Understanding the Spreadable Media Environment

We’ve been excited to see our book pop up in relation to a variety of pieces which help provide a better understanding of key concepts surrounding the cultural landscape we describe in Spreadable Media. No matter what angle has brought you to the book and our site, we recommend you add the following to your reading list:

  • In their 2013 piece for Media and Communication, “Understanding Social Media Logic,” the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Mediastudies’ José van Dijck and Thomas Poell consider and make a distinction between the concept of “spreadability” and concepts of “connectivity” in relation to social media platforms.
  • In evoking “the scale at which people who never had access to broadcast media are now doing so on an everyday basis and the conscious strategic appropriate of media tools in this process,” Nancy Baym and danah boyd’s 2012 Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media piece, “Socially Mediated Publicness: An Introduction,” references Spreadable Media—particularly in making the point that it’s not the few “viral hits” but rather the many moderately spread videos that are truly changing the media landscape.
  • In their 2014 piece for Convergence, entitled “Charting and Challenging Digital Media Convergence Practice and Rhetoric through Longitudinal Media Population Surveys,” Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Elias Markstedt, and Matthew Crain reference Spreadable Media in the trajectory of co-author Henry Jenkins’ work about how “new forms of participatory media culture (are) enabled by media convergence” and draw on the book to argue that such tools/forms’ ability to be a “power generator” is “highly contextual and never absolute.”
  • In March 2014, the Universidad de La Sabana (in Colombia)’s Palabra Clave published a “brief reflection” entitled “Integrated?” arguing against technological determinism and looking at the ways human communication and culture pre-date and shape online communication. In the process, the piece references Spreadable Media and a range of other contemporary work in the communication field on digital culture.
  • Maria Clara Aquino Bittencourt opens her 2013 piece for the Brazilian journal GEMInIS (in Portuguese), entitled “Interatividade como Categoria de Análise sobre Convergência entre Televisão e Web,” by evoking Spreadable Media in a call for studying how both the media industries and cultural practices are evolving in an environment where media texts are circulating, both bottom-up and top-down. Her study looks at interactivity, and in particular at processes of participation and sharing “to understand technical, social and cultural exchanges established in production, circulation and consumption of television and web.”
  • In her early draft published on Cultural Digitally, the University of Arkansas’s Stephanie Ricker Schulte shares her piece on “Personalization,” which will be published in Ben Peters’ forthcoming Digital Keywords project. Schulte writes about the origin of the term, the ways new technology presumably increase “pleasure, autonomy, ease, and agency” for users, and also “how human and institutional interactions shape the meaning of these news gadgets.” The draft draws on Spreadable Media as an example of scholarship focusing on the potentials of new technologies to increase agency and participation.
  • Back in October 2013, co-author Henry Jenkins published the work of one of the students in his Public Intellectuals class at USC, David Jeong, on “Information Darwinism.” In it, Jeong argues for the type of information people are more likely to engage with and draws on the concept of “spreadable media” to argue that, in an era of an overabundance of available info, “the information that survives is information that garners our collective attention, that captivates the collective consciousness.”