June 12, 2007
The Launch of Brandothroposophy

Since we don't have a blogroll up and running here on the C3 site (one of our planned renovations over the summer), I wanted to point toward the new Web site and blog of Dr. Robert V. Kozinets, one of our affiliated faculty here at the Convergence Culture Consortium.

Rob's blog, called Brandthroposophy, launched at the beginning of June and already has a variety of interesting topics up.

In his introductory post, Rob writes, "The title of this blog derives from a weird hybridizing of consumer culture, management science, entertainment and mysticism, in keeping with the theme of much of my thinking and writing."

Through the blog, Rob further examines his work on Star Trek as well as a look at the recent discussion about the appeal of the Beatles during the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

He looks in particular at a psychological approach to the Beatles and how many explanations of the popularity or appeal of a mass phenomenon is reductionist. He writes, "Reductionist thinking takes a complex phenomenon, like the lasting cultural phenomenon that is the Beatles, and attempts to explain it in terms of some simpler principle, such as the fact that their music violate(s) contemporary musical forms prevailing at the time and thus gains enhanced attention from peoples' brains."

WIth the length of most of Rob's posts and both the length and academic depth with which he is plumbing the topics he addresses so far on the blog, I think he is safeguarding himself from falling too heavily into this reductionist way of thinking.

Last month, I wrote about what what Rob has previously identified as four times of online fans: tourists, minglers, devotees, and insiders. Building on that, his post based on Star Trek fandom looks at four characteristics of fan culture that can help us understand consumer culture in general: enthusiasm, self-identification, cultural competence, and productive activity.

Also see posts on his co-edited book Consumer Tribes and brand managers.

See this post about Rob's recent talk at Collaboration 2.0.