September 24, 2007
Work around the Consortium: Local Marketing, Fan Studies, Scorn, and Consumption Studies

Things have been busy here at the Consortium, making plans for the upcoming Futures of Entertainment conference in November that we are hosting and the upcoming project we have here within the Consortium about YouTube. In the meantime, I thought it might be helpful to point you all toward some of the most interesting content that has been published around the Consortium in the past few days.

First off, from our corporate partners over at GSD&M Idea City down in Austin coms a piece demonstrating what GSD&M does well on their blog: finding inspiration from local examples. Today, Rad Tollett writes about the branding and marketing of local pizza shops the Austin Onion and Home Slice. Rad sums up, "Whereas Austin Onion targets party kids by becoming the party-pizza-parlor, Home Slice targets progressive families by establishing their own family traditions. And is 'target' even the right word? Call it purpose, call it attraction, call it branding...whatever it is, it works." In true GSD&M form, they seem to find a lot of intriguing ideas based on the creativity around Austin and the surrounding area, and I think there's a lot of valuable insight about targeting consumers, understanding those consumers, and providing an experience for them is demonstrated through this look at the local.

Deborah Kaplan and Alan McKee are featured in the latest participants in Henry Jenkins' Gender and Fan Studies conversation, featured here and here. This round discusses issues such as cultural tastes and hierarchies, fan expertise, aesthetics, and various specific cultural examples.

Meanwhile, Grant McCracken writes a post based on a conversation we had recently. He points out all the negative aspects of the use of scorn when talking about "worst practice" examples and how, often, our desire to rally around content that we believe is somehow flawed becomes less analytic and more a method to bolster our own connections. Of course, this obfuscates any instruction that "worst practice" might provide, and further does not take into account the reasons why this content was developed and what might have led to the aspects of the content or advertising that is "bad." It's worth a look.

Meanwhile, Rob Kozinets continues writing about his thoughts on "consumption studies" in a series of posts here, here, here, and here.