February 4, 2008
Around the Consortium: IAP Class, Ad Impressions, Indian Radio, Community Managers, and the NATPE

It's Monday morning, and we're getting ready to launch our spring classes here at MIT. I wanted to start out the new week with a look at some of the most interesting pieces being written on blogs affiliated with the Consortium.

First, now that C3 Consulting Researcher Grant McCracken and C3 Research Manager Joshua Green have finished their course on qualitative research methods for the Independent Activities Period here at MIT, Grant has shared a few pieces of insight he received from the course and from his time here in Boston. Grant provides some insights from a couple of his students who I've had the pleasure of interacting with, Jason Haas who works here in the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and John Deighton from Harvard Business School, regarding Mr. Rogers and a sneaker store in Boston.

Meanwhile, C3 Alum Ilya Vedrashko follows up on an initial post I wrote about back in January, in which Ilya started an investigation to track down the root of the long-held truth that people are confronted with 5,000 advertisements a day. Ilya hears from one of the companies cited as a source from the statistic and shares the comment on his Advertising Lab site.

C3 Consulting Researcher Aswin Punathambekar provides an interesting piece about the relationship between film and radio during the first decade of Indian independence, to bridge what he sees as a gap in looking at the relationship between various media institutions in South Asia. He writes about the impact of a Colombo radio station called Radio Ceylon on the practices of the Indian radio industry.

Aswin writes:

And this is precisely what listeners in India did - for nearly a decade, each evening, they gathered around radio sets to listen to film music from Bombay being broadcast from Ceylon. An "Indian public/audience" was forged, to the surprise of bureaucrats at All India Radio, by a small overseas programming division of a broadcasting station from a neighboring country with the help of the film industry in Bombay. Moreoever, many of these shows were sponsored by companies based in Bombay and other cities in India that could not advertise on the state-controlled, non-commercial All India Radio.

Meanwhile, in response to comments he received from a reader, C3 Consulting Researcher Rob Kozinets writes about online communities and community managers.

Rob writes:

Ron says that "the whole gig" of being a community manager "is to maintain a trusting relationship with the community." Sounds like the idea of being a brand manager. But in other words, the community manager is both part of the community, and a leader of it, an authority figure, at a higher lever in the hierarchy because she controls the resources. [ . . . ] Now, as Ron points out, this is control for the greater good. The greater good being The Company's greater good. Corporate community managers are beneficent rulers, online baron landlords with velvet gloves as well as "iron fists." But even they have limits to their jurisdiction or credibility. Can't push the people too far.

Finally, over on the Extratextuals blog that C3 alum Ivan Askwith is involved with, Jonathan Gray has been running a series of pieces based on his recent NATPE experiences.