do I get here--what's the value added? My first inkling of what GR could be was in a rip-roaring fight about Norman Mailer (or it might have been Philip Roth) between David Kowalski, brian gottlieb, and Manny Ramirez. Knuckledusters out--no punches pulled. Mean, uncivil, smart as hell. I joined in. I realized (small world) that Manny and brian knew someone I knew in L.A. I met, through them, a bunch of other interesting people. It was never so much about their reviews, although good lord David and brian--like so many others on this site--can produce critical reflections as incisive, expansive, downright funny, boldly provocative as anyone writing about literature anywhere ("professional" or not). It was instead about battling, and joining virtual hands, in a bond about books. It was a perfect intersection of critical engagement and community networking... and I just plain liked the people I ran into, and the chance to read beyond those circles to see how other communities read. (YA -- who knew there were such fascinating and invested readers and critical debates? I don't join in, but I have loved being able to examine and relish how invested fans rigorously engage their aesthetic, ethical, personal values over works they cherish or deride.) But. It seemed for a stretch that Goodreads had a bead on something wonderful at the corner where the new paradigms of new media are converging. (And here's the hat-tip to Jenkins.) Newspapers are dying, so whither the book review? Well, damn: maybe here? The intersections of the "professional" and the fan review emerge most forcefully--seem most powerfully to build upon what's best in both--when there's a rich social network with an expansive open-access audience. More critics, more writing, more dialogue about literature, more dialogues about the various open contexts which shape literature (the autobiographical, the debates about authors, the connections readers draw between works and with other readers)... GR had something hot. This isn't a store--see above: Amazon doesn't need a mirror site. But the way this social space could connect to the new marketplace was beyond intriguing -- publishing and selling books are also changing radically, and again GR seemed to be finding a way to anchor in READERS' networks and make a new kind of sense of what to publish and how to market. The production and consumption of literature are always linked; GR signaled a possible new kind of linking. Notice the past tense there? The links between production and consumption, between publishing/selling and a vibrant (finicky, contentious, or in other words INVESTED) audience are always tense. But tension is often a sign of tremendous vitality and health. What *seems* like "Lord of the Flies" (to steal from a recent article) is really just the red-in-tooth-and-claw ecosystem in which literature always thrives. What I think has begun to happen here is an attempt to tamp down the problems, which throw the ecosystem out of whack -- which put the thumb on the scale for producers, corral the consumers.... ... it's what usually happens to vibrant folk cultures when the markets intervene. Which is probably headier--i.e, pedantic and blowhardier--than is needed. But it seems to me that GR has been tamed, and the taming is a market decision, and I could give a shit about investing in yet another place that is all about me being a *mere* consumer. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I'm a text guy, a loving diviner of the messy complexities of the formal object--whether a novel, a pop song, a photo, a film. I get kicks from hermeneutics. And I found my pleasures amplified when, in grad school, I began digging around in what goes into shaping that text (ye olde production questions) and who and how it gets read, viewed, used (ye olde consumption questions). But even with these new factors added into the interpretive calculus, too often ideas about meaning tended to collapse into rigid schools of thought, banked on rigid foundations in one of those elements. Production trumped all (the text as commodity, the reader a dupe), consumers triumphantly made hay with the stuff of the market (and reworked anew, again and again, great art), and so on. I caricature here--there are obviously a lot of great, contradictory, hotly-debated nuances and parsings. The calculus of interpretation remains more algebraically open-ended than geometrically precise. (And thank god.) Which is all a longwinded way to introduce how Jenkins--in this as in other works--kind of blows my mind by really, really, *really* thinking with astonishing creative rigor about how the social act of meaning-making occurs out there in the world. His point in this work seems to hammer home a thesis developed through much of his criticism: those old neat boundaries (production, text, consumption) mean little now, maybe never meant as much as we thought but especially not now. He's not merely a new-media cheerleader, and he's far from the gloomy critical pessimist, and he's never less than fascinating about subjects (Survivor message-boards and spoiling, the duelling and divergent attempts to control the fan-fiction readers/writers of Harry Potter) I might not normally give a whit about. And his last chapter, on the convergence of popular and public culture in the 2004 election, outlines how our theories and understandings of how people engage with(in) these new media/cultural worlds are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what's possible. It's prescient stuff, reading his take on 2004 when we're knee-deep in 2008's election. Really dug this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    notgettingenough

    Is this where it all started, what we have now. A quote from this book: In the spring of 2004, a short video, edited together out of footage from newscasts and Donald Trump’s hit TV show, The Apprentice (2004), was circulating across the Internet. Framed as a mock preview for The Apprentice, the narrator explains, “George W. Bush is assigned the task of being president. He drives the economy into the ground, uses lies to justify war, spends way over budget, and almost gets away with it until the Is this where it all started, what we have now. A quote from this book: In the spring of 2004, a short video, edited together out of footage from newscasts and Donald Trump’s hit TV show, The Apprentice (2004), was circulating across the Internet. Framed as a mock preview for The Apprentice, the narrator explains, “George W. Bush is assigned the task of being president. He drives the economy into the ground, uses lies to justify war, spends way over budget, and almost gets away with it until the Donald finds out.” The video cuts to a boardroom, where Trump is demanding to know “who chose this stupid concept” and then firing Dubya. Trump’s disapproving look is crosscut with Bush shaking his head in disbelief and then disappointment. Then came the announcer: “Unfortunately, ‘The Donald’ can’t fire Bush for us. But we can do it ourselves. Join us at True Majority Action. We’ll fire Bush together, and have some fun along the way.” Who would have imagined that Donald Trump could emerge as a populist spokesman, or that sympathetic images of corporate control could fuel a movement to reclaim democracy? A curious mix of cynicism and optimism, the video made Democrats laugh at the current administration and then rally to transform it. True Majority was founded by Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream). Its goals were to increase voter participation in the 2004 election and to rally support behind a progressive agenda. According to its Web site (www.truemajority.org), the group has attracted more than 300,000 supporters, who receive regular alerts and participate in letterwriting campaigns. Interviewed a few weeks before the election, Garrett LoPorto, a senior creative consultant for True Majority, said that the core of viral marketing is getting the right idea into the right hands at the right time. This video generated a higher than average response rate, he argues, both because it expressed a widespread desire to end a failed administration and because The Apprentice provided a perfect metaphor to bring that decision closer to home: “We aren’t here talking about this grand cause of appointing someone as the leader of the free world. We’re just trying to get some guy who screwed up fired. It’s that simple.” Their goal was to get these ideas into the broadest possible circulation. To do that, they sought to create images that are vivid, memorable, and evocative. And most important, the content had to be consistent with what people more or less already believed about the world. Locating people who share your beliefs is easy, LoPorto says, because we tend to seek out like-minded communities on the Web. Each person who passed along the video reaffirmed his or her commitment to those beliefs and also moved one step closer toward political action. A certain percentage of the recipients followed the link back to the True Majority site and expanded its core mailing list. Repeat this process enough times with enough people, he argued, and you can build a movement and start to “nudge” the prevailing structure of beliefs in your direction. At least that’s the theory. The real challenge is to get those ideas back into mainstream media, where they will reach people who do not already share your commitments. As LoPorto acknowledged, “All we needed to do is to get NBC to sue us. If they would sue us over this, this thing would go global and everyone will know about it. That was our secondary hope. . . . NBC was too smart for that—they recognize it was a parody and didn’t bite.” Hoping to make politics more playful, the True Majority home page offered visitors not only the “Trump Fires Bush” video, but also a game where you could spank Dubya’s bare bottom, a video where “Ben the Ice Cream Man” reduces the federal budget to stacks of Oreo cookies and shows how shuffling just a few cookies can allow us to take care of a range of pressing problems, and other examples of what the group calls “serious fun.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Jenkins discusses the current convergence culture that media is a part of. How the media consumers havs become producers, and consume on their own terms. How fans of popular culture and literature write their own fan fiction and the copywright laws are challenged. How people become editors of online magazines before the age of 14. How people use photoshop to voice their opinions before a government election. These grassroots collide with the corporate media, which has to adjust to the consumers Jenkins discusses the current convergence culture that media is a part of. How the media consumers havs become producers, and consume on their own terms. How fans of popular culture and literature write their own fan fiction and the copywright laws are challenged. How people become editors of online magazines before the age of 14. How people use photoshop to voice their opinions before a government election. These grassroots collide with the corporate media, which has to adjust to the consumers to not loose them. The book awakes questions about the increasing interactivity, such as how the grassroots begin to challenge professionals, how commercial culture affects the reliability, how the easy accessible information affects people's integrity, and last but not least, the dire situation of professional journalism. It's a frightening culture for educated journalists since everyone can be published, and as frightening for the industry, since no one wants to pay for journalism today. Journalism has to acclimatize to better make use of today's climate and find a way to make news in it, as well as convince people that they want to pay for it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clementine

    Henry Jenkins is one of my favourite media scholars. After reading many excerpts from his works over the course of my undergrad, I decided to purchase Convergence Culture with an eye towards potentially using some of its concepts in my graduate work. I really enjoy Jenkins' writing because it is so clear and accessible. It isn't bogged down with academic jargon or cryptic syntax, and he defines new terms he introduces clearly. I also love that he uses contemporary case studies to illustrate his c Henry Jenkins is one of my favourite media scholars. After reading many excerpts from his works over the course of my undergrad, I decided to purchase Convergence Culture with an eye towards potentially using some of its concepts in my graduate work. I really enjoy Jenkins' writing because it is so clear and accessible. It isn't bogged down with academic jargon or cryptic syntax, and he defines new terms he introduces clearly. I also love that he uses contemporary case studies to illustrate his concepts. My undergraduate degree was essentially in pop culture studies, so I love when cultural texts that are seen as banal and frivolous are studied in a serious academic way. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Survivor, The Matrix,and Harry Potter (perhaps because I was quite familiar with each franchise already), but I found each chapter to be fairly interesting and very effective case studies. Jenkins is an extremely astute and intelligent man, but his writing is enjoyable to read. I've read it for school and now I'm reading it for fun. I like that his work straddles the academic and consumer worlds and can be cited in scholarly journals while remaining compelling to the general public. Really my biggest issue with the book - and Jenkins' writing in general - is that there isn't always a flair to his style. I realize this is quite nit-picky. I found my attention easily held throughout the chapters on subjects with which I was already familiar and interested in. My attention wandered a bit during some parts of the other chapters because there is nothing that wows me about Jenkins' style. I do like that it's clear and accessible, but when the subject matter didn't interest me hugely the style wasn't always quite enough to make reading truly pleasurable. But overall I think this is an excellent book from a legendary media scholar. By the way - this book was written a decade ago and some of it is pretty funny because the media and cultural landscape has changed considerably since then, and a lot of it seems fairly prescient considering the time it was written. Jenkins effectively predicts the Netflix model in one chapter, for example. Most jarringly, I found this sentence: "Who would have imagined that Donald Trump would have become a populist spokesman, or that sympathetic images of corporate control could fuel a movement to reclaim democracy?" Ahh. Who would have imagined indeed...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    I always like Henry Jenkins and this book is no exception. He does a good job of exploding the one-device idea of convergence and paying attention to the social and cultural processes around convergence and participatory culture without getting too frothy. The first few chapters which examine the role of fan communities and corporations' alternate stances on them were pretty good in outlining the punitive/"collaborative" stances that companies (and different entities within one conglomerate) hav I always like Henry Jenkins and this book is no exception. He does a good job of exploding the one-device idea of convergence and paying attention to the social and cultural processes around convergence and participatory culture without getting too frothy. The first few chapters which examine the role of fan communities and corporations' alternate stances on them were pretty good in outlining the punitive/"collaborative" stances that companies (and different entities within one conglomerate) have taken toward fans and fans' responses to and awareness of theses strategies. However, typically, I liked best the last three chapters that talked about fannish practices of remix, appropriation, community-building and participation that pave the way we deal with cultural and moral questions, literacy and education, political participation and how we can apply these skills to an increasingly transmedia world. Of course I like the call not to get wrapped up in the technology, the brand, or the inevitability of convergence and miss out on this "critical utopian" moment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The best book on Transmedia around. In fact, the bible.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Su

    I read this book for a class, and yet I still managed to like it! Obviously, any book written about TV/internet/media is going to be outdated almost before it is published, but that didn't diminish many points about where we have been and where we are going. It was kind of like a glimpse back in time, but with enough insight to still have some relevance today. I read this book for a class, and yet I still managed to like it! Obviously, any book written about TV/internet/media is going to be outdated almost before it is published, but that didn't diminish many points about where we have been and where we are going. It was kind of like a glimpse back in time, but with enough insight to still have some relevance today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    I used to really hate this book, but a re-read has softened some of the edges of my dislike. I still think that Jenkins is too optimistic in his vision for a democratic mediascape built around viewer/audience participation, but I appreciate more now his knowing defiance of dystopian stereotypes. The theories that he uses to guide us through the various situations that he examines in each chapter are still remarkably useful, even if the exact content maybe hasn't aged particularly well. I was sur I used to really hate this book, but a re-read has softened some of the edges of my dislike. I still think that Jenkins is too optimistic in his vision for a democratic mediascape built around viewer/audience participation, but I appreciate more now his knowing defiance of dystopian stereotypes. The theories that he uses to guide us through the various situations that he examines in each chapter are still remarkably useful, even if the exact content maybe hasn't aged particularly well. I was surprised, though, that some chapters--notably the one on The Matrix and transmedia storytelling--hold up quite nicely. All in all this is an interesting, important read, even if it ultimately ends up being less than realistic about the possibilities and future of media. Related to that, I must say that I don't think my snark here is just a benefit of hindsight; we've come into much of the media landscape that Jenkins predicts in this book, but the concepts themselves are still useful enough that I feel justified in critiquing him as too hopeful from this point on, not just in retrospect.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    Some interesting thoughts from the conclusion. (view spoiler)[ "As a utopian, I want to identify possibilities within our culture that might lead toward a better, more just society. My experiences as a fan have changed how I think about media politics, helping me to look for and promote unrealized potentials rather than reject out of hand anything that doesn't rise to my standards. Fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration: if media content didn't fascinate us, th Some interesting thoughts from the conclusion. (view spoiler)[ "As a utopian, I want to identify possibilities within our culture that might lead toward a better, more just society. My experiences as a fan have changed how I think about media politics, helping me to look for and promote unrealized potentials rather than reject out of hand anything that doesn't rise to my standards. Fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration: if media content didn't fascinate us, there would be no desire to engage with it,; but if it didn't frustrate us on some level, there would be no drive to rewrite or remake it." (247) "Critical pessimists, such as media critics Mark Crispin Miller, Noam Chomsky, and Robert McChesney, focus primarily on the obstacles to achieving a more democratic society. In the process, they often exaggerate the power of big media in order to frighten readers into taking action. I don't disagree with their concerns about media concentration, but the way they frame the debate is self-defeating insofar as it disempowers consumers even as it seeks to mobilize them. Far too much media reform rhetoric rests on melodramatic discourse about victimization and vulnerability, seduction and manipulation." (247) "The politics of critical utopianism is founded on a notion of empowerment; the politics of critical pessimism on a politics of victimization. One focuses on what we are doing with media, the other on what media is doing to us." (248) (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Johnson

    If you like pop culture and want to learn from media trends and changes you will find this book interesting. Most interesting is the concept of knowledge communitites. A knowledge community is any group of people who through a commom interest want to gather their knowledge to socialize, learn, investigate. Of importance to a knowledge group is the process of learning, gahtering data, decyphering intelligence, and drawing conclusions from this process. The author uses the example of Surivior Spoi If you like pop culture and want to learn from media trends and changes you will find this book interesting. Most interesting is the concept of knowledge communitites. A knowledge community is any group of people who through a commom interest want to gather their knowledge to socialize, learn, investigate. Of importance to a knowledge group is the process of learning, gahtering data, decyphering intelligence, and drawing conclusions from this process. The author uses the example of Surivior Spoiler internet groups. The shared experience of gathering intelligence from many sources, of learning not from folks who leak information but from pure found evidence spur the members on. When they are presented with infomration from somone form the inside of the Survivor production team the thrill of the investigation fades away. Its all in the process for this knowledge community. How can I use this information in my job? does this effect the way educators should be approaching teaching plans and lessons. Maybe so. However, I question the premise that this type of community is what is needed for essential education that our client's market. The idea of setting up a knowledge community and knowledge community experiences sould have online applications but I question how an educator might control this environment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    DeadWeight

    Great book - Jenkins stuff on narrative is always a wild ride - just a shame the cover sucks so bad. It looks like a f*cking XMBC overlay.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Natali

    This book is strong in media theory but I did not enjoy the author's choice of case studies. Jenkins defines the convergence culture as a place "where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways." He uses fan culture to demonstrate the emerging power of the media consumer, specifically fan culture around Survivor, American Idol, The Matrix, Star Wars, and Harry This book is strong in media theory but I did not enjoy the author's choice of case studies. Jenkins defines the convergence culture as a place "where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways." He uses fan culture to demonstrate the emerging power of the media consumer, specifically fan culture around Survivor, American Idol, The Matrix, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. Obviously, I enjoyed the chapter on Harry Potter but I didn't care at all about Survivor or American Idol. I had to force myself through those chapters. I do, however, concede that the fan culture aruond these shows demonstrates increasing agency and decreasing passivity in media consumption. If you can force yourself to care about the case studies long enough, this book is a useful study of media and society and surprisingly clairvoyent about the ways in which the digital revolution has and will continue to change the shifting equilibrium between media and consumer.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    It covers a lot of pop culture stuff, which keeps it a fun read, but the concepts he uses them to illustrate are really fascinating- How does writing fan fiction connect writers from different backgrounds and encourage a communal approach to editing and fair use copyright laws? How do fan forums devoted to figuring out a TV show build group-based knowledge instead of individual-based knowledge? How should companies try to control or feed off of the interest people have in their content? How will It covers a lot of pop culture stuff, which keeps it a fun read, but the concepts he uses them to illustrate are really fascinating- How does writing fan fiction connect writers from different backgrounds and encourage a communal approach to editing and fair use copyright laws? How do fan forums devoted to figuring out a TV show build group-based knowledge instead of individual-based knowledge? How should companies try to control or feed off of the interest people have in their content? How will the internet change the world? etc. etc.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Podraza

    Jenkins expertly pulls together an interesting range of media and media communities in his analysis of convergence culture--the processes through which media producers and media consumers intersect to both revise old and create new relationships among media types. Though this book would primarily appeal to an academic audience, I appreciated Jenkins' efforts to make the text accessible and engaging to a more general audience. Jenkins expertly pulls together an interesting range of media and media communities in his analysis of convergence culture--the processes through which media producers and media consumers intersect to both revise old and create new relationships among media types. Though this book would primarily appeal to an academic audience, I appreciated Jenkins' efforts to make the text accessible and engaging to a more general audience.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andy Oram

    I'm not convinced that the incidents of consumer involvement cited by Jenkins have become mainstream, but it's fascinating to see that the growth of Internet-based, crowdsourced art forms--which I'm convinced will became a major force--are not done in isolation from mainstream media but are echoed in those media. I'm not convinced that the incidents of consumer involvement cited by Jenkins have become mainstream, but it's fascinating to see that the growth of Internet-based, crowdsourced art forms--which I'm convinced will became a major force--are not done in isolation from mainstream media but are echoed in those media.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nelson Zagalo

    The book that first defined the concept of "Transmedia Storytelling", but that's it, nothing else here to invest your time. The book that first defined the concept of "Transmedia Storytelling", but that's it, nothing else here to invest your time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Salazar

    This is such a good book! Anyone interested in media and culture should read this -- especially chapter four: "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Grassroots Creativity Meets the Media Industry." This is such a good book! Anyone interested in media and culture should read this -- especially chapter four: "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Grassroots Creativity Meets the Media Industry."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Williams

    some of it is out of date now, but it's interesting to see how prescient Jenkins was about how our cultural conversation would evolve. some of it is out of date now, but it's interesting to see how prescient Jenkins was about how our cultural conversation would evolve.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cụt Chim

    Good book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike Putnam

    Still a great read. I can’t imagine how he would update it if he went back one more time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yifat Shaik

    interesting read but aged a lot

  22. 5 out of 5

    KJ

    Thoughtful and thought-provoking look at how new media is changing the ways in which we relate to old media. I found it much more engaging than the more academic articles in Fans Bloggers and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age -- I was even entertained, enough that I could read it while traveling. One of the things I appreciate about Henry Jenkins is that he writes about the Internet without either glorifying or demonizing it, and that he also looks at older media with a clear eye as well; Thoughtful and thought-provoking look at how new media is changing the ways in which we relate to old media. I found it much more engaging than the more academic articles in Fans Bloggers and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age -- I was even entertained, enough that I could read it while traveling. One of the things I appreciate about Henry Jenkins is that he writes about the Internet without either glorifying or demonizing it, and that he also looks at older media with a clear eye as well; he understands their strengths and weaknesses, and has a strong sense of where old media and new can complement one another. His approach is also very user-centered -- I think he does a good job of actually examining what people do, rather than being blinded by his expectations. The book does have a serious downside: it's dated. The publication date is 2006, but the text is clearly much older, by several years in some cases. The chapter on media convergence and politics focuses on the 2004 presidential election, the chapter on Harry Potter was written before the release of HP5, the chapter on fans picking up clues from a television series to figure out the truth of what's happening focuses on Survivor and The Matrix series was used as the primary example of a cross-media text. I found myself itching for more recent perspectives: what does he make of Lost and the elaborate games the producers play with the fans? What about the cross-media presence of Heroes, or the presidential campaign of Barack Obama? (As an aside, I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone in the Obama campaign read this book and applied its lessons to their online strategy.) I do read Jenkins's blog from time to time, and I plan to go back through his archives to see if he addresses any of these issues. But it is an unfortunate limitation of academic works on fandom. That said, I still find what Jenkins has to say relevant and interesting, even if I have to make some of the broader connections myself. And his final call to action -- fighting censorship, overly broad copyright restrictions, and the consolidation of mass media -- is as timely as it ever was. Definitely recommended.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Due in part to his book Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (2006), Henry Jenkins is being touted as the Marshall McLuhan of the 21st Century. However, whether or that is a fair comparison is a matter better left to those who better understood The Medium is the Massage. Media analyst Jenkins uses this book as a platform to examine what, exactly, is really happening to culture at large when new media and technologies appear. Jenkins grounds his analysis in a variety of specific (a Due in part to his book Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (2006), Henry Jenkins is being touted as the Marshall McLuhan of the 21st Century. However, whether or that is a fair comparison is a matter better left to those who better understood The Medium is the Massage. Media analyst Jenkins uses this book as a platform to examine what, exactly, is really happening to culture at large when new media and technologies appear. Jenkins grounds his analysis in a variety of specific (and likely well-know) cultural phenomenon from recent years. In a chapter entitled "Spoiling Survivor: The Anatomy of a Knowledge Community" Jenkins examines the online activity of predicting who will be on (and ultimately win) the TV reality game show of "Survivor." In addition to explaining what spoiling "Survivor" really means, and how one user ultimately spoiled the spoiling, as well as explaining how online communities in forums and message boards create a knowledge community of sorts around a common interest. Knowledge communities are a recurring theme for Jenkins and, in fact, many books on Web 2.0 and media in the modern world. The idea being that no one in a community can know everything but everyone knows something and together the community knows a lot. Other subjects include negotiating online marketing and promotion as exhibited through Coca-Cola's relationship with "American Idol." Another big theme in Convergence Culture is how the digital divide (the gap between those who have computers and those who only have access to public computers or no access at all) and the participation gap (the separation between those who create online content and those who do not) impact online culture and society. Convergence Culture provides detailed analysis of a phenomenon that everyone has witnessed and experienced but few people actually know about in a way they can articulate. Jenkins and his book provide people with the tools to examine and discuss how media and new technologies are impacting and indeed changing our lives in a variety of ways. At times the language gets a little technical, but if you have the time and the interest, this book won't disappoint.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bozza

    I first discovered Henry Jenkins when I read Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture all those years ago. As an active fan, it was glorious stuff to find such an intelligent and insightful book dealing sympathetically (even enthusiastically) with fandom. Between then and now, for some strange reason I haven't devoured Jenkins' every word... Possibly because I feared that anything else could only be a let-down? :-) Foolish notion, that! :-D I very much enjoyed this book which de I first discovered Henry Jenkins when I read Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture all those years ago. As an active fan, it was glorious stuff to find such an intelligent and insightful book dealing sympathetically (even enthusiastically) with fandom. Between then and now, for some strange reason I haven't devoured Jenkins' every word... Possibly because I feared that anything else could only be a let-down? :-) Foolish notion, that! :-D I very much enjoyed this book which deals with all the excitement and possibilities of 'convergence culture', in which stories are told across multiple media platforms, many of which are deliberately designed to be participatory. Jenkins recognises the love and passion inherent in our fannish engagement with media. He is also an advocate for the fannish feeling of empowerment - though he tempers that with acknowledgement of the tension between our empowerment and the control exercised to one extent or another by the corporate world. He sees ways forward through that tension, though, and that's so damned refreshing to me. To be honest, I found reading the Introduction a bit of hard work, but then once we were into the chapters it was all written in a very engaging and enjoyable style. There's a useful glossary up the back, with the help of which I should think any reader (academic or not) should find this book very easy to consume! Highly recommended for all who are at all interested in media studies.

  25. 5 out of 5

    anne

    I can't recommend this book highly enough. Although the typos and type-setting problems made me want to tear my hair out at times, that should be blamed on NYU Press, not Jenkins. This book is really a must-read for anyone who plans to be involved in education, media, business, parenting, writing, entertainment, government, and/or pretty much any other field in the 21st century. Jenkins assessment of current trends had me nodding my head enthusiastically, feeling like my eyes had been opened. He I can't recommend this book highly enough. Although the typos and type-setting problems made me want to tear my hair out at times, that should be blamed on NYU Press, not Jenkins. This book is really a must-read for anyone who plans to be involved in education, media, business, parenting, writing, entertainment, government, and/or pretty much any other field in the 21st century. Jenkins assessment of current trends had me nodding my head enthusiastically, feeling like my eyes had been opened. He manages cautious-optimism, charting a course through new media waters without the blinders that obscure some otherwise interesting looks into the future. Although he claims in his introduction to have gone running back to an academic press (a mistake, I think, from the clear disrespect of his work evidenced in the many type-setting errors), Jenkins writing is incredibly easy to read, and he offers an incredibly smooth entry-way into topics that might otherwise seem obscure. To top it off, the whole thing is fun and enjoyable. What more can you ask for? I should say that I don't think this book covers everything - I'm sure Jenkins would never claim that it does. There are many areas he leaves unexplored, sometimes only gesturing to them. In particular, he is clear from the beginning that much of the book revolves around early adopters, and because of this the relationship of more marginalized populations to these trends is under-examined, however, I think Jenkins sets good ground to jump off from, especially in his chapters on education and democracy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    MM

    Tricky thing, relationships between culture and politics. Calling himself a “critical utopian,” Jenkins ascribes all kinds of power to “consumption communities,” or fans. He sees collective meaning-making among fans as beginning to change our institutions, from advertising and entertainment industries to the military, law, and politics – and he sees these changes as fruitful, powerful, and encouraging. Pulling out several case studies in popular culture (American Idol, Survivor, Harry Potter, Th Tricky thing, relationships between culture and politics. Calling himself a “critical utopian,” Jenkins ascribes all kinds of power to “consumption communities,” or fans. He sees collective meaning-making among fans as beginning to change our institutions, from advertising and entertainment industries to the military, law, and politics – and he sees these changes as fruitful, powerful, and encouraging. Pulling out several case studies in popular culture (American Idol, Survivor, Harry Potter, The Matrix) he explores what Pierre Levy calls “collective intelligence” among consumers, participatory culture, and media convergences (which he posits as more than a technological phenomenon, but also cultural and social). While his is an engaging argument and he identifies hallmarks of contemporary media culture (and hey, I like arguments that celebrate media culture in the face of dire media analyses), I confess to being a bit stuck in what Jenkins would call “critical pessimism.” Quite simply, I have a difficult time caring about the ways in which commercial media have become responsive to consumers’ desires, emotions, and so forth – I just don’t like feeling commodified. Ultimately I’m not sure I buy (so to speak) his “politics of participation,” and I’m certainly sure I don't like framing these power dynamics in terms of labor relations (i.e. describing fan power over corporate media as “collective bargaining power”).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    I logged on to Goodreads with the intention of labeling Henry Jenkins my new academic crush, only to find that someone's already done so. Eerie. Anyway, Jenkins is a cultural theorist who often works with modern popular fan culture, which is a surprisingly small field considering the strange psychology at work and the vast amounts of people in this media-saturated society who take place in some sort of fan group activity, whether it be book clubs and discussing American Idol or roleplaying and wr I logged on to Goodreads with the intention of labeling Henry Jenkins my new academic crush, only to find that someone's already done so. Eerie. Anyway, Jenkins is a cultural theorist who often works with modern popular fan culture, which is a surprisingly small field considering the strange psychology at work and the vast amounts of people in this media-saturated society who take place in some sort of fan group activity, whether it be book clubs and discussing American Idol or roleplaying and writing fan fiction. Convergence Culture studies the ways in which new entertainment media are designed to provoke and to respond to the audience. Jenkins studies internet reactions to "spoilers" in the Survivor community, the interconnected nature of movies, comic books, and video games in the world of The Matrix, Harry Potter fan fiction, and more. He draws on the social aspects of information technology as described by Pierre Levy and discusses how such collective intelligence can be used for grassroots political movements and how the immediacy of communication is changing the way we view the arts. On a tangential note: also eerie - I had already borrowed this book from the library when I said that someone should write a critical essay on Harry Potter fan fiction.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Candy Wood

    This interesting book defines convergence culture with chapters on Survivor, American Idol, The Matrix, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, all showing how media consumers are becoming active participants in the creation of texts. It's a strong argument for an emphasis on media literacy in schools as well as for adults to whom many of the electronic platforms are foreign (or even abhorrent). I especially liked Jenkins's comparison of the "transmedia storytelling" of The Matrix--films, games, comics, We This interesting book defines convergence culture with chapters on Survivor, American Idol, The Matrix, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, all showing how media consumers are becoming active participants in the creation of texts. It's a strong argument for an emphasis on media literacy in schools as well as for adults to whom many of the electronic platforms are foreign (or even abhorrent). I especially liked Jenkins's comparison of the "transmedia storytelling" of The Matrix--films, games, comics, Websites--with the medieval churchgoer's experience of the story of Jesus through listening to readings and seeing artworks. But now ordinary viewers can write or create their own versions and publish them for a wide audience. Jenkins also points out a gender disparity: male readers more often create parodies, which are accepted by the copyright holders, while female readers write fan fiction, which is not. Warner Brothers' protectiveness of the Harry Potter franchise is an example of the latter. Jenkins also explores the implication of this greater participation for American politics.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I liked the premise of this book and I found the overall argument to be both interesting and, with some exceptions at the end where Jenkins tries to provide a voice for the future, persuasive. What follows is not a review of the book, it's an observation. If you're writing a book about popular culture, even for an academic audience, you might want to assume that some of your readers--while probably also academics--are what one might call huge nerds. Not that you have to write "for" them, but you s I liked the premise of this book and I found the overall argument to be both interesting and, with some exceptions at the end where Jenkins tries to provide a voice for the future, persuasive. What follows is not a review of the book, it's an observation. If you're writing a book about popular culture, even for an academic audience, you might want to assume that some of your readers--while probably also academics--are what one might call huge nerds. Not that you have to write "for" them, but you should account for that and remember that we take our genres no less seriously than academic scholars and the difference between getting our canonical information wrong and misattributing a Shakespearean quote is one of degree, not kind. 1) It's spelled Gandalf, not Gandolf. Gandolf is the name of a priest in Robert Browning "The Bishop Orders his Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church" (and last year's January winter storm, for reasons still unknown). Gandalf is the wizard in Lord of the Rings. 2) Ewan MacGregor did not play a young Qui-Gon Jinn, he played a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. Liam Neeson was Qui-Gon Jinn.

  30. 4 out of 5

    amylea clemons

    Jenkins' book is a celebration of all things internet-y, and rightly so. While he is at times too optimistic about the present and future of "convergence" and online interaction, that optimism is usually needed to quell the forces of all those people out there telling us that "media" is a waste of time, for people with too much time on their hands, for nerds, for hegemonic mind control, etc. Jenkins is also a touch too homogenous in his assumptions: he seems to imagine a world full of middle cla Jenkins' book is a celebration of all things internet-y, and rightly so. While he is at times too optimistic about the present and future of "convergence" and online interaction, that optimism is usually needed to quell the forces of all those people out there telling us that "media" is a waste of time, for people with too much time on their hands, for nerds, for hegemonic mind control, etc. Jenkins is also a touch too homogenous in his assumptions: he seems to imagine a world full of middle class white people with disposable incomes who all really really really are looking for a community to belong to. While I'm sure these people exist, his plans for a sort of utopic technological future don't work in a world of economic, racial, and religious difference. Still, I enjoyed his book, as a fan and as a fan-scholar because it legitimated by Harry Potter study and gave me a framework for my own writings about fandom. While I try to avoid the ethnographic-auto ethnographic type of fan scholarishp, he does it fairly well, and is someone I can imagine being able to emulate.

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