Spreadability and Civic Media

A wide range of great research is being done on civic media and activism in a digital media environment, which draws on concepts from Spreadable Media. We highly recommend checking out the projects below:

  • Pavlíčková Tereza’s 2013 piece, “Trust in the Author: Identity, Expertise and Reputation,” for CM: Časopis za Upravljanje Komuniciranjem (Communication Management Quarterly) uses Spreadable Media to establish a media environment in which media is produced, adapted, and circulated by a wide range of “alternative, independent and community media” outlets and individual users. Tereza’s study looks at the “strategies of interpretation” required from online audiences today “to establish whether the particular source is trustworthy or not” and on the construction of “the imagined author” when reading content online produced by a source whose reputation they do not know.
  • Benjamin Burroughs’ 2013 The Fibreculture Journal piece, “Obama Trolling: Memes, Salutes and an Agnostic Politics in the 2012 Presidential Election,” draws on Spreadable Media’s use of 4chan and focus on the agency of participants in circulating and providing new meaning around online content in an analysis “which seeks to conceptualise trolling as a broader cultural practice, which can be considered political.”
  • Joel Penney’s 2014 piece for Convergence, entitled “Motivations for Participating in ‘Viral Politics’: A Qualitative Case Study of Twitter Users and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election,” uses Spreadable Media to ground the degree to which peer-to-peer circulation by “grassroots intermediaries” have become important marketing strategies in the contemporary media environment, in his analysis of how people think about their participation in spreading political messages online during a campaign.
  • Igor Vobič and Peter Dahlgren, in their 2013 piece for Medijska Istraživanja on “Reconsidering Participatory Journalism in the Internet Age,” draw on Spreadable Media to argue of the importance of looking at emerging audience sharing practices that are reshaping how news stories circulate among people’s social networks.
  • In their 2014 Quality & Quantity piece, entitled  “Measuring Web Ecology by Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Online News: 2012 General Election in South Korea,” authors Yoonjae Nam, Yeon-Ok Lee, and Han Woo Park draw on Spreadable Media’s focus on how content “serves as a resource and is a vehicle for an ongoing conversation with other members in the community.” Their study looks at the flow of information online surrounding the South Korean elections and the levels of biases in how information circulates.
  • In interviewing Ethan Zuckerman about his book RewiredSpreadable Media co-author Henry Jenkins asks Zuckerman in particular about the benefits and challenges of discovering news increasingly through the circulation of your online connections.
  • Salvador Millaleo and Pablo Cárcamo reference Spreadable Media in analyzing the Tea Party as part of their look at digital activism across the globe, in their 2014 online book for the Democracy and Development Foundation in Chile, Medios Sociales y Activismo Digital en el Mundo.
  • In her May 2013 University of Texas-Austin dissertation, entitled “Still Alive and Kicking”: Girl Bloggers and Feminist Politics in a “Postfeminist” Age, Jessalynn Marie Keller refers to Spreadable Media as one of several texts that provide “comprehensive discussions of participatory culture and social media platforms.”
  • In her 2013 University of Michigan Department of Communication Studies Honors Thesis, entitled “The Third Wave Afro: How the Black Beauty Blogosphere Has Mobilized New Meaning and Movement,” Dora Z. Sobze draws on the concept of “spreadability” and Spreadable Media’s section on systemic bias in Wikipedia in her analysis of the “natural hair movement” and the ways in which online spaces have “saturated the afro with new meanings” and examining “the ways in which Black women have negotiated these meanings.”
  • In his proposal for Green Horizon magazine on how the Green Party might better utilize today’s communications landscape globally, Steven Schmidt refers to Spreadable Media as a potentially useful/important resource.