Using Spreadable Media

Studying Memes

Monday, November 17, 2014   9:00

Several new research projects focused on memes draw on Spreadable Media from a range of different angles:

  • In their May 2014 New Media & Society piece, “Memes as Genre: A Structurational Analysis of the Memescape,” Bradley E. Wiggins and Bret G. Bowers draw on the white paper that was part of the Spreadable Media project—challenging the white paper’s definition of the term “meme” in purely biological terms and reappropriating the phrase “spreadable media” to refer to original content that is circulating by audiences, as opposed mimetic content, which modifies the content from the original iteration.
  • Limor Shifman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Communication and Journalism draws on the original whitepaper from the Spreadable Media project in “Anatomy of a YouTube Meme” for New Media & Society in 2012, using the whitepaper’s argument for the audience’s agency in circulation—calling for retaining the language of “viral” and “meme” but arguing for giving them more nuance and definition.
  • Ryan Milner’s 2012 University of Kansas Communication Studies dissertation, The World Made Meme: Discourse and Identity in Participatory Media, draws on Spreadable Media’s critique of the biological metaphors “meme” and “viral” to describe how cultural texts circulate, distinguishing between the two terms and arguing for retaining the term “meme,” especially in how it has been redefined over time.
  • In his 2012 honors thesis for the University of Pittsburgh, entitled “LOLs, Lulz, and ROFL: The Culture, Fun, and Serious Business of Internet Memes,” Noah David Levinson includes some consideration of Spreadable Media’s characterization of spreadability.

Understanding the Spreadable Media Environment

Monday, November 10, 2014   9:00

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.”

Thinking Critically about the Nature of Spreadability

Monday, November 3, 2014   9:00

For those looking to think critically about the social, cultural, political, and economic environment shaping the ways in which people are sharing media texts, here are a few pieces we highly recommend you check out and which have engaged with ides from our book:

  • In his 2014 piece for Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies entitled “Frictionless Sharing and Digital Promiscuity,” American University of Paris Global Communications Profesor Robert Payne looks at the rise of “frictionless sharing” as a concept and the monetization efforts focused on normalizing and making as easy as possible the circulation of media texts. Payne asks, “If the new rhetoric of ‘sharing’ erases the riskiness of circulation previously encoded in dominant images of vitality, notably behaviors associated with HIV, then what is the relationship of the projected potential of ‘frictionless sharing’ to existing normative frames of ethics and morality?” In the process, Payne refers to Spreadable Media and looks to complicate binaries in understanding user agency and in moving beyond the language of vitality.
  • This piece draws from Robert Payne’s 2013 piece for Cultural Studies, entitled “Virality 2.0: Networked Promiscuity and the Sharing Subject,” which reacts to material related to the Spreadable Media project by stating that “as transmission has been rebranded as ‘sharing,’ questions of personal and moral responsibility attendant to transmission and infection have been erased in favor of a bland ideology of interactivity.” The piece posits that such language “stabilize(s) and fetishise(s) the active ‘sharing subject’ in neoliberal and heteronormative terms.”
  • In her 2014 New Media & Society piece, “The Interface as Discourse: The Production of Norms through Web Design,” Mel Stanfill draws on Spreadable Media’s designation between stickiness and spreadability in examining the various technological functions in place on media producers’ official sites that limit the portability of content, makes audiences more “measurable,” and eliminates the opportunity to remix media texts in ways that she argues “ignores fair use.”
  • Andrew Hoskins’ provocative 2013 piece for Memory Studies, “The End of Decay Time,” draws on Spreadable Media in its consideration of how “permanently” archived material might easily spread in an environment where the physical decay of most archived media is no longer an issue. In particular, Hoskins explores the potential for “instant decay: corruption, disconnection and deletion” and a “ressentiment of the post-scarcity age: a loss of the confidence of steady decay time exposes memory to less certain prospects for erasure and for forgetting.”
  • Jason Pridmore and Daniel Trottier’s essay “Extending the Audience: Social Media Marketing, Technologies and the Construction of Markets,” for Lee McGuigan and Vincent Manzerolle’s The Audience Commodity in a Digital Age: Revisiting a Critical Theory of Commercial Media, draws on Spreadable Media’s consideration of Dallas Smythe’s work on audience activity as labor as it explores social media users’ ambivalence to how their participation is shaped and commoditized via social network sites.
  • In her work on describing the “infosaturation” involved in giving people recommended content based on their profiles and previous behavior, Patrícia Dias of the Research Center on Communication and Culture at the Catholic University of Portugal draws on Spreadable Media’s argument for the more active agency of people in engaging and circulating content. Her research, which looks at “the cognitive and relational effects of digital immersion” as new personalization technologies arise, is published at “From ‘Infoxication’ to ‘Infosaturation’: A Theoretical Overview of the Cognitive and Social Effects of Digital Immersion” in Ámbitos: Revista Internacional de Comunicación.
  • In their 2013 Swedish media and communication studies thesis for Uppsala University’s Department of Informatics and Media, “Google ser Dig: En Kvalitativ Studie av Internetanvändares Medvetenhet och Åsikter om Filterbubblor” (which translates to “Google Is Watching You: A Qualitative Study of Internet Users’ Awareness and Opinions on Filter Bubbles”), Carl Hallvarsson & Jessica Norén draw on Spreadable Media to demonstrate a greater expectation of trust from audiences/users. Based on focus group group research, Hallvarsson and Norén argue that the “empowered audiences” Spreadable Media advocates for are often not possible when it comes to digital companies like Google, where audiences are grossly unaware of the design of the platform and how the data they create is being used.
  • The University of Michigan’s Lisa Nakamura spoke to content/“memes” that we want to die and some of the negative cultural attributes that make things spreadable—including racism, hate, and other issues, challenging any unabashed celebration of spreadability on its own right. Her comments were part of a panel on “Identity Work and Identity Play Online” at the American Studies Association in Washington DC in December 2013 alongside NYU’s Laura Portwood-Stacer, UCLA’s Anne Cong-Huyen, and USC’s Tara McPherson. See Dan Greene’s write-up here.

Thinking Further about Spreadability

Monday, October 27, 2014   9:00

Several great pieces have been published which draws on Spreadable Media in some way in looking further at how stories spread in a digital age:

  • The January 2014 International Journal of Cultural Studies piece “Constructing a Digital Storycircle: Digital Infrastructure and Mutual Recognition,” authored by Nick Couldry, Richard MacDonald, Hilde Stephansen, Wilma Clark, Luke Dickens, and Aristea Fotopoulou, examines the community setting in which stories are shared online. In their analysis, the authors draw on Spreadable Media’s “reflections on the limits of participatory culture around commercial media” and questions about the potential dangers posed to political institutions by spreadability but primarily focus on “the positive possibilities” for narrative exchange in an online setting.
  • John Hartley includes Spreadable Media among his references for his 2013 piece in Journal of Cultural Science, entitled “A Trojan Horse in the Citadel of Stories?” In the piece, Hartley examines the “scaling up” from self-expression to self-marketing/representation and how storytelling connects with “the evolution of the polity.” Ultimately, via a case study of connections between Australia and Turkey, Hartley argues that there needs to be “new guides to storytelling action, not the old (Trojan) warhorses of mainstream media.”
  • In their introduction to the 2014 inaugural issue of Asiascape: Digital Asia, entitled “Revisiting the Emancipatory Potential of Digital Media in Asia,” Leiden University’s Florian Schneider and Chris Goto-Jonesdraw on Spreadable Media in talking about co-author Henry Jenkins’ contention that “social sharing and the ‘remixing’ of culture allows users to develop a sense of self-worth and of community.”
  • Pip Shea’s 2013 Journal of Cultural Science piece, entitled “Co-Creating Knowledge Online: Approaches for Community Artists,” focuses on the concepts of co-creation and participatory culture in the community arts field, and particularly looking at “the making of new knowledge.” The piece evokes Spreadable Media in referring to a booklet Shea made and focuses the analysis around, entitled Co-creating Knowledge Online, which was made available for free online distribution.
  • University of Southern California’s Kathi Inman Berens (now researching as part of the Digital Culture Research Group at Norway’s University of Bergen) is currently doing work on “OccupyMLA,” a “hoax” that took place at the Modern Language Association’s 2013 conference. Her work includes using concepts from Spreadable Media to examine the wide circulation of the project beyond its original context and beyond the creators’ own distribution. More on her work from her proposal for a 2015 session at the MLA’s national conference, as part of a larger panel on “Authenticity in Distributed Networks.”
  • In his 2013 University of Texas-Austin Master’s thesis, entitled “Characteristics of Content and Social Spread Strategy on the Indiegogo Crowdfunding Platform,” Joseph S. Stern references Spreadable Media’s consideration of how people appraise media content.
  • In his 2012 political science thesis for the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali “Guido Carli” (LUISS University of Rome), entitled “Influenza, Reputazione e Visibilità su Twitter. Un’analisi Semiotica.” Gian Mario Bachetti draws on Spreadable Media’s reference to a networked culture where people maintain much more frequent connections with a wider range of their network via online communication tools in his semiotic study of the activity of “influencers” on Twitter.
  • Recent George Washington University School of Business grad Alex Smolen looks at the cultural drivers behind various highly spread online videos, drawing on Spreadable Media and other media studies/journalism texts at her blog, The Mind of Alex Smolen.

Spreadable Media and Rethinking Pedagogical Approaches

Monday, October 20, 2014   9:00

A range of thinkers working on changing pedagogical practices throughout all forms of education have been engaging with—and providing useful extensions to—many of the ideas in Spreadable Media. Learn about a few of these projects—and how they engage with the book—in the following places:

  • A group called “The 21st Century Collective” published a collection in 2013 called Field Notes for 21st Century Literacies: A Guide to New Theories, Methods, and Practices for Open Peer Teaching and Learning, available via the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). The co-authors of the second chapter (entitled “From Open Programming to Open Learning: The Cathedral, the Bazaar, and the Open Classroom”), Barry Peddycord III and Elizabeth A. Pitts, write that Spreadable Media “eloquently” describes the shift from one-way models of producing and distributing messages to a more collaborator model where audiences can “create, remix and share information.”
  • In Joanne Larson’s Radical Equality in Education: Starting Over in U.S. Schooling, she draws on Spreadable Media to evoke the shift “into many-to-many participation structures in which the social relations between production and consumption are blurred, if not erased” and emphasizes that “children and youth are not ‘playing’ at something they will grow out of; these are the language, literacy, and knowledge production practices now.”
  • In her presentation at the Networked Learning Conference in Edinburgh, UK, in April 2014, entitled “Taming Social Media in Higher Education Classrooms,” Ryerson University School of Professional Communication’s Wendy Freeman uses Spreadable Media to help set the landscape for communication in today’s society before launching into the results of a study based on in-depth interviews with postsecondary educators and how they use social media as part of their pedagogical approach.
  • Stefano Bonometti of the Università degli Studi del Molise in Italy draws on Spreadable Media to help explain the current online environment of “sharing and participation” which is driving some experimentation with online multimedia learning. See his short paper, entitled “A Cross-Media Environment for Teacher Training,” published as part of the proceedings for the Interaction Design in Educational Environments (IDEE) workshop in June 2014 in Albacete, Spain.
  • In her 2013 dissertation for Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education, entitled Tensions of Teaching Media Literacy in Teacher Education, Nalova Elaine Ngomba-Westbrook references Spreadable Media as an example of a media literacy study that takes a “process focus,” looking at “the democratizing opportunities inherent” in the potential spreadability of media texts.

Spreadable Media in the Classroom

Monday, October 13, 2014   9:00

We are excited to see instructors using Spreadable Media in the classroom across a wide range of subjects, disciplinary approaches, and countries. Below are some of the latest appearances we’ve seen for Spreadable Media on university syllabi:

  • Drake University Law School’s Peter K. Yu lists Spreadable Media among his Reference Works for his Fall 2014 course, IP in the Internet Age.
  • Georgia State University Department of Communication’s Ted Friedman used Spreadable Media as one of the textbooks for his Fall 2013 senior seminar on “Convergence Culture.”
  • The University of Turin Department for the Study of Culture, Politics, and Society’s Cristopher Cepernich is using Spreadable Media as a core text for his upcoming course, Media Systems and ICT.
  • The University of Greenland’s Language, Literature, and Media’s course catalog lists Spreadable Media among the texts used/covered in its classes.
  • Charles Sturt University School of Information Studies course director Judy O’Connell includes Spreadable Media on her book list for students to review for her Concept & Practices in a Digital Age course.
  • Spreadable Media is one of the core texts for Renira Rampazzo Gambarato’s Transmedia Storytelling II course at the Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School.
  • Spreadable Media is also a required textbook for Liberty University’s communication course “The Transmedia Organization.”
  • Spreadable Media is listed as a key “New Media/Multi-Platform” resource for the Rights & Creative Industries module in Creative & Culture Industries at the University of the West of Scotland, coordinated by Jason Robertson.
  • Darryl Woodford has been using material surrounding the Spreadable Media project for his “New Media: Internet, Self and Beyond” course at the Queensland University of Technology.
  • Prof. Leonardo Flores in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez campus uses Spreadable Media’s introduction and first chapter to help his Literature in Digital Media students think through how Hamlet has been remixed and spread. A write-up on the class is available here.
  • Gary Hink of University of Colorado-Boulder’s Program for Writing & Rhetoric used the white paper that was part of the Spreadable Media project for his Summer 2014 Technology & American Culture course.
  • Chloe Smolarski’s Digital Storytelling Spring 2014 course for York College Communication Technology launches with William Uricchio’s “The History of Spreadable Media,” which is one of the essays that are part of the enhanced Spreadable Media book available online.
  • Finally, in her use of Spreadable Media in her Marylhurt University literature course, entitled “Digital Humanities and New Media: An Introduction,” Prof. Kathi Inman Berens posted two videos with her reflections, here and here.

Interesting Student Projects in Response to Spreadable Media

Monday, October 6, 2014   9:00

Some uses of Spreadable Media in the classroom has generated interesting work from students in response. Below, we highlight three of those projects:

  • Diane Daly’s University of Arizona course on Collaborating in Online Communities has created a Spreadable Media study guide/companion.
  • To demonstrate their mastery of the concepts in Melanie Kohnen’s Spring 2014 “Intro to Digital Media” class at NYU, students Alinah Zamir, Ella Ribas, and Da Suel Kim presented their understanding and thinking via the creation of a website for their “hybrid-marketing agency,” DigitaliaSpreadable Media was one of the texts for their class, and they draw on the book in various places for the material they present on the site.
  • Students in Prof. Shayla Thiel Stern’s New Media & Culture Class in Spring 2014 did a frame-by-frame remake of the “Makmende” video used as a case study in Spreadable Media and, in particular, in Ethan Zuckerman’s essay for the project.

Research Drawing on Spreadable Media

Monday, February 3, 2014   9:18
We are excited to see scholars finding concepts from Spreadable Media that is proving useful for their work. Here’s a sampling of recent publications and research in progress that builds, in some ways, from ideas from the book:
  • The latest American Behavioral Scientist journal includes a piece from Craig Hayden, Don Waisanen, and Yelena Osipova entitled “Facilitating the Conversation: The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election and Public Diplomacy through Social Media.” In analyzing Facebook comments sections on U.S. embassy Facebook pages for Bangladesh, Egypt, and Pakistan in response to posts about President Obama winning re-election, the authors introduce the concept of “spreadable epideictic,” drawing on concepts from Spreadable Media, to characterize the motivation, potential, and performative nature of the rhetoric used by commenters.
  • In the journal Brazilian Journalism Research, from the Brazilian Association of Journalism Researchers, Gabriela da Silva Zago from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and Marco Toledo Bastos from the University of São Paulo recently published their research “Visibility of News Items on Twitter and Facebook: Comparative Analysis of the Most Replicated News in Europe and the Americas.” Building on ideas from Spreadable Media and other recent publications indicating the increasingly important role citizens play in the circulation of news via social network sites, the authors use content analysis of the sharing of articles from 40 top news outlets in Brazil, Germany, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom in October 2012 to examine differences in what news is shared both between the two social network sites and in each culture.
  • The University of Alcalá’s Pilar Lacasa and María Ruth García-Pernía, along with Complutense University’s Patricia Núñez, draw on Spreadable Media to help describe the current communications environment for their new piece looking at classroom use of commercial video games and Machinima in the Journal of Education and Training Studies, entitled “Adolescents’ Media Experiences in the Classroom: SimCity as a Cultural Model.”
  • In the latest issue of Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research, The University of London’s Alison Gazzard has published “The Platform and the Player: Exploring the (Hi)stories of Elite.” The piece, which examines the place of early British video games in the larger narrative of video game history through the game Elite, contextualizes our current relationship to video game history through the role of online search and both industry and fan notions of nostalgia through drawing on Spreadable Media (as well as a reference to Bob Rehak’s piece on retrogaming for the book).
  • Texas A&M University communication research team Wendi Bellar, Heidi A. Campbell, Kyong James Cho, Andrea Terry, Ruth Tsuria, Aya Yadlin-Segal, and Jordan Ziemer published their research report “Reading Religion in Internet Memes” in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture. The piece draws on the concept of “spreadable media” and co-author Henry Jenkins’ prior work on participatory culture to ground their examination of a wide range of internet memes dealing with religion, including Judaism, Christianity and Mormonism, and the Muslim faith.
  • Arcadia University anthropology professor Jonathan T. Church has recently published his work on “Constructing a Neoliberal Archive: Spreadable Media, Video Games, and a Culture of History” in the collection Context Matters! Exploring and Reframing Games and Play in Context, as part of his participation in the Future and Reality of Gaming conference in Vienna in September. Church also presented this work at the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference in Chicago in November.
  • Antero Garcia provides his initial considerations of what pedagogical lessons can be learned from the circulation and engagement strategies of Kanye West in his 2013  “Beautiful Dark Twisted Pedagogy: Kanye West and the Lessons of Participatory Culture” for Radical Teacher, a “socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal on the theory and practice of teaching.” In the piece, Garcia draws on Spreadable Media’s considerations of transmedia storytelling, as well as Henry Jenkins’ work on “new media literacies,” to consider what educators can learn from Kanye West’s approach to his fans, as well as how popular culture can be incorporated in classroom engagement.
  • Co-author Sam Ford contributed a Fall 2013 piece to the Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier (Vol. 1, Issue 3) on “Paratexts and Pedagogy“, entitled “Wrestling with Where the ‘Text’ Is.” The piece draws on the distinction between “drillable texts” and “accretive texts” made in Ch. 3 of Spreadable Media and building from the contributions of Jason Mittell.
  • At the Association of Internet Researchers conference in October 2013, Paul Booth of DePaul University presented his work on “Digital Cosplay as Consumptive Fan Labor,” looking at digital cosplay activities as a site of both fan engagement and potential commercial activity. While a publication based on this work is not yet available, Paul draws on concepts from Spreadable Media in his abstract from the conference site.
  • University of Bergamo EuroAmerican Literatures doctoral candidate Ugo Panzani draws on Spreadable Media in “Exopoiesis and Literariness in the Works of William Gibson, Mark Z. Danielewski, Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph,” which was presented at the Electronic Literature Organization’s Chercher le Texte: Locating the Text in Electronic Literature international digital literature conference in Paris in September 2013. Panzani examines the ways in which novels and both their authors and readers operate in a reading environment in which online search becomes a fluid supplement to the reading activity and in which readers—and authors–may organize collective interpretive activities in and around a text.
  • Also at the ELO’s “Chercher le Texte” conference in Paris was a roundtable discussion entitled “Aura in the Age of Computational Production.” Participant and web artist J.R. Carpenter provides a timeline she developed in preparation for the conference, which evokes Spreadable Media’s central concept of “spreadability” to question what “aura” means for a “digital work” vis-a-vis Walter Benjamin’s concepts from “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”
  • University of Otago’s Mark McGuire presented his research on “Twitter, Instagram and Micro-Narratives: The Benefits of Sharing the Creative Process Online at Auckland University of Technology’s 3rd Mobile Creativity and Innovation Symposium in November. His research draws on various concepts from Spreadable Media to look at how people are finding new models for creating and distributing media texts in the contemporary media environment. He has included both his slides from the conference and a rough draft of the text.
  • University of Washington-Bothell Assistant Professor Lauren Berliner drew on Spreadable Media for her 2013 doctoral dissertation from the Univeristy of California-San Diego, entitled Making It Better: LGBT Youth and New Pedagogies of Media ProductionHer dissertation in part looks at the It Gets Better video campaign aimed at gay teens and finds that, in an effort to make videos part of that campaign, videos were often sanitized to be overly positive and steered away from many of the issues of deep concern to gay teens, to keep the focus on a consistent anti-bullying message.
  • Communication consultant and cultural analyst Gabriela Pedranti presented “Friends, Partners & Co: A Sustainable Model for the Media?” in December at the Transmedia Literacy Seminar in Barcelona. Her case study of Spanish and Argentenian publishers Orsai draws on Spreadable Media’s reflections on new circulation models for independent producers. Also, here is a Prezi of Gabriela’s work.

Tracing Where Spreadable Media Has Spread

Monday, January 27, 2014   10:08
One of the most exciting aspects of the Spreadable Media project is to see where ideas from the book spread. Here is a wide range of places where ideas from the book have appeared over the past several months:
  • Giovanni Boccia Artieri’s piece in December (in Italian) for Tech Economy focuses on “dark clouds” hovering over the culture of digital circulation in Italy. Giovanni considers the conflicting logics of the moral economies of Italian commercial logics and the logic of citizens when it comes to copyright issues, and in particular troubling rulings from AGCOM, the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority, drawing on Spreadable Media. Giovanni wrote an original piece for the Italian version of the book.
  •  at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona provides thoughts on Spreadable Media’s implications for museums and other cultural institutions, in English and in Spanish.
  • Peabody Essex Museum Associate Director of Integrated Media Ed Rodley wrote a fascinating three-part series on his Thinking about museums blog from October-December 2013 entitled “Tilting at Windmills,” looking at issues and controversies in the art museum world on immersionexperience and participation, and visitor picture-taking in museum spaces. The piece on picture-taking draws on an argument from The Participatory Museum author Nina Simon and her use of the If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead that was an early part of the “Spreadable Media” project to help show that museum photo policies should be open because people’s photos from a museum ultimately “promote(s) and spread(s) your content to new audiences in authentic ways.” Both Simon’s original piece and Rodley’s full series is fascinating as a look at how several issues explored in Spreadable Media are affecting the art museum space.
  • In his September 2013 “Script Symbology” column for Script, John Fraim considers the state of the traditional Hollywood film alongside the perceived diminishment of attention spans and the rise in a more participatory culture. Fraim draws on Spreadable Media to refer to the rising visibility of stories created by fans and other active audiences, resulting in some debate about what this means for the future of feature-length films.
  • Peter Froelich with Indiana University Press has published a new piece, “How to Spot Ugly Black Ducklings,” in the latest edition of Learned Publishing. While that publication isn’t available online, he has shared a pre-print version of the piece on his blog, which draws on Spreadable Media, as well as the American Association of University Presses event co-author Sam Ford spoke at in 2013.
  • University of Texas at Austin radio-television-film graduate student Charlotte Howell and Georgia State University communication graduate student Kyle Wrather use of the television series Parks and Recreation to respond to the U.S. government shutdown via Tumblr was highly spread online. See a recap of their project and Howell’s Storify, “Birth of a Spreadable Meme,” which cites Spreadable Media and a Fall 2013 visit from co-author Henry Jenkins as inspiring their approach to this project.
  • Mélanie Bourdaa’s October 2013 piece at France’s INA Global on “Fansubbing, a Cultural Mediation Practice,” makes reference to the practice’s existence among a larger culture of spreadability among fan communities that cross national and cultural borders, in particular mentioning Spreadable Media. See Bourdaa’s piece in English and in French. Also, see Bourdaa’s review of Spreadable Media for INA Global here.
  • Lisa Peyton draws on the book’s consideration of aspects of a media text that makes it more likely to be spread in her examination of a marketing campaign from restaurant chain Chipotle.
  • Italian newspaper Correre della Sera draws on Spreadable Media in this December 2013 piece when discussing the success of the latest season of the Italian version of X Factor, particularly talking about the importance of “spreadability” when it comes to online discussion around live television and challenges for subscription TV models.
  • Andrés Valdivia at Noise-Media in Chile writes about his interest in issues of media convergence after reading Spreadable Media and hearing the authors speak at South by Southwest. Valdivia recounts a grassroots reaction to television programming about the coup and dictatorship of Pinochet and how it both gave audiences a chance to use social media to share their emotions and have conversation around the television programming while also giving experts, including journalists and academics, the opportunity to provide additional contextual information. Valdivia asks how content creators might learn from that example when it comes to creating opportunities for potential engagement across multiple platforms.
  • Marcos Hiller at Trevesan Business School in Brazil integrates Spreadable Media into this online reflection about changes in the ways people participate with companies and around their content in today’s communication environment (in Portuguese).
  • Julia Errens at Brand Perfect questions whether a focus on “spreadability” makes sense for luxury brands that thrive on their inaccessibility in her piece “The Luxury Conundrum.”
  • Jon Lisi’s November “Socially Mediated” PopMatters piece asks, “Does Tinder Transform Dating Culture?” In seeking an answer, Lisi evokes Spreadable Media to help pose questions of what people are doing proactively with new technologies, largely to further the sorts of practices they do in the “un-virtual” world.
  • Creativity in Public Relations author Andy Green writes about the difference between creating “sticky” content and the business logic behind stickiness‹as well as the importance of language regarding concepts in marketing and communications, drawing on Spreadable Media and his participation in a webinar with co-author Sam Ford.
  • Art critic Pierre Berger references the book in his review of the opening of Jean-Jacque Launier’s “entertainment art” museum Art Ludique, le musée, in Paris. Berger writes that the museum opens up a space to further look at the connection of the entertainment and art worlds, which has become particularly important with the current “explosion of ‘spreadable media.’” Spreadable Media also appears in Berger’s DICCAN (Digital Creation Critical Analysis) “dictionary of digital art,” under the entry for co-author Henry Jenkins.
  • New York University’s Melanie Kohnen evokes Spreadable Media when writing about her experiences at the New York Television Festival’s Digital Day 2013 for media and cultural studies blog Antenna, in particular referencing the TV industry’s key focus on Twitter for audience feedback and show promotion and discussion at the event to shift away from a “stickiness” logic promoting show websites from the network to more dispersed participation among cast and crew in discussions with fans via sites like Twitter, where the discussions are already happening.
  • The blog of “Tobytall” makes a short but provocative point about Spreadable Media vis-a-vis the nature of the publishing world today. She shares a quote from the book about the importance of sharing stories alongside the copyright warning that says no part of the book may be copied and shared.
  • City University of New York John Jay College of Criminal Justice English professor Carmen Kynard includes Spreadable Media among the bibliography on her “Soul Children 2.0: Reflections of an AfroDigital Writing Teacher” project for her site “Education, Liberation & Black Radical Traditions: A Teaching & Research Site on Race, Writing and College Classrooms.
  • Middlebury College student Miriam Nielsen kept extensive notes via the blog for her thesis as she read through the book. See her reactions here.
  • 3KHz studio owner Paul Maddocks writes about the nature of “spreadable media” and the business models of the companies that facilitate online sharing, drawing on the co-authors’ MIT Futures of Entertainment talk, as well as the original white paper that inspired the book.
  • University of Queensland Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies’ Karen Brooks refers to Spreadable Media in her review of the film One Chance, which is about former Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts for The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, Australia.
  • De Montfort University’s Rob Watson draws on Spreadable Media in this reflection of what the city of Leicester needs to do to build its cultural identity in a way that connects with and reflects the desires of its people.
  • Stefanie Silveira, a Ph.D. researcher in Communication at The University of São Paulo in Brazil, provides a presentation which looks at themes from Spreadable Media in connection with Henry Jenkins’ previous book, Convergence Culture.
  • Lee Lindsey, Learning Technology Leader at Genworth Financial, gave a presentation entitled “Transmedia Storytelling and Mobile Devices: The Future of mLearning?,” as part of The eLearning Guild’s Online Forum entitled “mLearning: Tips and Techniques for Planning, Analysis, and Design,” in September 2013. In it, he recommends Spreadable Media as a resource.
  • Could understanding “spreadable media” get you a job? For their new j position Graduate Developer, Alternate Reality Games, London-based company Transmedia Storyteller lists understanding the concept as a “desirable” skill/attribute.
  • “Based on what you know about digital narratives, what do you think the term ‘spreadable media’ applies to?” This and other questions about civics and storytelling from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s “Digital Storytelling Quiz.”

Spreadable Media in the Classroom

Friday, January 10, 2014   12:22
As we begin a new semester, here is a list of some of the places where Spreadable Media is being used in the classroom, along with links to the available online syllabi:
  • University of North Dakota Communication Professor Kyle Conway used Spreadable Media in his “Social Implications of an Information Society” course this semester. Find the syllabus, and class blog, here.
  • University of Oregon visiting scholar Helen De Michiel used Spreadable Media in her Mass Media & Society “Participatory Media and Social Practice” course for the School of Journalism and Communication. Find the syllabus, and class blog, here.
  • Paul Valéry University, Montpellier III’s Claire Chatelet (in France) lists Spreadable Media among the required readings for her cinema class on uses and challenges of digital audiovisual media.
  • Suellen Adams includes Spreadable Media as a required text for her “Social Media for Information Specialists” class at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information.
  • Jacqueline Vickery included Spreadable Media as a required text for her “New Media Theories” class at the University of North Texas’ Department of Radio, Television, & Film.
  • Renira Rampazzo Gambarato, assistant professor of media communications at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Russia, includes Spreadable Media as a “core source” for her “Transmedia Storytelling” course.
  • Southern Polytechnic State University’s Mark Nunes is using Spreadable Media in his “Media Theory & Practice” course for the Communiction department.
  • Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) lecturer Michael Daubs is using Spreadable Media for his “New Media: Theory and Practice class.
  • Drew University’s Sandra Jamieson includes Spreadable Media among the required reading for ENGL 219: “Blogs, Tweets, & Social MediaWriting with Clarity and Style in the New Millennium.”
  • Clayton State University’s Steve Spence includes Spreadable Media as a required text for his Communication and Media Studies “Social Media course.
  • New York University’s Melanie Kohnen includes excerpts and online pieces from Spreadable Media in her “Transmedia Television” senior seminar.
  • Kathi Inman Berens includes the introduction of Spreadable Media in her “Digital Humanities & New Media: An Introduction” class for Marylhurst University’s English Literature & Writing Department.
  • Northwestern University’s Aymar Jean Christian includes a chapter from Spreadable Media in his “Power in Entertainment” class.
  • Ravensbourne’s James Morris includes Spreadable Media among the recommended reading for his “Digital Advertising: Art Direction and Copywriting” class.
  • Daiane Scaraboto’s Social Media Marketing class at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile recently read and shared online questions/discussion about the If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead white paper from the project that eventually led to the Spreadable Media book. See the class notes and reactions here.
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