In addition to all that we've been covering here on the Convergence Culture Consortium blog, there have been some interesting pieces written recently on the blogs of some of our consulting researchers as well that I'd like to point the way toward.
First is a recent post from C3 Consulting Researcher Rob Kozinets, over at Brandthroposophy, his blog on "marketing, media, and technoculture." In a post entitled What Does DRM Really Stand For? Whack-a-Mole!, Kozinets thinks back to a conversation with an executive from the music industry in a class he taught back in 1999, talking about early MP3 players, and his own conversations with students over the years about file sharing and digital rights management, for both music and movies. He concludes that "entertainment companies haven't even come close to getting it. When they do, they'll learn to work with the trends and not against them. That's going to be an interesting day."
Regular C3 readers probably know that I like to talk about hypermasculine soap opera, just as I like to talk about soaps in general. Look at my recent writing on pro wrestling, for instance. But C3 Consulting Researcher and astute television scholar Jason Mittell has a great piece on Rescue Me as hyper-masculine soap over at his blog, Just TV. I wrote a response there and won't post it in full here, but I point out that daytime serial dramas often manage less realistic and more realistic elements simultaneously in a way that primetime shows cannot, likely due to the much larger cast and the much larger amount of time soaps have to tell their stories.
I think the problem here is that there are two types of soaps, and often even two types of soap within one particular soap, if that makes any sense. Some characters or storylines focus on the more ludicrous, just the type of thing that you are pointing to here and the kind of story that soaps are stereotyped for-identical twins, constant paternity suits, and so on. But often other characters on those same shows focus on issues like life as a gay teenager, or the struggle with breast cancer, or the affects of Alzheimer's on a family-using soaps as catalysts of social awareness that character-based drama would do particularly well and through characters the audience are intimately familiar with.
Also, since these discussions on the differences between daytime and primetime texts originated from the Gender and Fan Culture series that has been running all summer on Henry Jenkins' blog, be sure to check out the latest round there. Last week's posts featured a discussion between Jonathan Gray and Roberta Pearson, starting with a discussion of why they don't see themselves as "fans."