January 23, 2008
C3 in the News: Soulja Boy, Soaps, and Friday Night Lights

Back for a round of updates this afternoon and evening, starting with a look at a few pieces in the press that we thought might be of interest to C3 blog readers.

Most prominently, Xiaochang Li's pieces from the fall semester here on the Soulja Boy (entitled Hustling 2.0 and Meet Me at My Crib) has been referenced or featured in a couple of places of late.

First, you can look back to an interview with Li on CBC Radio's Spark with Nora Young, in which Li talks about "how social media and Web 2.0 technologies contributed to the success of the song," according to the official description.

Xiaochang's pieces have received a lot of traffic after being linked to from the Wikipedia page for "Crank That," and the posts were also referenced earlier this month in Patrick Wall's article on Soulja Boy for the Free Times in Columbia, South Carolina.

Speaking of Spark, be sure to listen to this episode as well, which features a full interview with the controversial Dan Ackerman Greenberg of Tech Crunch fame, along with comments from Jean Burgess of the Queensland University of Technology, who appeared at our retreat back in April. Burgess is collaborating with us on our work on YouTube that we have mentioned here on the blog several times.

Meanwhile, for those who may have been standing in line at the grocery, perhaps you saw the short article on the class I'm teaching on soaps this spring in CBS Soaps in Depth. There's no online version, but I do want to note, despite what the headline and some of the wording of the article indicates, this class is offered at MIT and not as a collaboration with Harvard or other Boston-area colleges. Students from some other institutions are welcome to take the course, but the language was somewhat misleading. If you have any questions on the class, don't hesitate to contact me .

Finally, considering my affinity for Friday Night Lights, I wanted to reference Diana Kimball's recent post on the show. I found it through my Google Alerts, as she referenced some of the posts which mention FNL from the C3 blog. Diana writes about the recent New York Times article on the show from Virginia Heffernan, which is a must-read for anyone interested in convergence culture and in particular television content. The point of the NYT piece: that transmedia franchising can't replace good television, and it's a shame that the less "frahcise-able shows" sometimes suffer in the ratings because it. I certainly champion transmedia storytelling, but I personally think FNL is the best show on television today, and it has a lot to do with character-driven storytelling...

But those are some topics I'm going to save for my class on soaps. For now, the rest of you are dismissed...