September 3, 2007
Looking Back at C3 Work--Fall 2006

In honor of Labor Day, and the start of a new academic year her at MIT when classes begin later this week, I thought it might be good today to point to some of the work that has been written here on the Convergence Culture Consortium blog here in the past year.

In this post, I wanted to highlight some of posts from the 2006 fall semester here on the C3 blog that might still be of interest to some of our readers, especially those who might not have been reading at this time last year.

Can People Steal the Word? Christianity and the File-Sharing Debate Should Christian artists be worried about copyright management and cuts in their income or rather should they rejoice at the word getting spread to that many more people? Is it a sin to pass along Christian content for free or rather the obligation of Christian listeners/viewers?

Celebrated Too Soon? The Harsh Realities of Managing Copyrighted Material When Mama's Family was released on DVD, the episodes are missing about three minutes apiece from their original airing, with the syndicated versions on the DVD instead. The reason? Warner Brothers only owns the syndicated rights, as the original production company retains rights to the original shows.

Review of The Ad and the Ego The video may be 10 years old but still gets regular play in the classroom and beyond. This discussion of the pervasiveness of advertising raises both some problems with irresponsible advertising and some corresponding issues regarding anti-commercial research.

The Middle Ground Gets You Cancelled: The Plight of Moderate TV Successes Using some of the work of Grant McCracken, this piece examines Edward Wyatt's recent New York Times piece about the cancellation of Smith and the need for instant success on network television.

Is Cancellation of Complex Shows Inevitable? Drop-Happy Networks Run Off Would-Be Fans Bill Carter's recent piece in the New York Times highlights the problems in the industry with complex shows not performing well. The question is why.

Legacy Characters and Rich History: How Soap Operas Must Capitalize on Their History (and Pay Attention to the Lessons of the WWE) With the return of the heralded Luke and Laura to General Hospital, the daytime drama television industry should start thinking about how fans outside the targeted age group are attractive as recruiters for fans within the desired demographic.

The Phenomenon of Fans of Fans This features a piece I wrote for the C3 newsletter a few months ago about fans who become fans of other "performers" from the fan community, whether in the online space, through television, or face-to-face.

Review: George Gerbner and the Media Education Foundation The late father of the "Mad World Syndrome" theory of mass media's videos, produced a decade ago, still hold sway in how many people view the corporate construction of the global media industries.

Oakdale Confidential: Secrets Revealed: How the Book's Reprint Is an Even More Striking Example of Transmedia Storytelling (with a Tangent About Bad Twin at Intermission) The re-release of the book based on the As the World Turns soap opera is keeping the transmedia project's sales alive and once again working it into the storylines of the daytime soap, while the project's mainstream coverage still lags behind the attention given to Lost's Bad Twin.

People Might Not Hate All Advertising...Just Bad Advertising Mike at Techdirt has written a commentary that has sparked a debate about why people skip advertising, asking instead about ads that people want to see.

The Viral Marketing That Doesn't Build Goodwill: Spam Brad Stone with The New York Times recently wrote about the resistant strains of spam that have been cultivated with various spam filters over the past couple of years.

Building Soaps as Long-Term Brands: A Diatribe on Laura's Return on General Hospital Shows that are expected to be a continued television presence should be invested in for the long-run, not spiking ratings from one week to the next. Think of these shows like you think of a brand.

Scarcity and Plenitude: The Shifting Power Structure of the Publishing World A recent weblog commentary on the artificial claim of scarcity that continues to benefit major publishing regime brings to mind Grant McCracken's theory of plenitude in today's media environment.

The Game Show Network, Transmedia Extensions, and Brand Building The Game Show Network is providing a different form of branding for its online identity, with a series of politically irreverent simple games that mock Mel Gibson, O.J. Simpson, Saddam Hussein, and others. Should a brand have separate identities for their Web presence and their television network, and is this a good way to build brand presence?

Surplus Audiences: The Deaf Use YouTube to Communicate Through Signing The deaf have used video sharing as a way to communicate more fluidly by signing through online interaction, providing a substantial use for the technology that may not have been conceived by the site's creators.