Web Exclusive Essays

The Implicit Contract

Everyone wants something from their entertainment. Whatever this desire is, audiences’ satisfaction with a product is dependent on whether their → Read Essay

Valuing Fans

Why work toward a model for valuing fans? The U.S. media industry has run into some significant economic problems in → Read Essay

Co-creative Expertise in Gaming Cultures

Gamers increasingly participate in the process of making and circulating game content. Games such as Maxis’s The Sims franchise, for → Read Essay

The Swedish Model

Sweden is a small country, yet it has one of the world’s biggest and best-selling music scenes. You might think → Read Essay

Interrogating “Free” Fan Labor

Over the past two decades, large swaths of the U.S. population have been engaged in copyright wars. On one side, → Read Essay

Tecnobrega’s Productive Audiences

Ronaldo Lemos (2008) has coined the phrase “globoperipheral music” to describe the emergence of music scenes that put central focus → Read Essay

Soulja Boy and Dance Crazes

During the summer of 2007, U.S. pop media seemed saturated with talk show hosts and pro athletes dancing along to → Read Essay

The Long Tail of Digital Games

In the raging debate over the legitimacy and consequences of the “Long Tail” theory (Anderson 2006), few markets have received → Read Essay

The Use Value of Authors

A key dilemma for both media consumers and producers in today’s media environment is discoverability: with so much media spreading, → Read Essay

The Moral Economy of Soap Opera Fandom

Soaps accompanied my real life as a stay at home mother, chronicled my years as a working adult, kept me → Read Essay

YouTube and Archives in Educational Environments

Students in a film studies class settle back and watch a clip of the iconic scene from the ending of → Read Essay

Twitter Revolutions?

In summer 2009, public discontent around the outcome of the Iranian elections sparked a worldwide response, largely because of the → Read Essay

Joss Whedon, the Browncoats, and Dr. Horrible

Experimentation among independent media creators is inspiring some mainstream media producers to create alternative systems of production and distribution. Few → Read Essay

A History of Transmedia Entertainment

As embraced by industry professionals and media consumers alike, transmedia storytelling promises to bring greater institutional coordination, added narrative integrality, → Read Essay

Retrobrands and Retromarketing

Today’s big brands are all rooted in the past. Tide, Coca-Cola, BMW, and even Apple are all connected to bygone → Read Essay

Performing with Glee

Some producers developing cross-platform media franchises are experimenting with distribution models that engage consumers on a quotidian level, capitalizing on → Read Essay

Transnational Audiences and East Asian Television

Consider a clip from the Japanese variety show Arashi no Shukudai-kun that recently made its way onto YouTube in early → Read Essay

(Sp)reading Digital Comics

Comic books—especially single issues, or “floppies”—have always been spreadable. As kids in the 1980s, my friends and I would head → Read Essay

What Old Media Can Teach New Media

While it may be the case that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, the question remains whether that → Read Essay

“Consumers” or “Multipliers”?

The term “consumer” is a fixture of the marketing, media, and cultural worlds. It is hard to imagine certain conversations → Read Essay

Forensic Fandom and the Drillable Text

While the rise of spreadable media is a major trend of the contemporary era, another development within media seems to → Read Essay

In Defense of Memes

Although I agree that the terms “viral” and “meme” often connote passive transmission by mindless consumers, I take issue with → Read Essay

Targeting Desis

“Desi,” which means “from the homeland,” is a term that refers to people within the South Asian diaspora. It also → Read Essay

The Value of Retrogames

Existing in dialectical tension with contemporary games which trumpet their photorealistic graphics, sprawling storyworlds, and intricate, extended, networked play, retrogames → Read Essay

Television’s Invitation to Participate

In Beyond the Box: TV and the Internet (Ross 2008), I argued that television shows starting in the late 1990s → Read Essay

Chuck vs. Leno

In April 2009, a sandwich saved a television show. The sandwich was fairly large—12 inches, to be exact—but the feat → Read Essay

The Revolution Is Not Spreadable

When I consider India, the main question that comes to my mind about spreadability is what is being spread and → Read Essay

A Global History of Secondhand Clothing

Clothing, almost by definition, is a medium of transmission within a spreadable media ecology. It is both the means and → Read Essay

The Online Prime Time of Workspace Media

Ask a producer of digital content about website usage patterns, as I have, and they will tell you how important → Read Essay

The History of Spreadable Media

Media have been evolving and spreading for as long as our species has been around to develop and transport them. → Read Essay

How Spreadability Changes How We Think about Advertising

You can’t spell “spreadability” without “ad.” The vision of unpaid people cheerfully passing around ads they love has been a → Read Essay

Learning to Be a Responsible Circulator

The Challenges of Departing from a Broadcast World In Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta The Gondoliers, the song “There Lived → Read Essay

The Value of Customer Recommend-

With new channels of communication and old, marketers can deliver a dizzying number of advertising messages to consumers—by many accounts, → Read Essay

“From Weird to Wide”

The fundamental question of development economics, my late mentor Dick Sabot taught me, is simple to formulate and hard to → Read Essay