I love movies, and I don't want to see anyone lose a job, but I have a problem with Dodd's assertion that "movie theft" is the biggest threat to the movie industry. Perhaps the fact that people are choosing to illegally acquire and watch feature films in the comfort of their own homes is partially responsible for the decline in movie attendance, but even if it is, Dodd is missing the point. It's not movie theft that's the problem--it's the opportunities moviegoers have to watch content when, how, and where they want to. People have grown accustomed to getting all kinds of content on-demand, and they're probably not going to change their behavior on moral grounds. Instead of seeing piracy as a threat, we have to learn how to use what we know about file sharing to drive business innovation.
The marketing industry has been whipped into a frenzy by a 17-year-old Canadian pop star. Justin Bieber has been hailed as Master of the Twitterverse while most brands are still trying to figure out what a Twitterverse is. A quick tour of Google yields pages and pages on social media marketing a la Bieber, creating Bieber-based marketing strategies, and adulations of Justin Bieber as an "Internet Marketing Guru." While many of these articles contain not entirely un-useful platitudes along the lines of "listen to your customers" and "respond to your fans," the fact is that brands simply shouldn't try to out-Bieber Bieber.
Also this spring, Nancy contributed one of the first C3 Research Memos distributed to C3 Consortium Members. This C3 Research will be made publicly available via the C3 blog in late November of this year.
While here in Cambridge, Nancy was asked to speak at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School. Her talk (in the embedded video below) entitled "Changing Relationships, Changing Industries" addresses her thinking on notions of exchange (economic and social) between fans, audiences, the music industry and the independent music scene - specifically in the case of independent Swedish artists and music labels.
Nancy's insights into how the independent music scene by necessity has embraced new media distribution channels and the audience embrace of these new channels, as well as her insights and metrics on the major label music industry as an inadvertent 'loss leader' in the swift dismantling of the top down corporate music hierarchy (which we are now seeing manifest in film and television) were an early influence on what became 2008 - 2009 C3 research on new consumption patterns, new patterns of value exchange, along with innovative ideas surrounding value and worth - specifically the 2008 C3 White Paper on Spreadability, Xiaochang Li's 2009 C3 White Paper More Than Money Can Buy: Locating Value in Spreadable Media, Ana Domb's 2009 White Paper Tacky and Proud: Exploring Technobrega's Value Network and the CMS C3 FOE4 Panel, Moderated by Prof. Jenkins entitled "Consumption, Value and Worth" (panel video here, liveblogging archive here).
What Prof. Jenkins Did This Summer (Comic-Con and Transmedia Brazil)
Both the MIT and USC 2010-2011 academic year are now well underway, allowing the C3 founders, consulting researchers and practitioners (as well the CMS C3 team here @ MIT) time to finally get back to the C3 blog (after our usual summer hiatus).
Our last entry was on May 14, 2010, so let's get right to our first blog entry of this academic year.
In a variation on the traditional "What I Did This Summer" essay schoolchildren are usually asked to write on their first day of school, we feature a video assemblage of what Prof. Jenkins did this summer.
To start: a panel he moderated at Comic-Con in July of this year.
The panel, entitled Red Faction Armageddon: How to Build a Transmedia Universe features Prof. Jenkins moderating, with panelists Danny Bilson (EVP Core Games, THQ), Lenny Brown (director IP development, THQ), Hollywood's leading Transmedia producer Jeff Gomez (Avatar, Transformers, Tron Legacy, Men In Black 3D), Alan Seiffert (SVP, Syfy Ventures), and Erika Kennair (director, development, Syfy).
A written recap of the panel can also be found here.
(NOTE: the sound recording on this video is a bit faint, but turn up the volume and it should be fine).
In May, Prof. Jenkins was the guest of The Alchemists, a C3 sponsor company, at a series of events and speaking engagements in Rio de Janeiro. Below you will find a series of interviews with Prof. Jenkins (in English with Portuguese subtitles) which were first posted at the Brazilian site Rede Globo (Prof. Jenkins also provided his own blog entry on his time in Brazil entitled My Brazilian Adventure which we will cross post here at the C3 site in the weeks ahead, but if you are anxious to read it can be found here at Prof. Jenkins blog).
By now, hopefully, you have read Peter Ludlow's account of recent events in Second Life and perhaps have also followed along with the comments and disputes that have surrounded this post. By now, hopefully, you've started to form your own opinion about what happened, why it happened, what it all means, and perhaps, what constitutes the borders between griefing and anti-griefing in this context. The following set of comments were crafted between Ludlow and myself as we reflected on these events and what they may tell us about the interplay between fantasy and politics in virtual worlds. We hope it will provide a springboard for further discussion both on this blog and elsewhere.
C3 White Paper: It's (Not) the End of TV as We Know It
2009 C3 white papers are now available for download. Over the next few days, we'll be posting links to them here on the blog.
My white paper about online TV audiences is up first. The paper outlines strategies for understanding how viewership online complements broadcast viewing. Through research and case studies, this paper:
Explains the strategies needed to manage viewer expectations of scarcity in the broadcast space and plenitude in the online space.
Categorizes types of online content in terms of their appeal to viewers.
Outlines strategies for appealing to different types of online viewers.
Memes as Mechanisms: How Digital Subculture Informs the Real World
In the last week of January, an interesting conversational thread broke out on the Association of Internet Researchers mailing list regarding a video about scholarship in the "critical commons," on the debate between digital humanities and media studies. The video follows below, but judging by the preview image it might not be exactly what you expect:
How profoundly disappointing, if not on the edge of insulting. If (a) you know German reasonably well, and especially if (b) you've seen the terrific film, Der Untergang, that is ripped off here - it doesn't strike me as funny at all. (emphasis mine)
It is actually just a spin off of a meme that uses this clip from that movie, there are probably 30 or so different re-texts and mashups i've seen of this clip. The joke, i think, of the meme is that it never ever comes close to the German, nor is it ever supposed to, nor is the content really supposed to be evil or really related to the clip, it is a play of contrasts and a play of hyperbole. I think you hit it on the head, it is supposed to be contrary to intentions, that's sort of its point. ... however, i'm pretty sure that neither german, nor evil is supposed to be the point here. (emphasis mine)
Before elucidating the above situation (the entire thread of which can be viewed in the AoIR archives here), I want to take a step back to examine the idea of "meme" -- a unit of cultural information -- once more.