September 16, 2007
A New C3-Related Blog: The Extratextuals

We're in the process of adding a blog roll here at the Consortium's site, primarily to highlight all of our alum, partners, and consulting researchers who have interesting blogs of their own. I link to relevant stories from them from time-to-time, but a recent C3 graduate now launching a blog of his own might have quite a few stories that will be of interest to C3 readers.

Ivan Askwith, who was until recently a graduate student researcher here, has just launched a new blog with Jonathan Gray, an assistant professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University in NYC, and Derek Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate in media in cultural studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison's Communication Arts Department. Askwith is a creative strategist at Big Spaceship in NYC, and he's going to be speaking on a panel at the Producer's Guild of America seminar on Sept. 26 called "Creating Blockbuster Worlds: Transmedia Development and Production." The blog is called The Extratextuals.

Ivan has written about the blog's focus here, saying that:

Our blog will focus primarily on the extratextuals that surround the media. By this, we mean everything but the show itself: previews, merchandising, industry buzz, branding, interviews, posters, spatial context, temporal context, related websites, ARGs, spinoffs, spoilers, schedules, bonus materials, transmedia extras, games, YouTube clips, etc. But we're interested in these things not to be arcane or eccentric; rather, we believe that the extratextuals often make the show what it is. Hence this blog is about the mediation of media.

The blog was just launched last week, but Jonathan Gray has already provided a wealth of interesting content based on his preview of the fall lineup for the five networks after attending a series of viewings at the Paley Center for Media (what was the Museum of Television and Radio when I last visited it for ATWT's 50th anniversary but has now changed its name). In several blog entries, Gray lays out his opinion of the various lineups, all prefaced by a very interesting look at how watching these shows in a theater setting, without commercial breaks, and all in a row changes the viewing experiences in ways that can be both positive and negative for these shows.

Gray writes, "Watching these previews thus allowed me to greater appreciate not advertising per se, but the artistic purpose of an ad break, and of the benefits of inserting little mindless imageplays in between shows or segments to allow those shows to grow or simply to sit in a viewer's mind."

The blog is one worth keeping your eyes on, not just because of Askwith's involvement but because Gray and Johnson are also friends of the Consortium who have a lot of interesting insights on contemporary television and media. Be sure to check out The Extratextuals when you get a chance.