May 28, 2008
Around the Consortium: ICA, IMR, and Online Music Promotion

A few notes this afternoon from around the Consortium:

First of all, several folks involved in the Consortium--including Principal Investigator Henry Jenkins, Research Manager Joshua Green, and a variety of our consulting researchers--spent the past several days in Montreal for the International Communication Association's annual conference. I was in the process of moving (more on that later) and didn't get to attend, but C3 Consulting Researcher Jonathan Gray has a wonderful short thought piece here, comparing the time he spent at the conference to some of the Consortium's event and praising the values of "paper-less" academic conferencing.

Jon writes:

I sometimes wonder, then, if the ideal conference wouldn't look something like this: a panel brings together 5-8 people working on related issues. They discuss their work in under 5 minutes each. Then discussion opens up. Then everyone goes for a meal or a drink. Or maybe the best conference would begin at the final step, in a restaurant, or over drinks.

It's an issue of how best to use the time. As a television studies-ish scholar, I'll likely never have many colleagues in any department doing the same work. So ICA, SCMS, and the other variable conferences are my only chances to see people face to face. When I'm there, why should we play this game of reading papers? Before the Internet, and before there were 1001 journals on every topic, perhaps such a structure was ideal, or at least necessary. But I can now get people's work and read it, learning way more from it, later. I want conferences to alert me to work I didn't know was there, yes, but otherwise I want to spend my time chatting, establishing networks and connections, plotting, collaborating, and debating.

Meanwhile, C3 Consulting Researcher Nancy Baym has an insightful post up about best practices in online music promotion. On the list: distribute your presence (way to encourage spreadability!); integrate your presence; give some of your music away; and build an interpersonal relationship with your audience. Be sure to look at the full post if you're interested in issues of media distribution in a digital realm.

Finally, a few folks from the C3 community recently published pieces throug the In Media Res project, which featured a media scholar's short commentary on an short online video media artifact each weekday. See C3 Principal Investigator Henry Jenkins' piece from earlier this month about how raising children is depicted through television marketing in the 1960s. Also, see this piece from C3 Consulting Researcher Derek Johnson about the G.I. Joe franchise in the 1980s.

It appears IMR is on hiatus at the moment, but there's a great range of content available in the archive, if you haven't visited the site of late.