Convergence Culture – Henry Jenkins, MIT

  • Now that Web 2.0 has hit the mainstream, the disconnects in how
    value is defined (specifically in terms of revenue) are beginning to
  • Convergence is not about technology, it’s about culture. It’s about the flow of information across all media channels.
  • Users will move the media across those channels illegally if there isn’t the legal means to do so.
  • Movie marketing blogger geek moment: Jenkins is talking about
    fan-generated efforts to promote the release of the last Matrix movie,
    efforts that had nothing to do with the studio.
  • There are a lot of terms being thrown around for these active
    consumers, but they’re all describing the same thing: People who have
    embraced the control over brand messages they now have.
  • Suing the people creating this content just honks people off and
    winds up hurting your brand in the long-run. Even spoofs and parodies
    refer the viewer back to the original.
  • Movie marketing blogger geek moment #2: Talking about Browncoats,
    the fan group based around "Firefly" and Serenity. The group was
    embraced originally, leading the studio to cut back on its paid
    efforts. Then Universal started not liking them so much when the movie
    flopped, leading to a nasty back-and-forth.
  • Movie marketing blogger geek moment #3: Talking about Four Eyed
    Monsters and the social-networking, community embracing efforts behind
    this small film.
  • "Any network that can be used to share cat pictures can be used to bring down a government."
  • People are creating content like "fan fiction" that is based on a
    "gift economy." That means they’re not so concerned with making money
    and in fact sometimes reject efforts to make money off their creations.
    They just want to express themselves.
  • Copyright is not obsolete, but there’s a collision coming between
    the legal and the user desires. It’s in the copyright holder’s best
    interest to know when to make a fuss and when not. Too restrictive and
    it stops people from talking about your brand, but too open and it can,
    really, be harmful. But there is an inbetween and it can be hard, but
    important, to find.
  • Silencing your critics is never the way to go. Even the people who hate you and your product are providing input you can use to improve your product.

This is not a dig on any of the other presenters here at the conference, but Jenkins has done more to stimulate some real thought – I mean real, "what are we doing here" thought. He’s really pushing people to not only think differently but change the way they’re thinking about media and surrounding issues. There are so many things to ponder in what he’s saying about relinquishing control, protecting the brand, fandom and other issues it’s almost too much to take in in a short period of time.