February 18, 2008
Around the Consortium: In Media Res, Massless Communication, and User-Generated Branding

First off, an extremely interesting project that some of you may not know about: In Media Res, in addition to being the title of the newsletter for the Program in Comparative Media Studies here at MIT, is also the title of a Media Commons project, located here.

Each day, a media scholar uploads a video between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length and includes as well a 100-150 word response to it. According to the site, "The goal is to promote an online dialogue amongst media scholars and the public about contemporary media scholarship through clips chosen for either their typicality or atypicality in demonstrating narrative strategies, genre formulations, aesthetic choices, representational practices, institutional approaches, fan engagements, etc."

I recently participated in the project for the first time, posting a video entitled "Cactus Jack and the Moral Justification of Great Wrestling Heels." If you have a chance to watch the video, I encourage you to contact me or leave a comment there if you have any thoughts.

Since then, as part of a Lost-themed week last week, C3 Alum Ivan Askwith posted a piece called "'You Got No Idea What's Goin' On On That Island!': What SNL Can Teach Us About Lost," while C3 Consulting Researcher Jason Mittell provides a piece called Synchronizing Complexity.

Meanwhile, C3 Graduate Student Researcher Eleanor Baird has launched her own blog called Massless Communication, a blog about her thesis work on "the changing rules of advertising and consumer culture." She provides an overview of her thesis work here, and she has since written about here on the C3 blog about advertising, audience measurement, and online business models, among other issues, look at this site for more on her thesis work.

Over at Brandthroposophy, C3 Consulting Researcher Robert V. Kozinets writes about differences in American and German business school models and his presentation at the Best Brands College event in Munich on "user-generated branding." Kozinets writes:

My core contention was that user-generated branding is happening whether companies want it to or not. It's not really their decision. Not under their control. And that had some real interesting implications. [ . . . ] There are no magic bullets, no one-size-fits-all solutions. How could there be? What works for one brand might not work for another, for various reasons. And in fact, there are probably as many threats and challenges that this phenomenon poses to brand managers as there are opportunities for them. But can we really afford to ignore that complex change in reality?

Finally, C3 Consulting Resarcher David Edery writes about his new book project with Ethan Mollick here, while C3 Consulting Researcher Aswin Punathambekar has turned his attention toward Indian television of late, over on his BollySpace 2.0 blog. See his recent posts here and here.