September 2, 2008
Around the Consortium: Catching Up with the C3 Community

After light posting throughout the summer here on the Consortium's blog, we're going to be returning to daily posting once again now that a new academic year is upon us. The core C3 team will be organizing a new year of academic projects, and preparing for the big Futures of Entertainment 3 conference I posted the reminder about on Friday.

Although I'm no longer at MIT and participating in the core team's work, I look forward to returning to blogging on at least a weekly basis here at C3. To start that off, I wanted to draw your attention to some books, projects, thought pieces, and other projects the broader Consortium community has been working on over the summer, despite the gaps of silence here. Over the next few days, I'll be posting a few updates highlighting these projects.

To start off with, here are a few summer blog entries of note:

Another Member of the C3 Community Weighs in on Twitter. The "Twebinar" earlier this summer generated reactions from C3 Graduate Student Researcher Xiaochang Li, and I wrote a piece on Twitter here. Now, Geoffrey Long is the latest to weigh in. He writes:

Granted, one of the charming elements of businesses like The Minnesota Press on Twitter is the idea that there's an actual warm body writing those tweets out there somewhere; Twitter is such a still-indie enterprise that it still conveys, to me at least, a sense of personal connection with those whom I'm following. However, given the number of spam follow notifications I receive, I'm not sure that will stay that way much longer. It's this hat trick of corporate tweeting, a primed space for a tiered Pro package and the emergence of Twitter as a spam delivery system that makes me suspect that Twitter is right at the tipping point of some form of major reinvention.

See more here.

Genre and Narrative Shorthand. C3 Consulting Researcher Grant McCracken wrote recently about an intriguing idea and one that film scholars have discussed for some time. Genre films have often provided a gradual shorthand for those who follow the genre, one that allows you to tell a story economically because there are certain narrative aspects of any film that belongs to that genre that viewers expect going in. So, rather than having to explain the whole concept of a slasher, horror film creators can expect that most people going to see the film understand the conventions and already have many expectations coming into the experience. Grant wonders what we might do with that extra room and time, and how the new rise in popularity of voiceovers in particular might be one way of providing new depths to genres that have reached that level of shorthand. See his full post here.

Manufacturing the iPhone Craze. Finally, a brief note that caught my eye from C3 Alum Ilya Vedrashko over at his Advertising Lab blog for a little while back. Apparently, the Polish launch of the iPhone wasn't generating enough legitimate buzz, so a firm paid what they considered the right demographic to stand in line and create the illusion of it instead. Hopefully, Henry Jenkins didn't stoop to these levels when Convergence Culture was released in Poland. See Ilya's note here.

Sam Ford is a research affiliate with the Consortium and Director of Customer Insights with Peppercom. He also writes for PepperDigital and Reason Enough.