We are in full conference planning mode here at
the Consortium, getting ready for a big two days Friday and Saturday
with Futures of Entertainment 2. As such, the opening note this
week will be a final round-up of what's coming up this weekend. We are
looking forward to seeing many subscribers here in Cambridge this
weekend for the festivities, and we hope those of you who aren't
members of one of the panels plan to join in on the discussion
directly, both through the question-and-answers session and through the
blogosphere. We really enjoyed the way discussion flowed online last
year, and we hope this year will build upon that and push it a step
Research is moving forward, even as we are
preparing for the conference. We have made some major moves forward in
our content analysis of YouTube videos, and our graduate researchers
are in the midst of each planning a substantial study on viral media.
We hope to have more details on both projects here in the C3 Weekly
Update in coming weeks.
On the blog, we've had some very interesting
discussions over the past week. Florence Gallez, a journalist
with CNN in Russia, contacted me and has started a great dialogue on my
post on the YouTube video protection software from a few weeks back
Challenged. Meanwhile, some timely pieces on the site include
re-running Jason Mittell's piece
on the WGA strike, followed by a detailed look at some of these issues from
Xiaochang Li. Li writes, "Part of the problem is that the studios,
having dramatically underestimated the potential impact of cable and
and pay-tv, were quick to jump on the internet video bandwagon without
thinking carefully about where it might lead them. As a result, without
a clear idea of what awaits them on the new media frontier and what the
ultimate value of streaming programming or transmedia programming might
be, they're extremely reluctant to commit to payment structures for the
We also had a
special post from C3 Consulting Researcher Ted Hovet of
Western Kentucky University, focusing on new developments in an effort
to develop a statement of fair use in the classroom.
The closing note will feature the first of a
semi-regular series from C3 alum and the current communication director
for the Program in Comparative Media Studies here at MIT, Geoffrey
Long, who looks at fan tourism.
As usual, the newsletter this week features all
the entries published during the week on the Convergence Culture
Consortium Weblog. Also, please let me know as usual if you are having
any trouble receiving the newsletter.
If you have any questions or comments or would
like to request prior issues of the update, direct them to Sam Ford,
Editor of the Weekly Update, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In This Issue
Opening Note: Sam Ford on Futures of Entertainment
Glancing at the C3
Closing Note: Geoffrey Long's Divergences: The
City of Virtual Lights
A Final Preview of the Futures of
Entertainment 2 Conference
As you all can see, our newsletter is coming out late
this week, as we are all running in overdrive in preparation for the
FoE2 conference, which is now about 24 hours away now. We're looking
forward to seeing many of you here; please be in touch if you have any
last-minute questions. After the reception on Friday evening of the
conference, we are hosting a Consortium-only tour of our new office
spaces. We invite any of you to join us, so please RSVP if you have not
yet done so and would like to join us.
For those who won't be on the ground here in Cambridge
for the conference, we will be live-blogging it through our Web site.
We have a team of graduate students getting prepared to give
comprehensive coverage of the event. We are also recording the event
and hope to have podcasts available in the coming weeks.
The panels at the conference are each 2 1/2 hours, with
a guided conversation beginning amongst the panelists and eventually
opened to the audience as a whole. We found this approach to work quite
well last year. For those who weren't able to join us at last year's
conference, you can find a series of posts looking back to last year's
event on our blog this week.
We have just confirmed a last-minute addition to our
mobile panel. Francesco Cara from Nokia was unable to attend due to
some last-minute conflicts, but Anmol Madan will now be taking part in
the panel as well. Anmol is a doctoral candidate in the Human Dynamics
Group at the MIT Media Lab, researching "perceptual, 'socially aware'
mobile phones and wearables." We hope to add his bio to the conference
page later today. Any other additions or changes will be announced
through the site or at the outset of the conference.
We look forward to hearing from several speakers from
here in the Consortium. C3 Director Henry Jenkins and Research Manager
Joshua Green will be handling tomorrow's opening address, while C3
Consulting Researcher Jason Mittell will be among the folks guiding
discussion on the second day. MTV Networks' Alice Kim will be
participating in our mobile panel, along with Turner Broadcasting's Bob
Schukai and Yahoo!'s Marc Davis. Bill Fox from Fidelity Investments
will be participating in our panel on advertising on Saturday morning.
Maury Giles from GSD&M Idea City will be speaking on the metrics
and measurement panel, along with Stacey Lynn Schulman, who is not only
co-teaching a class here at MIT this term on the television industry
with C3 Consulting Researcher Alex Chisholm but who is also now a
member of the Turner Broadcasting team. I am looking forward to
moderating a couple of the panels and participating in the discussion
We're looking forward to meeting several of you all in
person for the first time, and we hope this event will stimulate ideas
and conversation within the Consortium and each of your companies or
academic networks for some time to come.
The next couple of weeks will be dedicating to providing
coverage of the conference. Next week's newsletter will provide a recap
of some initial thoughts about the conference from some of the C3 team,
and the newsletter after Thanksgiving will provide a final wrap-up
including links to the live-blogging from the conference and some of
our analysis here at the Consortium. We invite all of you who attend to
share any of your thoughts with us as well, for inclusion in the next
couple of editions of the C3 Weekly Update.
The full program is available here.
Sam Ford is the Project
Manager of the Convergence Culture Consortium at MIT and a graduate of
the Program in Comparative Media Studies. He is editor of the C3 Weekly
Update and is currently doing further work on the soap opera industry,
including preparing his thesis for publication, co-editing a collection
of essays on the current state and future of the soap opera industry,
and teaching a class in the spring on American soaps.
Glancing at the C3 Blog
Back at FoE: Henry Jenkins' Opening Comments. In this first part of
a multiple-piece look back at the Futures of Entertainment conference,
this piece provides links to audio and video of Henry Jenkins' opening
address at last year's conference.
Strike in Context: A Brief History of Labor Conflicts within Changing
Media Landscapes. C3 Graduate Researcher Xiaochang Li gives her
take on the writer's strike, looking back to the almost-strike of 2001.
She writes, "An Increase in the writer's residuals is a necessary step,
but only a temporary solution."
Practices in Fair Use" from The Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
C3 Consulting Researcher Ted Hovet writes about the SCMS announcement
of a statement of best practices in fair use, an issue which Hovet and
Mittell have written about in the past on the C3 blog and here in the
Strike. Jason Mittell shares a recent piece from his blog, Just TV, on the launch of the
WGA writer's strike and the most prevalent issues facing the television
the Message: Interview with a Baptist Minister (5 of 5). In the
final part of this interview, Sam Ford talks with Baptist minister
Darrell Belcher about the possibility of using the Internet as a tool
to deliver sermons and the art of preaching.
the Message: Interview with a Baptist Minister (4 of 5). In the
fourth part of this interview, Sam Ford asks Baptist minister Darrell
Belcher about what makes a "good" preacher and preaching across
multiple media forms.
the Message: Interview with a Baptist Minister (3 of 5). In the
third part of this interview with Baptist minister Darrell Belcher,
Belcher discusses the experience of preaching on the radio in-depth and
how it differs from preaching to a live congregation.
the Message: Interview with a Baptist Minister (2 of 5). In the
second part of this interview with Baptist minister Darrell Belcher,
Sam Ford discusses the nature of delivering a live sermon and how
introducing the video camera changes that performance.
the Message: Interview with a Baptist Minster (1 of 5). In this
of a five-part interview with Rev. Darrell
Belcher, Sam Ford looks at how local uses of Christian media reveals
key aspects of comparative media and the media industries.
as Civic Media and Other Matters... Henry Jenkins includes notes
about the new Center for Future Civic Media blog, an anecdote on an
international story involving the U.S. getting more play on YoUTube
than in the mainstream press, and a call for papers from Mark Deuze.
Applebee's in Dillon, Texas. Sam Ford looks at what he considers
best practice in terms of brand integration, as the Applebee's becomes
a site of continuous action for Friday Night Lights.
the Consortium: Kinset, Netnography, Globe and Mail, and
Podcasts. Ilya Vedrashko looks at 3D storefronts at The Advertising
Lab, while Rob Kozinets writes about his work on online ethnography,
Grant McCracken conducts an interview on his work on brands, and Henry
Jenkins outlines some recent podcasts that might be of interest to the
Follow the Blog
Don't forget – you can always post, read, and carry out
online conversations with the C3 team at our blog.
The City of Virtual Lights
PARIS, FRANCE, NOV. 1, 2012. The Parisian tourism
is enjoying a record-breaking season, according to reports from the
Beijing Nano News. Tourism worldwide has been flagging for the last
decade as would-be travelers, faced with a trifecta of escalating
terrorist threats, ever-increasing security measures and skyrocketing
ticket prices due to the scarcity of fuel, have opted instead to see
the world through the eyes of their online avatars. It is no wonder,
then, that this surprising new reversal is providing a glimmer of hope
to cities around the globe.
What's France's secret? "We noticed that the most
popular destinations in both Second Life 4 and World of WarCraft III
were these beautiful, vast cities with twisty back alleys lit by
flickering lanterns, lovely little shops and cafes, and beautiful
rivers crisscrossed by magnificent bridges," says Jean-Luc De Gaulle,
the head of the Parisian tourism board. "These were clearly inspired by
"All we did was embrace this digital celebration of our
culture and reworked the original so tourists could recognize it," says
Sanduie Segal, the developer in charge of the project. "We started with
the City of Lights, which is far and away the most popular destination
in Second Life 4. If you look closely at a map of the City of Lights,
it lines up almost perfectly with a map of Paris, so we did a little
massaging -- we knocked down a few buildings, rerouted a few roads, and
it was perfect."
Tourists embarking on the City of Lights tour, which is
estimated to have cost nearly 3B Euros, download the experience overlay
software into Personal Area Network devices that close the last few
remaining gaps between real life and Second Life. "There were a few
places that the city council stubbornly refused to let us change, so
the software apologetically reroutes certain paths to the closest
approximate subsitute," Segal notes. "The Arc de Triomphe, for example,
is about a quarter-mile to the north of where it's supposed to be
according to the game. I was astonished by how short-sighted some of
these conservatives turned out to be!"
"Adapting Paris to World of WarCraft III was more of a
challenge," admits de Gaulle. "So we decided to use the catacombs
instead. Recent studies have shown that most World of WarCraft players
prefer being underground anyway -- something like 34% of them live in
basement apartments in real life -- so this option made sense. Now
visitors can enter the tunnels beneath Notre Dame and then explore the
city just like their avatars do in the game. Plus, the archaeological
discoveries we made while drilling the new tunnels beneath Versailles
are priceless! It's some seriously phat lewt."
Of course, the alterations of real-world locations to
accommodate fictional creations is nothing new. The actual 221B Baker
Street in London has been a tourist attraction as the home of Sherlock
Holmes since the 1930s, while the Sherlock Holmes Museum located down
the road at 239 Baker Street in 1990, with period rooms and Holmes
memorabilia. Multiple Harry Potter tours of the city have been offered
over the past few years, from a variety of companies. Here in Boston,
we have two tourist attractions centered around Cheers: the pub
on which the show was based, and the replica of the bar from the set.
Cities from New York to Shanghai are reportedly
considering similar programs, but not everyone is so enthusiastic. "I
mean, just look at this place," grumbled Linden University sophomore
Kathryn Herrera, 19, during a recent City of Lights tour. "Where are
the time controls? I can't see this place as it was a hundred years
ago, or a hundred years from now -- it's so 2011! Ugh!"
irregularly published column by writer, filmmaker, C3 alum and
Comparative Media Studies Communications Director Geoffrey Long
a member of the 2007 Master's class at CMS. For more of his work,
please visit http://www.geoffreylong.com