August 3, 2006
Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture Released

Chris Anderson's The Long Tail is selling well, currently at #21 on the Amazon rankings (it hit #11 yesterday, due to the glowing review I gave his work here, I'm sure).

But our director here at C3, Henry Jenkins, isn't that much farther down the tail with his new book Convergence Culture. Henry's book was listed at #145,103 yesterday, but it is currently ranked at #744 for today, indicating what is sure to be called a meteoric rise.

Okay, enough of the overblown hyperbole, but the book has had a fundamental impact on the way that we here in the consortium have thought about media studies and the current mass media environment. Many of the points of our agenda are contained in the case studies Henry tackles in the book, and--although the consortium was being developed after the book was already started, we'd like to think that we had an impact on some of the points in the book as well.

In fact, and it comes as no surprise, the name of our research group came from the title of this book, and not at Henry's insistence. In fact, we did so over his objections. But, for those interesting in delving a little further into the concepts that we mention here on the blog, the book is a perfect extension. Henry tackles many of these issues--fan communities, online social networking, the implications of the Long Tail theory on fans, the fallout of copyright arguments, transmedia storytelling, fan-generated content, pop cosmopolitanism, and several others--by looking at individual case studies that demonstrate the implications of what we theorize.

In the book, he looks at the transmedia enterprise of the Matrix films, the vibrant fan communities surrounding Harry Potter, the popularity of Survivor spoilers and the way those activities change the show, as well as various political, economic, and cultural implications of the trends we are writing about on a daily basis.

For those of you who are following the blog here, I think you'll understand our research agenda and much of the theory behind it more by reading Henry's book. Between that and The Long Tail, you have your homework cut out for you.