December 8, 2007
Five Things About the Convergence Culture Consortium

I have gotten tagged a couple of times over the past year to share things on the blog that readers might not know about me or "secrets to success," first from the savvy Nancy Baym back in April and now from Kare Anderson, who is a force of nature herself.

Since this isn't a personal blog, I figure the better approach would be to share a little about the nature of our work at the Consortium. Below is five notes about the nature of our research group and the work we do.

1.) We Are a Small Team. Those of you who were at the Futures of Entertainment 2 conference may not realize this, but the C3 team consists of Henry Jenkins' direction, Joshua Green's leadership, a team of dedicated and prolific graduate student investigators (currently four), and whatever it is I add to the mix. The core of C3 work, from organizing our public conference and internal spring retreat to the public blog and internal newsletter and the bulk of all our research, is carried out by this team. We pride ourselves on being nimble and having a really strong work ethic, but our research agenda is driven by our small size.

2.) However, We Are a Large Community. The Consortium's official staff may be small, but the larger Consortium is large. We have a team of currently about 20 consulting researchers and alumni (see here who contribute to our newsletter, speak at events, and contribute to the larger discussion we hope to facilitate about the larger social and cultural trends surrounding all the changes in business practice and technology that has defined the current age. These consulting researchers come from a variety of disciplines, with a vast array of research interests and angles, but we share common interests in the current state of the media industries, audience-centered thinking, and an historical perspective. That's not even counting the many, many creative and intelligent people who we speak with on a regular basis at our partner companies, who contribute greatly to our direction and thought process by sharing what they are working on, discussing their philosophy "from the trenches," and providing feedback on the research we do.

3.) We Are Not Traditional Consultants. We partner with corporations who share common interests, but the work we do isn't dictated by the concerns of any individual partner. Partners sign on because they're interested in what we're thinking, and we gain a lots through our discussions and interactions with those dealing with the implementation of many of the concepts we write about.

4.) We Are Interested in Public Dialogue. Some of the specific outcomes of our research are shared internally before those insights make their way into the public side of our work, but the Consortium is not intended to be a closed-door conversation, save the individual conversations we have with our partners and our spring retreat. While our white papers and other internal documents are distributed around the Consortium before they are published elsewhere, we are quite interested in sharing our insights, and engaging in conversation with others, about these issues. We spend a significant amount of time in conversation with intelligent people who are working in the same space, many of whom are not affiliated with C3, and we are dedicated to engaging in public conversations in the blogosphere, at conferences, in the press, and in publication.

5.) We Want To Be Catalysts, Not Talking Heads. We don't claim to hold all the answers, but we want to do all we can to facilitate the types of conversations that might help us gain greater insight about the trends happening in the media industries today. We want to bring together audiences, creators, scholars, journalists, and other interested parties to develop a common language to discuss the trends we write and talk about, and we hope to provide some interesting insight as part of that conversation.