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12 November 2008 @ 04:56 pm
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Futures of Entertainment 3 conference will take place Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Wong Auditorium in the Tang Center on MIT's campus.

Futures of Entertainment 3, an event sponsored by the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium (http://www.convergenceculture.org/), is the third annual conference bringing together media industries professionals and media studies academics to discuss the current state and ongoing trends in media. This year's conference will include panels on how value is counted in the media industries, understanding audiences, social media, the comic book industry, franchising and transmedia, media distribution in a global marketplace, and the intersection of academia and the media industries.

Speakers at the conference include Kim Moses, executive producer of The Ghost Whisperer; Alex McDowell, production designer for Watchmen; Gregg Hale, producer of The Blair Wtich Project and Seventh Moon; Lance Weiler, director of The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma; and Tom Casiello, Daytime Emmy award-winning former writer for soap operas including As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Days of Our Lives, and The Young and the Restless; Peter Kim, a founder of the Dachis Corporation; as well as representatives from HBO Online, World Wrestling Entertainment, and other innovative media companies and projects.

The conference will also feature academics such as Henry Jenkins (MIT, founder of the Convergence Culture Consortium and author of Convergence Culture and Textual Poachers), Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School, author of The Wealth of Networks), John Caldwell (UCLA, author of Production Culture), Anita Elberse (Harvard Business School, author of "Should You Invest in the Long Tail?"), and Grant McCracken (author of Transformations).

More information on the conference, including the program and registration, is available at http://www.convergenceculture.org/futuresofentertainment/
25 September 2008 @ 05:06 pm
MIT communication forum

the campaign & the media, 1
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
5-7 p.m. 
Bartos Theater


How have American news media responded to this historic presidential campaign?  Is it true, as many have suggested, that the influence of newspapers and television has declined in the digital era?  Have the media become more partisan and polarized?  Are they more preoccupied with polls and campaign strategy than with substantive issues?  Has the coverage by traditional media been qualitatively different from that by online news sources? In this first of two forums on the campaign and the media, our speakers will offer report cards on the current state of American political journalism.

David Thorburn: First of two forums on this, the second will be after the campaign. Also announcing: Culture of the book in the digital age, "two distinguished humanists, both apradoxically from harvard".

Ellen Hume (Mod): Political correspondent, various news papers, CNN, PBS

Tom: (starts to explain politico, lana and i both automatically open the page). guy at washionton post said: at a big paper, you might have 12 political reporters, but most pays we just report what the president said, but on any day you might have one reporter doing something really fascinating. i could have 12 people at politco, and all be focused on doing enterprise stories! low overhead, ignore the suburban beat. small elite circulation on politco brings in most of the revenue, waiting to see if there is a economic model for the heart and soul of it,t he onlien part. thinks we're going to see more of this model, we're going to go to our affinity group, "i get everyhtign fromt he view" "Oprah is my window on the world" [Laura: see, i still need variety in my affinity group choices, at least a little. one news source can never satisfy me].

John Carrol: prof of mass communication at BU, at WBUR (yay WBUR!)

(had to fight with wireless, lost rest of intros, here's what the web says:)

John Carroll is a professor of mass communication at Boston University and senior media analyst for WBUR-FM. Previously, he was a radio commentator for WGBH-FM, and a correspondent for WGBH-TV's Beat the Press, a weekly media review program. Prior to joining the BU faculty, Carroll was the executive producer of Greater Boston, WGBH-TV's nightly news and public affairs program.

Ellen Goodman is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group whose work appears regularly in the Boston Globe. In 2007, she was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she studied gender and the news.

Tom Rosenstiel is director of the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism where he is the editor and principal author of its Annual Report on the State of the News Media.  A journalist for more than 20 years, he is a former media critic for the Los Angeles Times and chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek magazine. He is the author with Bill Kovach of The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect.

Moderator: Ellen Hume is the research director for the MIT Center for Future Civic Media. She was a White House and political correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, national reporter with the Los Angeles Times and regular commentator on PBS’s Washington Week in Review and CNN’s Reliable Sources.
Co-sponsors: Center for Future Civic Media and Technology and Culture Forum.

Ellen H: who in audience consumes mainstream media? (everyone raises hand) who thinks they have been doing a great job covering the election? (one hand).

Who is the journalist today? Police who arrested people at rnc say they just didn't imagine there would be so many journalists!

Ask Tom: who is dominating the coverage?

tom: reveals changes and lack of changes of media as they stay focused on what story for so long. Big stories have mostly broken from print media. No huge stories break on cable media, but cable media spends 62% of time on elections. it's conversational, it's ad libbed. Cable news is more important than ever because of the volume of time it gives to campaign. broadcast news, more repertorial, edited together into a package for the evening news. Old news is stuck in old patterns it can't get out of. New talk show culture is more idealogical. MSNBC finally has some ratings by beign the liberal version of Fox News.

John: news media is more of a prescence and less of a factor. cable news is "projectile punditry". Print news is getting swallowed up. Why don't print stories have more legs? because of the 16 hour news cycle. each campaign wants to win the next 16 hours. whatever hits, immediate impact but no lasting impact. news media is like a self cleaning oven, make soemthign, bake it, serve it, clean oven and start all over fresh. (not political not picking on anyone, but) john mccain is running against the media, he can work against them or bypass them, because people don't see the value of traditional news media anymore.

Ellen H: Mccain used to be so accessible to journalists, and now he totally isn't, and of course sarah palin is impossible to get to, though she did get interviewed by katie couric last night. (me and person next to me snicker).

Ellen G: todays he read newspapers delivered to her door, then looked at tivo's prez speech she fell asleep during, then read about sarah palin and went to youtube to see the clip refrences, then went to google news, then listened to npr while driving. all of these things are leaping on top of each other, almost impossible to deal with them in a discrete way. cable stations are a food fight. news is segmented, and kinds of news is a segmented. [argument about whether prez's speech was only on cable]

Tom: idea of self cleanign oven v. interesting. the proliferation of discussion overwhelms facts, godo because it promotes citizen discussion, but the discussion in terms of volume outweighs the facts.

Ellen G: it's an inverted triangle now, facts ont he ground, and then layers and layers of commentary on top of it.

Tom: speed! the conversations just pours over the facts so quickly. the pol. sources have figured out how to game the system. it's a discussion of people whoa re schooled in hwo to denigrate those facts. nyt did an article how the military analysts omnipresent on tv were schooled and tanatalized by access from the pentagon. pentagon was basically controlling them, networks did no vetting, didn't care. same phenomenon is happening to campigns. campaign spin is posing as media! futher denigrates culture of facts.

John: No longer have coherent universe of coverage, it's free for all. among the "chin-stroke-irati", politco is as important as anything. outside these walls, who knows politco, thinks it's a tomato sauce?

Ellen H: journalists are now peopel who went to hs with palin or saw mccain fall into a pot hole or live next to obama. everyone's a journalist? is this a plus or a minus?

Tom: the media is not the message. nature of the story dictates where it goes. the blogosphere has not replaced mainstream media, there are things it is good at and things it is not good at. the press's role is to say what is lies.

Ellen H: i'm goignt o push back, audience memeber said mainstream media is a corporate trap, i dunno if you share that view that the corps shape the news, if they control it, but can you talk abotu the ownership issue? Ellen, you're nodding your head?

Ellen G: at newspapers, it's flopsweat. ppl worried about economic model of newspapers disappearing. people don't say "i know, let's distort the story, only bristol's pregnancy", it translates into anxiety and working too many jobs. i don't knwo about cable networks, but it seems there's a $ decision to go for the audience. diff definitons of the audience: the view, jon stewart. all these programs are to oen degree or another covering the election in one fashion or another, they have their own idea of what their audience is.

Ellen H: i was just at online new media panel, advice to save yourself from the $ downturn is to connect to you audience!

John: mostly gets his news from the commentaries he writes. unit of value used to be the package, the boston globe, the aggregator. now the unit of value is the /story/, which changes business model,a nd changes how people see the world, they assemble their own newspaper. john actually gets the globe the herald the wsj and the nyt. very little tv news, lots from cruising the internet, liek any sentient 21st century person. like a milkman, he has a rout, people he finds interesting, informative, infuriating.

[Laura: ARGH! Somehow i just lost a really nice paragraph about politico. i knew blogging this way was FRAUGHT WITH PERIL. It was nice. background on politco, how we're headed to getting all our news from affinity groups, laughable today to think of cronkite ending the news with "that's the way it is". *sigh*]

JOhn: the media has never called people liars as much in the last month, and it means nothing! people just keep repeating the same lies over and over and we're powerless to stop it.

Tom: politicians have always beleived they coudl construct their own realtiy, that's nothign new, they have more tools to do it now, but i don't think we're powerless! it's important to know that facts derive their meaning from the context they get them in. i see the statue of saddam fall, and i think it's liberation, i think of the fall of the USSR, or i can think what are we doing here, wasn't that picture stagged? i half suspect the mccain camp has overplayed their hand and made the press more aggressive against them. john kerry brought up how the press distrorted his [something], and GWB just shrubs and says "well, you know the press". The republicans know all about how to use the press.

Ellen G: [some stuff about the narratives of candidates] "She was more Clinton than female, in the end". Once Sarah Palin showed up and turned off some clinton female voters, they said they were willing to vote for the person, not the gender. People talk about Palin on mommy blogs, not political blogs, on the view, on people magazine, to talka bout childcare, about whether a mother should be a prez candidate. it's fascinating to see. same time, women journalists have done a much better job covering palin. charlie gibson was no where near as tough as katie couric. [some woman] said it was sexist not to question palin more directly.

Ellen H: don't forget the mccain narrative, which is strong but not about race or gender.

Ellen G: it's not about the dance of narratives, it's about bush.

John: Mccain has caught obama off guard twice in a month.

Questions from the audience:

Greg Piece: tlked abut unit of measure before, is the real unit of measure now the conversation? politico has the story, and then a thousand comments. peopel go to look for the conversation

Tom: original journalism was alla bout that! conversations in coffeehouses and bars in europe, and then people wrote down those convos and sold them.

Ellen H: people say things over email you woudl never say in person, that's email

john: the other model is the huffington post strategy, great article in new yorker, mulelt strategy, business in front, party in the back, front is very respectable lookignt o advertisers, the comments page is a wild rumpus,a nd that's part of the appeal,

Whitney: i was very interested in this, but it hasn't lived up to my expectations, this doesn't reflect how i cosume media or how most people i know consume media. the "daily me" point. i read my rss reader full of blogs, i spread that to my friends, it's not as narrow as you say. [i totallya gree and give a fist pump]. we get exposed to 3rd parties and independet voices, and none of what you say reflects that

Ellen G: well, this is framed as about the presidential debate,w and what you sugegst could be a model for the future, but i haven't seen it. "You coudl argue Obama came from nowhere - well, not nowhere, the senate".

Tom: there was a lot of fear that the technology woudl mean peopel woudl only go to what they are interested in, but that hasn't happened. people still get tons of accidental knowledge. people are not "pro-sumers", consumer/producers, but the conversation is more robust, all of this can make culture far more robust, but it's probably not going to do much for the presidential election process.

Ellen G: [says nice sounding things about wanting to talk more about what whitney brought up]

[Me: is this age again? do we really consume information very differently from the speakes because we're in our twenties, and they are middle aged? they talk about the political websites, their milkman route, do they not use rss? i am sick of generational gaps in technology. i don't know. ]

Lana: journalists are facing the same information overload? any ideas about how journalists can reorganize to better deal with that, any interstign ways it is happening?

Ellen G: "turning off my emails", i don't know of any, is this your thesis topic? send it to me.

[I don't know how to describe the atmosphere here now. my chunk of cms is sitting over here all twittering at each other about it. one of the panelists just got very defensive, someone just said "the gloves are off", i don't even know. it's true, they don't speak to my experiences, but i am interested in how "normal people" get their media, but, i don't know! why has no one mentioned podcasts, i listen to a political podcast.]

Tom: the norms of journalism didn't come from planet journalism, they came from the market and the way things were. the problem facign MSM isn't loss of audience, NYT has growing audience, the problem is what the subsidy. there is also a new audience for blogging, for shouting, there is no $ model for blogging.

Ellen H: the informed citizen might vote on their values and culture and not issues, and that is alien to journalists, they are all about fact, the model of objectivity, a word we used to use with honor, is under attack, btu the future isn't as bleak as people think.

Nolan(?): when was the good ole days of fact based news? what's with the old $ model?

[me: I think this panel has definitely lost the interest of some of this audience. honestly, we cms students over here in the corner are well under the average age of this audience. I like the colloquia more than the communication fora usually, it seems. maybe we're the roudy kids in the corner, but they can't hear us heckling because we're twittering at each other, not whispering and making a vocal ruckus. Maybe I was just blogging too frantically for the first hour, but i am paying way less attention now.]

Ellen H: [Now it's about how kids don't watch PBS, and media literacy, and NPR, nourishment is available, hard to get, but available.]

Ellen G: re: godo ole day, we don't make newspapers to make money, we make money to make newspapers. [me: but what about all the unpaid bloggers?]

Flourish: taking this to a low culture place, we haven't talked about the real dregs of the politcal discussion online, the lolcats and the palin photoshop, you say ppl don't use the internet for this, but my 75 yr old grandfather always sends me palin in a bikini photoshop, you guy know anything about this?

Ellen H: i hope this isn't for political decisions

Ellen G: It's a reinforcement, it's a tribal "hey we're all in this together", unless it's sent to another tribe then it's "up yours".

Ellen H: remixing is very exciting, but lighting round!

Ellen G: I think tribes are less local, nationally conencted but in their own silos.

Ellen H: lots of people out there don't have the ocean of information you're all talking about, they form their decisions based on very little information.

Tom: community of interest not geographic

Questioner: We are the technological elite here, tom, do you have any numbers about uptakes in new media technology, any trends?

Tom: new media cohort is about 12% of the population. eclectic "news junkies" plus new media = 37%. new media people are young, disengaged people "are older and are going to die." i don't now that that technology will ever get more than a third of people to really care and really be engaged, technology doesn't change human nature.

david thanks the panel for a lively and informative panel, thanks them for willingness to engage with difficult questions and their good humor. says it was one of the best panels in years. [Tactfully put]
05 September 2008 @ 05:09 pm
Hello again! Been ages, I know. Classes at MIT started this week, and right now I'm at the first CMS Colloquim of the year, featuring MIT's own Junot Diaz, author of
    The Brief Wondorous Life of Oscar Wao
, which I literally finished* 5 minutes ago. It's an excellent book, it got the damn Pulitzer, read it. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/books/04diaz.html Now, Liveblogging, as messy as that is.

Full house, glad I got here early. It's a small, intimate room, every seat is a good seat.

Junot doesn't think he can talk for a full 40 minutes. He paraphrases David Lynch, when asked to talk about his work, "Fool, if I could talk about it, I wouldn't make fucking movies."

People ask about the book and say "how much is autobiographical" and "tell us about the dominican republic" and other questions which.

He draws a sketch of the DR, and says if anyone sent it home hsi xenophobic relatives would say tit was part of a conspiracy to render more land unto Haiti than in theirs.

Deep History of the New World.


These deep historical activities gave rise to our present, but they are not part of any country's myth, they get erased. There's no place in the Americas where you can't find artifacts of these things. The project began in mexico city, which is a survivor culture compared to DR. Some of Mexico's indigenous culture survived and adapted.

Junot's grandfather had a tiny coffee "plantation", and you couldn't dig without finding little artifacts of the past, and he'd ask who these artifacts came from, and he'd say "oh they're all dead", which had a big effect on the sensitive little nerd kid.

He was living in a haunted house, the owners were gone, there's a secret history no one wants to talk about. There was some lip service now and then to talking about it, but it only reinforced the silence. Child Junot was like a white apologist conservative ever who wanted to disprove the horrors, disprove his grandfather, because it'd be easier to sleep, prove that there wasn't a conspiracy of silence, that such horrors were an an exception.

Everyone should read: Victoria Nelson's
    The Secret life of Puppets
. About our culture and how we repress things. chapters on Lovecraft.

These issues of genocide, slavery, extinction, were everywhere in genre, in comic books and sci fi and fantasy, Nelson argues what is difficult to deal with culture deposits in the margins. to understand a culture, don't read the central texts, read the marginalia. at the periphery is where you find the heart of things. LOTR, issues of dictatorship and authorship in Dune.

Needed to find a way to deploy genre, not just the style and strategy but the authors and books themselves.

(Also read: The Heart of Darkness.) It lit the way for Junot. What's the genre of the framing story? Sailor stories? Travel? Diary? No, "The club story". very familiar genre that has gone out of style. At the hunter's club, did I ever tell you about the sasquatch I shot? *flashback*. One of the things darkness does is mark this genre that goes out of style. What does Marlow do throughout the book? He goes on a trip to the blank places on the map. In the end he returns with knowledge of the real world, and he can't stand to see the people living in their european city and he can't communicate with them. People call him crazy the same way you'll get called crazy calling up kiby's new gods and saying it's the history of america. this idea drove him.

wanted a book that was a shapeshifter. mythical dominican creature, the baka, shapeshifter, no one knows the original shape. junto used to bother grandparents about the original shape. wanted that depending on the reader the book would take on a different shape.

in a story if you encounter something that could be described as fantastic, there are two choices. either you discover it's the uncanny, there is some explanation, it's Scooby Doo. the other option: the Marvelous, it's actually magic or something.

Rick Moody's novel _The Ice Storm_, no one except henry has read it, he sighs a lot at us. in it the characters are divided into the fantastic four? Abelard is Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic, he'll bend anyway to fit in, he's a super genius. Oscar as The Thing, his strength is in his faith. Lola is Human Torch, always burning. Belicia is the (pre-feminsit update) the Invisible Girl, force fields that make her impenetrable. Who's missing? The Narrator. You ahve to know nerd shit to figure out this part. people are going to read this and focus on the history, btu epople are going to miss the clear codes on how to read this. Not Stan Lee, like Geoff suggests. throughout the novel he takes on the shape and personality of the each of the fantastic four. he's super scroll, and superscroll is a villain. greatest fear of this novel is that of dictatorship, of what happened int he DR, where only one person speaks. The books is arguing that Yunior is far more disturbing than he lets on, at every chance he has betrayed these characters, so why wouldn't he do so in the retelling?

Not even the nerds wanted to decode the nerd texts, so he got fucked, but it's okay.

the second novel that guided this was _Dune_. Idea of a long term breeding experiment, which in dune is for the production of a messiah. in the new world they bred humans for labor, and everyone once in awhile there was some religous concern.

the difficulty men have looking into women's rules. discussion of the brecthel test. women deal with men's stories all the time.

And now Junot's far enough into Dune mythology that I don't really understand and can't spell the words. Something about being able to tell women's stories and men's stories simultaneously.

5:52, and Junot says that is enough, this isn't what he talks Anyone of his half-stoned grad students can put together and argument more coherent and penetrating than this.


* Never had a magical realist stage, despite being from DR. He never really got into it.

The book asks: would you rather be marlow, who knows what is really goign on,t he terrible truth, or the ignorant people walkign around the city? what are we supposed to do with these brains of ours? what are we supposed to do with this collosal privledge that we get to travel and to know.

Q: why use the contemporary DR?
A: doesn't matter. could have use 1920s south. no matter what the fuck you plug in from the new world, you just ahve tos et the codes right, and these issues are so easy, they're right there.

in novels you have to work from multiple marching instructions, multiple codes.

Junot was in ebay bidding wars with one jerk on ebay over getting all roleplaying games from 1980-1989.

look at the last 100 first novels that have been published, and look at the last 100 comic books published, and see how many of each talk about these three issues, genocide, slavery, extinction.

novels are too complicated to be understood by any one reader. novels create community, whatever you don't understand propels you to find someone else who can understand it.

henry says there is an increasing amount of "fanboy lit", mostly written by white upper class guys, on henry's first reading of oscar wao he reflected on how this is about people who are not normally allowed to be fans.

junot says everytime he goes to a convention, despite the number of brown bodies there are, how ancient white the structure of conventions are. white male. white masculinity claims these spaces, claims being fanboys, and there's a lot of racism and sexism.

Being a person of color is a genre already. (I wish I had anything intelligent or interestign to say about race and fandom. gender and fandom is much easier for me to talk about).

_colonialism and the rise of science fiction_ by ridier?
* okay except for that one bit.
17 November 2007 @ 10:36 am
Advertising Panel: "At least getting people to feel neutral about you is still an achievement."

[was too busy to write notes during that]

Cult Media:

Aww, what a sweet story. Grew up as the different kid, some facial paralysis, in New York, beat up and miserable, escaped into fantasy, godzilla, fell in love with the depth of Tolkien, wanted to emulate that with d&d, had to find a way to get street thugs to play d&d. Grew up, started creating worlds, really wanted stories to jump across media. He's all grown up, and a CEO, but I still am feeling empathy for that little different kid. They take properties, and develop the universe a lot.

"Jeff Gomez is the CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, a content development and production studio based in New York City. An expert in the field of transmedia development and creator and producer of highly successful fictional worlds, Gomez exponentially increases the value of intellectual properties by preparing them at early phase to be extended across a wide variety of entertainment platforms. He has written and produced elaborate trans-media universes (including content such as feature and episodic animation, video games, comic books, novels, and web portals) for 20th Century Fox, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, Acclaim Entertainment, Mattel, Hasbro and Scholastic. Gomez has worked on such properties as Turok, Dinosaur Hunter, Magic: The Gathering, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hot Wheels, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Fairies, and Coca-Cola's Happiness Factory."

Jesse Alexander talks about how "heroes" tries to have something for everythign characterwise, the cop, the cheerleader, the brothers. Ensemble!

Henry asks about the tension between building up something that will achieve a hard core fanbase versus network/economic success.

Jesse: Claims to be a "superfan".

Jessie: very broad archetypal characters that people could grok easily.

Jeff: Kid and his mom watch heroes every week, minor character walks on, says something, leaves, kid expains backstory to mom, she says "what? i watch this every week, how do you know that?" and it lets the kid bring more to it.

Jesse: On Alias, they did the web stuff, the transmedia stuff, because they loved it, because they wanted to, for fun.

Danny: Tried to revamp and relaunch "the flash", they changed all sorts of stuff, "forget the hardcore fans, this is about the KIDS!" but who reads comic books? guys over 30 who care about the cannon and the details. they look it up on wikipedia, trying to find the obscure details, and they got attacked at comic con for getting the details wrong, they said "sorry, my bad" wanted to say "no editorial help!" but had to be nice.

Jesse: Has to integrate products to meet the budget, he can work in cell phones or cars or cisco, but he can do that, if you let him do it organically, let him talk tot he advertisers and work it in, not just have it handed down to writers. you need to have a dialogue with the advertisers, and work with them creatively. "We did great things with the Nissan Versa". He thinks that it was organic, the car became a character in the narrative, Hiro's joy for the car felt natural. [Laura: I dunno...] They have a Hiro-branded Nissan Versa in france.

Gordon admits that he picked a nissan versa for his zipcarring.

[wander off to discuss product placement in the confrence chat room]

Jeff: Approached by mattel to make content around the Hot Wheels anniversary, said they could start online, and then jump into videos, they workd with the barbie video people, and they could make a TV series out of it. to my shock, they went for it, aid we had to do it immediately, so right away we wer emaking a transmedia storyline around hot wheels. they started in june, they needed to have stuff in stores around the world in november, wrote a race around the world in an alternate dimension, they put in all these landmarks and gave mattel heart attacks about having races to a statue of christ in rio, and they sell stuff to india and saudi arabia. mattel said no women in th storyline. 36 cars, 10 people, no women allowed. "our consumer base doesn't want girls in their entertainment." we said "no, why, really why?" the bottom line from backchannels as that this product is sold in antiosn where women drivers don't exist, and we took a stand and said we would leave if we couldn't. we almost lost an 8 million dollar account. called up mainframe, solidarity, and told mattel "the chicks are in". Girl solves problem with math, (not with cooking), and not a peep from those countries, the children of saudi princes watch this dvd all the time.

Jesse: The actor who plays Ando is Korean, how will this play in Japan? Is his Japanese good enough? Jesse thinks it sounds great, Japanese makes no sense to him, makes a gibberish noise. Apparently it is a "massive, crazy success in Japan!". lot of worry it wouldn't work, but it came from a pure, honest creative space.

Question: Disabled Americans are 20% of America, largest minority, least shown. Discussion of havign diabled people play disabled characters. [Me: Isn't it important to get visibility of diabled people regardless of what the actors are? If a Korean can play Japanese, why can't a non-disabled person play a disabled character?]

Jesse goes back to the trouble with working in new charcters to Heroes.

[Amusing comment from the backchannel: "The story of Starlight and the homoerotic racetrack is admirable. Is this an exception? Can we hear a similar story (anonymize the actors) with a less happy ending? I'm curious about the prevalence of this moral conundrum."]

Worked on the Sims. What I leanred was, give the users the tools, and they will do your job for you. you set the stage, and let the players come in.

[There is nothing wrong with being the overflow room here, which is *right* outside the door. people talk more freely because we're no in the auditorium, we have more room, and i can talk on the backchannel and the chat room just as easily)

These networks will not do transmedia because it is cool, they do not part with money easily.

I did this show called the sentinel, that was designed for 18-35 year old males, and the fanbase ont he internet was 100% women! i didn't know what was going on, or if they were having conventions, or what.

[and i run off to a student obligation]

[and i run back]

Oh wow, people in Brazil found Heroes through the comics and didn't know it was linked to a show? I can't imagine reading the comics without knowing the characters from the show! Fascinating!

Starlight can geta comic out in a months, as transmedia they ridge story arcs, expand universe, flesh out 2ary charcters, lead you towards next story arc.

Arguments about peopel not wanting to read, comics as a "gateway" to reading

And it's over, and it was wonderful.
16 November 2007 @ 04:51 pm
basic contract - leave me alone but acknowledge what I do

lots of fans just don't want to make any money. it frees you from the constraints of commercial publishing.

free labor is not always exploited labor. fans set up their spaces and give each other support and feedback. if media pubkishers get involved that might change everything.

[okay, posting from my new "smart"phone is irritating, ran outside to get my power cord and go back to laptop]

If corporatiosn get involved, it creates a system of winners and losers, if some story gets picked as a script, or some vid gets picked as a promotional, it's like the media companies are picking prom queens. (ed. I was the prom queen. my high school was small all-girl catholic school, and not a normal school). Cat clarifies that she is mostly talking about LJ based fan communities, and fans are not monolithic like she fears she is portraying them.

[I stop to look up Catherine Tosenberger. "Oh of course she's a supernatural fan, with all her slash mentions. i should get someone to explain SPN fandom to me, all i ever see if incest."]

someting about punk folk lesbian protest rock.

[note: this panel is awesome, and we get another 75 minutes!]

[I am, unsurprisingly, much more interested when Catherine is talking, as she most speaks to my own fandom experience.]

There are fanfic authors who have capitalized on their success to become professional authors, but lots of fans don't want that. there is an poutside perspective of "if you're so good, why don't you write *real* fiction, and use original charcters", and they don't get it.

[One of these panelists, Jordan Greenhall, look like some actor, but i can't figure out who, and it's driving me crazy. i think it must be some kind of villain. it is so distracting. http://www.socialmedia.biz/images/jordan_greenhall.jpg]

idea that music would die if artists aren't paid: as long as chicks go for guys who play guitar, there will be guys who play guitar.

some of the great joy of fanfiction is that it IS unpublishable, it might only make sense to 15 people, and it doesn't make sense to anybody outside that group, and that is part of the joy!

Women like the safe spaces of fandom creation.

[ha, my friend ken fgured out who he looks like, he looks like a young Willem Dafoe. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000353/ I was picturing Spiderman]

[Oh, and the place I have seen Catherine Tosenberger in Henry's blog in the gender & fan culture debate series.]
16 November 2007 @ 04:41 pm

the internet brought fandom to children, because you didn't need to go to cons and know the right people and pay for your fanfic zines

women rescued fandom from adolescent sterotypes

harry potter fandom and the internet grew up together

more anger at fanlib! :) trying to capitalize on fandom without compensating them. irritated the entire fan community.

the artitic use of other people's characters in very old: the "sequels" to jane austen novels, the sherlock holmes fanfic, all that.

4:27: back: Fandom is not monolithic. there are fans who love hiro and ando's "mad passionate love affair", who are not going to tell the producers they should do that, they don't want that, they are fine with producers doing what they want, and fandom does what they want, and responds to what they do.

slash fans are used to not getting what they want, used to making due on their own.

do you want the slashers writing their hot slash, or just the fans writing nice little gen fic about claire discovering her powers.

Old skool producers were the ones that had access to information

web 2.0 does not care about what your content is, it cares about where you are and how often you click. it's all about meta data.

livejournal happy to host all the slash int he world until it impacts what kind of metadata they can gather and how they can sell it.

"oh wow we have an sawful lot of goth furry porn. eh! that's useful, we can sell to that"

stealing other organization's data, that's the game of web 2.0

lj does not claim to own the slash fic, the question is who owns the profile data of the slash writer.
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16 November 2007 @ 09:23 am
I am at FoE2. Everything seems to be going okay so far. I have not gotten to pay much attention to Sam and Henry's opening comments because I was working the reg desk. Also, I got up so much earlier than I ever do this morning, and I am still waking up. We are handwriting a bunch of badges because they are missing.

Liveblogging of the conference! http://www.convergenceculture.org/weblog/

Henry is ending the opening comments with an absolutely amazing fanvid by Luminosity. If you haven't seen it, you should. I have not seen "300", and I have no plans to, but I thin this vid tells me all I need to know. To quote my friend about this vid: "apparently I understood this pretty well despite not having seen the movie and being vid-deficient. It r about teh female gaze. *gazes* *glares at frank miller* "

"Luminosity is the best fan that shows like Friday Night Lights, Highlander, Farscape, and Buffy ever had—but she can’t use her real name in this interview for fear that their producers will sue her. " -New York Magazine


Henry mentions fanlib. Laughter in the overflow room from those who know, confused looks from others. Back to livejournal, fanlib and gender!

"And I think I know a number of fans who went to the woods like Thoreau, to avoid the spoilers".

Oh, Henry says JKR didn't have the guts to out Dumbledore in the books.

Now, off to work on my game at GAMBIT and go to class, back in the afternoon.
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Current Location: Media Lab
nbc's heroes: "appointment tv" to "engagement tv"?

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007
5 - 7 p.m.
Bartos Theater


The fragmenting audiences and proliferating channels of contemporary television are changing how programs are made and how they appeal to viewers and advertisers. Some media and advertising spokesmen are arguing that smaller, more engaged audiences are more valuable than the passive viewers of the Broadcast Era. They focus on the number of viewers who engage with the program and its extensions -- web sites, podcasts, digital comics, games, and so forth. What steps are networks taking to prolong and enlarge the viewer's experience of a weekly series? How are networks and production companies adapting to and deploying digital technologies and the Internet? And what challenges are involved in creating a series in which individual episodes are only part of an imagined world that can be accessed on a range of devices and that appeals to gamers, fans of comics, lovers of message boards or threaded discussions, digital surfers of all sorts? In this forum, producers from the NBC series Heroes will discuss their hit show as well as the nature of network programming, the ways in which audiences are measured, the extension of television content across multiple media channels, and the value that producers place on the most active segments of their audiences.


Jesse Alexander is a co-executive producer and writer on Heroes and an executive producer on the Heroes spinoff Origins. Previously, Alexander was an executive producer on ABC’s Alias, and a co-executive producer on ABC’s Lost.

Mark Warshaw is a writer/ producer/ director who joined the Heroes team in 2006 to help launch their transmedia department. Prior to joining Heroes, Warshaw spent six years on the TV show Smallville, overseeing all of their digital, DVD and integrated advertiser marketing initiatives.

Moderator: Henry Jenkins is co-director of Comparative Media Studies and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities at MIT. He is the author of several books on various aspects of media and popular culture including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.
08 November 2007 @ 02:40 pm
Games and Civic Engagement

Thursday, November 8
5-7 p.m.
Bartos Theater, MIT Media Lab

A generation of scholars, critics and political leaders has denounced
videogames as at best a distraction and at worst a negative influence
on society. Yet for a growing generation of activists and researchers,
games may also represent a resource for engaging young people with
the political process and heightening their awareness of social issues.
In what ways do young people use the online societies constructed in
multi-player games to rehearse and refine skills at citizenship? Can we
imagine games as a medium that encourages public awareness and
citizenship? And what might it mean to empower young people to create
their own games to reflect their perceptions of the world around them?
This is the second in a continuing series from the new
MIT Center for Future Civic Media.


Mario Armstrong is a technology correspondent for National Public Radio
(for Morning Edition and News and Notes) and hosts talk shows about
technology and culture on XM radio and public radio stations WYPR
and WEAA in the Baltimore area.

Ian Bogost is an assistant professor in the School of Literature,
Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech and co-founder of
Persuasive Games. He is the author of Persuasive Games:
The Expressive Power of Videogames.

Moderator: Eric Klopfer is director of the Teacher Education Program,
co-director of The Education Arcade and associate professor in the
Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsors: MIT Comparative Media Studies, MIT Media Lab

A reception in 14E-304 follows the forum.
27 October 2007 @ 04:40 am
I have a lot to say about video games and Jack Thompson and "Moral Kombat" and the like, but until I get my thoughts together at a less awful hour of the morning...

Henry Jenkins has an interview in his blog entitled Why Grand Theft Auto Should Be Taught in Schools? with David Hutchison, the author of a recently released book, Playing to Learn: Video Games in the Classroom.

Guess who responded, but Jack Thompson, that Conservative Crusader against the evils of video games that turn our innocent children into cold-blooded killers. You can check it out here. Thompson sounds like a whining whiny whiner, accusing Henry of dissing on Harvard. I did a dramatic reading at GAMBIT today.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Cake - Shadow Stabbing