Henry Jenkins. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Abstract of a Book
Henry Jenkins. Convergence
Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York and London:
New YorkUniversity Press, 2006.
Abstract of a Book
was a time when “each media had its own distinctive functions and markets, and
each was regulated under different regimes” (Jenkins 10). Now, when all
different means of media merge, things became different. That is the central thesis
of Henry Jenkins’s book Convergence
Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. The book addresses the process
called “convergence of modes” (Pool 23).
Convergence is the flow of content
across multiple media platforms. Jenkins builds his book on the
assumption that convergence is already influencing media culture. Basing on
this assumption he tells about changes convergence brings to media production
and consumption. Jenkins shows important cultural transformations that are
taking place as media converge. He shows us Survivor Spoilers – fans who use
Internet and their knowledge to reveal show’s secrets before they take place on
the air. He introduces us to transmedia storytelling through The Matrix
phenomenon – world where consumers trace the story through several media
channels. He takes us into the world of Harry Potter fans who are inventing new
stories about their heroes while Warner Brothers are preoccupied with
controlling their franchises. He shows us how people influence political
campaigns through the Internet.
According to Jenkins, the book is about the relationship
between three concepts.
Major concepts are: media convergence, participatory culture, andcollective intelligence. Convergence means thatnow
different media platforms: TV, newspapers, radio, books, cinema, mobile phone
etc. can be interconnected representing certain media issues. They can
supplement each other telling the story or help each other adding new ways of
storytelling. Participatory culture
is a new phenomenon in emerging media system. It means that the relationship
between media producers and consumers changed in a way that they now are
interacting with each other. By collective intelligence Henry Jenkins means the collective process
of media content consumption and discussion.
Jenkins argues that convergence is changing popular
culture. From one side directing content through several media platforms media
makers can increase revenues. From the other side, consumers imagine free
network controls. Sometimes interests of media makers and consumers interact, sometimes
they oppose each other.
As for weaknesses and shortcomings, I think the notion of convergence
would be more representative if the author took as example (and made one of his
chapters) some Internet phenomenon as well (like Facebook, YouTube, blog
culture etc.). It seems to me that he overlooked social networks and their
importance in the process of convergence.
major contribution Henry Jenkins did with this book, to my mind, is the fact
that he helped to understand what media convergence is and its importance.
Because of huge volume of information in the world today, it is very difficult
to see the ways of non-traditional development of media industry. Henry Jenkins
shows all-known things from new perspective – everybody is familiar with
“Survivor”, “Harry Potter” or “The Matrix”, but not everyone knows facts they
resulted in – spoiling communities, transmedia storytelling etc. Henry Jenkins
showed us what was “behind the curtain”. He made conclusions on how to work and
consume in convergence times. Media producers should take into consideration
the convergence phenomenon while making their products, as consumers now
perceive everything differently. Henry Jenkins does not give advice on how to
change the production, but the material of the book will direct media producers
on what to do and what to change in new media era.
Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and
New Media Collide. New York and London: New
Pool, Ithiel de Sola. Technologies
of Freedom: On Free Speech in an Electronic Age. Cambridge:
HarvardUniversity Press, 1983.
Category: Research | Added by: admin (2008-12-19)
| Author: Shushanik
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