May 15, 2008
Notes on Thursday's Events at the C3 Spring Retreat

We're amidst several updates today, after a hiatus from blogging due to our annual C3 Spring Retreat and our continued work on a series of internal white papers within the Consortium, which we presented as part of the event last Thursday and Friday. As many regular readers might know, we have spent the past year working specifically on gaining a better understanding of video sharing sites like YouTube, the type of content that appears there, and how these sites work as potential places for promotion. We've also been exploring the "viral" media concept that has become part of our entertainment landscape.

In addition to the various blog posts we've written about these issues here on the C3 blog this past academic year, we've been working on three white papers that are due to be shared internally at the end of the academic year. We spent the first day of the retreat previewing and discussing that work with our corporate partners (see our partners listed on the left side of the page, along with Fidelity Investments) and our consulting researchers.

The event kicked off with an introduction from C3 Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Program in Comparative Media Studies here at MIT, William Uricchio, who talked about how the work we do here in the Convergence Culture Consortium plugs into the history of media theory at MIT. William and Henry have been doing research on that connection for some time now, in light of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Institute.

In short, William provided a compelling argument as to why a research group like ours fits in perfectly with a media history at MIT, one positioned between industry and academia and one that seeks to foster an environment for collaboration among multiple departments across our campus, across other academic institutions, and across multiple media industries. William also looked at C3's structure within the Program in Comparative Media Studies, as one of six research groups dedicated to this notion of "applied humanities."

Our afternoon of presentations led into the C3 colloquium event I mentioned last week, of which I hope to be able to provide more notes shortly. We concluded the evening with a reception following the public colloquium event, giving me a chance to meet a lot of interesting folks from around the Boston area.

In addition to many of our consulting researchers and corporate partners, we were joined by some interesting guests at some point during the day or evening: Brian Haven from Forrester Research; Judy Walklet from Communispace; and Ira Hochman of Untravel Media, who is partnering with CMS alum Michael Epstein to run the studio and software platform (see here).

As with past years, the content discussed within the retreat was for an internal audience, but we always like to share with a larger readership the work our Consortium is doing. In a subsequent post, I'm going to include some notes about a variety of the speakers we featured on the Friday of our event and the types of discussions that took place.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at