December 7, 2007
FoE2 Podcast: Fan Labor

The final panel on the first day of our Futures of Entertainment 2 conference, on fan labor, is now available for download in audio and both high-res and low-res video form.

This panel is available here in audio and video form. The video is intended for download, and some browsers may try to display text if you don't right-click the link to save to your computer. If your browser tries to download it as a ".txt," remove the ".txt" from the name, and the file should work as an "m4v."

The panel features a conversation among Mark Deuze of Indiana University, Jordan Greenhall of DivX, Raph Koster of Areae, Elizabeth Osder of Buzznet, and Catherine Tosenberger of the University of Florida, moderated by Henry Jenkins.

The live-blogging from this panel is available here, and feedback from the blogosphere on the panel is available here.

Here is the panel description:

There is growing anxiety about the way labor is compensated in Web 2.0. The accepted model -- trading content in exchange for connectivity or experience -- is starting to strain, particularly as the commodity culture of user-generated content confronts the gift economy which has long characterized the participatory fan cultures of the web. The incentives which work to encourage participation in some spaces are alienating other groups and many are wondering what kinds of revenue sharing should or could exist when companies turn a profit based on the unpaid labor of their consumers. What do we know now about the "architecture of participation" (to borrow O'Reilly's formulation) that we didn't know a year ago? What have been the classic mistakes which Web 2.0 companies have made in their interactions with their customers? What do we gain by applying a theory of labor to think about the invisible work performed by fans and other consumers within the new media economy?

  • Mark Deuze holds a joint appointment at Indiana University's Department of Telecommunications in Bloomington, United States, and as Professor of Journalism and New Media at Leiden University, The Netherlands. His most recent book, Media Work (published in 2007 with Polity Press), analyzes the experiences of media workers in the news, advertising, film, TV, and digital games industries in the United States, the Netherlands, South Africa and New Zealand. His Weblog can be found here.

  • Catherine Tosenberger has an MA in folklore from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in children's literature and folklore from the University of Florida. Her doctoral dissertation was on Harry Potter online fanfiction. She has presented papers on fan cultures, folklore, and adolescent literature at a number of conferences, and is a contributor to the National Public Radio program Recess! Tosenberger is a longtime participant in a number of online fandoms, including Harry Potter, House M.D., and Supernatural.

  • Jordan Greenhall, co-founder and CEO of DivX until July 2007, grew the company from a startup with a few employees into a recognized digital entertainment company positioned at the center of multimedia convergence. He currently serves as Chairman of the DivX Board of Directors. While attending Texas A&M, Greenhall met fellow Aggies and DivX co-founders Joe Bezdek and Tay Nguyen. A few years after graduating, they reunited and together with Jerome Rota and Darrius Thompson they founded DivX. Before DivX, Greenhall was Vice President at, where he developed and implemented the company's business and content development model. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1997. In addition to serving the DivX Board, Greenhall also sits on the board of directors to Eyespot, a service devoted to making uploading, organizing and sharing video easier for people.

  • Elizabeth Osder leads product and programming for as senior vice president of audience. Prior to joining Buzznet, she was Sr. Director of Product at Yahoo!, responsible for local, search, and social media products for Yahoo!'s global news and information sites. Osder's work at Yahoo! Media Group was preceded by her role as Director of Product Development for Yahoo! Search Marketing (YSM). Since the early 1990s, she has been an editor, producer, and consultant for publications, broadcasters and online services, starting with BBS's and early online services. Osder served as global managing partner for iXL/Scient's Media & Entertainment Practice, Director of Product Development and Content Development Editor for New York Times Digital, and Executive Producer for Advance Internet. She began her career as a freelance photojournalist and photo editor for the Associated Press. Osder is a founding board member of the Online News Association and has taught in the graduate Journalism programs at USC Annenberg, Columbia, and NYU. In 2001-2002, she was awarded a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University where she studied technologies and communications. Osder holds an M.A. from The University of Missouri School of Journalism and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

  • Raph Koster, president of Areae Inc., got started in virtual worlds back in the days of the text MUDs in the early 90s, working on LegendMUD. He was creative lead on the original Ultima Online and lead designer for UO Live and Ultima Online: The Second Age while working for ORIGIN and Electronic Arts. He then went on to be creative director on Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, for Sony Online Entertainment. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Chief Creative Officer at Sony Online. Koster is also the author of the acclaimed book A Theory of Fun for Game Design, and somehow finds the time to write constantly on his popular blog.