Spreadable Media

Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture

Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green

Spreading the Word about Spreadable Media

Monday, September 8, 2014   9:00

Recently seen online in response to Spreadable Media:

  • In explaining why co-author Sam Ford was a fellow “PR News Social Media MVP” icon award winner, APCO Worldwide Executive Director Evan Kraus writes, “Download Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture from Amazon and you’ll know why.”
  • From the Victoria and Albert Museum Digital Team’s Away Day recap (by Lizzy Bullock) comes a mention of Spreadable Media as recommended reading.
  • University of Southern California Annenberg Program on Online Communities student Lauren Wheeler-Woodburn summarizes her main takeaways from Spreadable Media on her APOC blog.
  • In Amazon reviews, Jonathan Groves writes that the book is an “excellent compilation of case studies and thinking” that combines “approaches from economics, marketing, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and mass communication to help us understand why messages spread.” Pedro Demo from Brazil writes, “Well documented in empirical cases and media releases, this book reveals great research talent, critical balance, very good theorizing insight, and future vision.” And Marc Raymond, while questioning whether the contemporary examples in the book can remain relevant over time, writes that it is “an excellent book for teaching media studies to students.”
  • New Goodreads reviews are in for the book. Jacqueline Vickery writes, “I suspect this book will change the ways media scholars talk about and conceptualize a lot of media phenomenon and practices…and thus it is an important contemporary read.” Eliana calls it “a must read for media studies.” Rimantas writes that the book is important to “everyone interested in the future of media (and to everyone who wants to justify themselves a bit for using torrents.” Peggy Otto says, “Anyone teaching composition should read this book.” And Jenny Thompson writes that, despite the challenges with reading an academic book authored by three people, “Spreadable Media was quite good…All three (authors) are clearly experts in media studies, and the work was meticulously researched.”

Reaction to Spridbar Media

Monday, September 1, 2014   9:00

Since Spreadable Media‘s recent Swedish release, we’ve been excited to see various authors from different realms pick up concepts from the book and project. We highlight a few of those reactions below:

  • Cultural journalist and author Jan Gradvall recently wrote about the Swedish-language release of Spridbar Media in his column for Dagens Industri, connecting the book’s themes with the April 2014 debut of Mad Men’s new season. Roughly translated, Gradvall calls the book “very interesting” and highlights the book’s historical message about our desire to share media. “We have for decades cut out and posted articles to each other. The articles that my father sent me…is a kind of analog retweet.”
  • Peter Alsbjers, in his  blog focused on the future of public libraries, has written about his excitement about Spreadable Media on multiple occasions, from news of the book’s Swedish publication to his first glances at the book  Says Alsbjers, “It sounds like the authors believe the readers of this blog!”
  • Also, another Swedish blogger writing about the library space, Nils Grönlund  recently reflects on his reading of the first part of Spreadable Media, reacting in particular to the book’s consideration of economic logic versus the concept of the “gift economy” and the importance of transparency and disclosure in online communication.
  • PR and corporate communication professional Frederick Pallin calls Spreadable Media “a great book.” In his May 2014 post, he reacts to the book’s introductory case study of Susan Boyle in some detail.
  • Blogger Michael Drakenberg references Spreadable Media to provide a core understanding of what “social media” and “participatory culture” are/mean.

Making the List

Monday, August 25, 2014   9:00

We’ve been excited to see Spreadable Media on a range of lists over the past several months. Check out the resources below for a range of interesting books and projects in a range of fields:

  • Docsity lists Spreadable Media among its “7 Must-Read Books about Education.”
  • In June, Francisco Javier Pérez-Latre at C4E Books (in Spain) named Spreadable Media one of his “4 Books for Summer 2014.” Last year, Pérez-Latre wrote that Spreadable Media is a “valuable book” whose point they summarize as (translated): “Put people back at the center of the communication…” a message they say should not be forgotten in an era of Big Data, SEO, and search engines.
  • Drawing on Tiziano Bonini’s review of Spreadable MediaMichael Bauwens of the P2P Foundation named it his “Book of the Day” on July 24, 2014.
  • On her TransmediaKids.com site, children’s content creator Cynthia Jabar includesSpreadable Media among her recommended books and blogs on “transmedia storytelling.”
  • Flagler College’s Proctor Library features Spreadable Media as part of its “Communication & Mass Media” Research Guides.
  • Marco Derksen of Upstream in the Netherlands includes Spreadable Media on his “What Books Do You Take on Vacation?” for Marketingfacts.
  • Bryan Hudson of Vision Communications includes Spreadable Media in his recommended readings for “New Media for Ministry: Tools, Technologies, & Techniques You Can Use Today.”
  • Marc Shelkin and Júlia Caldas of The Social Shop in the UK has included the book on their Must-Read Social Media Books list.
  • Alysa Hornick’s Whedenology: An Academic Whedon Studies Bibliography lists Henry Jenkins’ online essay on Joss Whedon for Spreadable Media among its resources. See the full bibliography here.

International Reviews of Spreadable Media

Monday, August 18, 2014   9:00

As Spreadable Media is picked up across international borders and/or is translated into new languages, we’re particularly excited to see various international reactions to ideas from the book. Below, we highlight recent reviews the book has received from academics and journalists outside the U.S.:

  • Kirsten Mogensen reviews Spreadable Media for the Society of Media Researchers in Denmark’s MedieKultur, calling the book “a treasure chest full of ideas for scholars, practitioners, and university teachers” that “demonstrates the valuable insight that can be gained when professionals and academics co-create.”
  • Ksenia Prasolova, associate professor at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University’s Institute of Humanities, writes a very thorough review of Spreadable Media for Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian, and Central European New Media, Vol. 10. Prasolova calls the book a “comprehensive, well-informed and amply-referenced study of today’s spreadable media environment, its logics and practices” that “give(s) the floor to others, and let(s) a myriad other voices be heard.”
  • Manuel Garin reviewed Spreadable Media for the 37th issue of the Spanish-language film studies journal Secuencias in 2013. Roughly translated, he writes that Spreadable Media‘s “multiple, contrasting points of view in a true grayscale makes the book a great tool for bringing the world of the college to business and vice versa.”
  • In his April 2014 review of Spreadable Media’s new Swedish-language release for the newspaper GPMattias Hagberg contrasts the book’s message that “we now have the chance to create a truly democratic society” with Robert Samuels’ work on automodernity, which Hagberg sums up paints us as “technology subjects.” Hagberg concludes that both accounts of our culture can be right simultaneously—that there’s enormous potential but also potential dangers lurking in new forms of sharing and in the technologies that shape it. He sums up that new technologies have the potential to both promote and undermine “conversation, transparency and democracy.” Hagberg also reflects on the degree to which his very article has the potential for spreadability. (Since we’re sharing it here, we suppose it did…)
  • While decrying that the book’s tone is “part-illumination and part-inspiration in that energetic, enthusiastic, entrepreneurial ‘Silicon Valley’ way” and framing the authors as “evangelical preachers” (a declaration we’d guess wasn’t intended as full compliment), Damien Spry’s 2014 review of Spreadable Media for Media International Australia  says the book “offers a rich account of concepts and case studies that scholars and professional communicators should appreciate” on key themes of entertainment media “and the fans that blur the boundaries between producer and audience.” Spry credits the book’s core ideas on spreadability and also points toward the U.S.-centric nature of its consideration of transnational media flows and a range of other questions about the spread of power and surveillance—and cultural and socio-political contingencies and structures on spreadability—that remain to be explored in depth.
  • Kay Glans’ March 2014 review of Spreadable Media in the Swedish journal Respons examines the Swedish-language debut of the book vis-a-vis Hartmut Rosa’s Acceleration, Modernity and Identity. Gloss reacts strongly against Spreadable Media, questioning a world where audiences are encouraged to constantly be reacting without thinking, where amateurs are put on equal footing with professionals, where people are “willing to accept inequality because they’ve got a sense of empowerment,” and where the quality of content is not taken into consideration, Writes Gloss (roughly translated), “Anyone who reads and slowly melts well-informed journalism without feeling the need to immediately comment…is broadcast culture without grassroots participation…The participatory culture they praise is usually about soap operas, television series with supernatural elements, wrestling…Rather a problem for democracy that people spend way too much time on peripheral nonsense rather than to inform themselves about and engage in key issues.”

More Reviews Are In

Monday, August 11, 2014   9:00

Several outlets have recently published reviews of Spreadable Media. Find out what they say here:

  • Louisa Stein organized a roundtable discussion about Spreadable Media, which appeared comprised the “reviews” section of the Spring 2014 volume of Cinema Journal. The discussion includes co-author Henry Jenkins and Sam Ford; contributors Xiaochang Li and Sharon Ross; and Kristina Busse, Melissa Click, and Paul Booth.
  • Amy Lea Clemons’ review of Spreadable Media for The Journal of Popular Culture finds that the physical book proves a great resource that will be “easily accessible to general reading audiences,” while the enhanced books provides a range of research that will prove particularly useful for academics. She summarizes, “This text, along with the ‘enhanced’ essays, could serve as an excellent core text for an introductory course on new media or as a supplemental text for more advanced courses on contemporary media studies scholarship.”
  • Ian Grant’s review of Spreadable Media for The International Journal of Advertising calls the book “the rarest of titles…an unfolding story pulled together effectively by the concluding manifesto” which “distil(s) down a vast array of ideas and provide(s) a critical commentary on what it all means.”
  • Shayne Pepper’s review of Spreadable Media for the June 2014 edition of CHOICE sums it up as “highly recommended” for all readers, calling the book “a worthy and exciting follow-up to” Jenkins’ Convergence Culture that “will interest a broad audience.”
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro Department of Communication Studies Professor Roy Schwartzman reviews five books on digital culture, including Spreadable Media, in “Digital Culture as Emancipator, Oppressor, and Distractor” for the inaugural issue of North American Social Science Review from Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. He positions the book  alongside various contemporaries, writing that the book “suggest(s) a negotiation between commodification and gifting” and “endorses reframing media audiences as active contributors.”
  • Michael B. Munnik reviews Spreadable Media for H-Net’s JHistory, writing that the book has “the curious prestige of providing a book-length object lesson of the value of curation in participatory culture.” Munnik highlights what he finds valuable in the book, as well as his frustrations with questions of methodology and questions of “importance” with cultural studies.
  • Kirby Prickett reviews the book for WP Engine, concluding that Spreadable Media “will appeal to people who are interested in the big picture—those who seek to understand the social and cultural context of today’s media environment, including in a transnational context.”
  • Miami University doctoral candidate in rhetoric and composition Dustin Edwards reviews Spreadable Media at his blog, Annotate This, calling it a “timely and fundamentally rhetorical book” which is “extremely practical” and which “appeals to a diverse audiences” In particular, Edwards looks at takeaways for those interested in rhetoric.

Spridbar Media…In Swedish!

Monday, August 4, 2014   9:00

In March, the message of Spreadable Media spread to a new realm, when the book made its debut in Swedish! Published in Swedish by Daidalos, the book bears the title Spridbar Media: Atta Skapa Värde och Mening i en Nätverkad Kultur. Thanks to the hard work of Joel Nordqvist in translating the work!

Spreadable Media in Translation

Monday, February 17, 2014   9:48

Italian version of Spreadable Media


In October 2013, the Italian version of Spreadable Media was released by Apogeo Education. A big thanks to Virginio B. Sala for the hard work in translating the book; Giovanni Boccia Artieri for writing the Afterword, “The Culture of Circulation;” and Enrico Marcandalli for the cover and graphic design for the Italian version of the book.

Meanwhile, Editora Aleph will publish the Portuguese version of Spreadable Media next month. And more to come soon about plans for the book in other languages as well.

The Reviews Are In…

Monday, February 10, 2014   9:43
What are others saying about Spreadable Media? Here is a recap of a wide range of reviews for Spreadable Media over the past few months, as well as various lists the book has appeared on:
  • Digital culture expert and Net Smart and Smart Mobs author Howard Rheingold writes for Booz & Co.’s strategy+business that Spreadable Media is one of the three top digitization books of 2013, as part of their “Best Business Books 2013” section. In his review, Rheingold writes that  the book is a “must-read” for media professionals and that “spreadable media” is a new term that signals “momentous shifts.”
  • The latest version of the fan studies journal Transformative Works and Cultures is framed as being focused around “Spreadable Fandom.” In the introduction, TWC’s editors briefly explore the book’s relationship to fan studies. Elsewhere in the issue, University of Missouri Communication Professor Melissa Click reviews Spreadable Media, calling it “an important read for media scholars and members of participatory cultures alike because it shakes up assumptions about media audiences” and focused particularly on the book’s advocacy to professionals in the media industries.
  • Tiziano Bonini has written a review of Spreadable Media for Italian online publication Digicult. Bonini concludes that the book is “well written” and “very useful to understand the social value of content sharing” and is a book “that every media publisher, above all the Italians, should read.” The review is available in Italian and in English. Also, see responses by co-authors Henry Jenkins and Sam Ford.
  • Spreadable Media was voted in the Top 10 (#9) of Advertising Age’“The Best Marketing Book You Read This Summer” poll.
  • La Trobe University’s Steinar Ellingsen reviews the book for academic journal Screening the Past. Ellingsen writes that the book “goes to great lengths to describe ongoing cultural shifts in the media landscape, and it illustrates these with both depth and clarity.”
  • Simon Fraser University’s Amy Robertson reviews Spreadable Media for the International Journal of Communication, writing that the book is “by a team of media experts who truly seem to understand the state of the media” and who “resist the impulse to reduce complex cultural phenomena to overly simple metaphors and buzzwords.” Robertson’s review is the second for the book in the journal, following Rhiannon Bury’s review earlier in 2013.
  • Lisa Peyton recommends Spreadable Media as one of Social Media Examiner’s “17 Social Media Books That Will Make You a Smarter Marketer.”
  • Spreadable Media is included on Philip Kemp’s list of recommended “Media and Film Studies” books for Times Higher Education.
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Benjamin Rosenthal recommends Spreadable Media among five books on “Marketing and Social Networking” marketers should read, for the Brazilian journal of business administration Rev. adm. empress (in Portuguese).
  • Digital strategy firm Undercurrent (where co-author Joshua Green formerly worked as a senior strategist) includes the book among its Curriculum of recommended reading, in the “Media and Marketing” section.
  • Also, Undercurrent’s Matt Daniels includes Spreadable Media on his “40 Articles and Books that will make you a Great Digital Strategist” for Medium’s “Great Expectations” blog.
  • Miami University’s new MFA program in Experience Design recommends Spreadable Media among a select few books “To Inspire Your Worldview” to potential students.
  • Tammera Race includes Spreadable Media among her short reading list on Western Kentucky University Libraries’ research guide on “Social Networking Tools and Social Responsibility“.  (Note: co-author Sam Ford is an adjunct instructor at WKU.)
  • Liz Woolcott includes Spreadable Media among her short reading list of books about fan culture and fan production on Utah State University’s “Mass Media and Society” research guide.
  • Cathy Michael includes Spreadable Media among her recommended readings for “Storytelling” for Ithaca College Library’s research guide on “Distribution and Marketing of Programming for the Web.”
  • Santa Rosa Junior College Libraries includes Spreadable Media among its “sampler” list of books on “Media and Communication.”
  • The Bissell Library at the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece includes Spreadable Media among its “popular suggestions” on Goodreads.
  • A group of Ph.D. candidates at City University of New York’s Graduate Center studying issues of digital labor have included Spreadable Media in the “social media” section of their “Digital Labor Reference Library”  on CUNY’s Academic Commons site. Students working on the project include Tom Buechele, Karen Gregory, Andrew McKinney, and Kara Van Cleaf.
  • The Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s Master’s program in film and digital media recently ran a piece about copyright in daily life in the digital age which referred its students/readers to a range of books on the issue of online circulation of media texts, including Spreadable Media (in Italian).
  • Tarcizio Silva, a product manager at Social Figures in Brazil, includes Spreadable Media among his 12 books for communications professionals to read in 2014 (in Portuguese).
  • Michael Catlin, professional writer and a workshop instructor with the Denver-based independent literary center Lighthouse Writers, included Spreadable Media as his holiday gift suggestion on an end-of-2013 book list from the organization.
  • Instructional designer Debbie Morrison includes Spreadable Media among her “Seven Must-Read Books about Education for 2014” at her blog, online learning insights.
  • Justin Brodeur with marketing agency pidalia includes Spreadable Media on his end-of-year book list.
  • Independent musician James Higgins includes Spreadable Media on his list of “Social Media Marketing Books To Help You Build Your Fanbase” for independent musician blog Unveilmusic.com.
  • On his RepMan blog, Steve Cody (co-founder of Peppercomm, where Spreadable Media co-author Sam Ford is Director of Audience Engagement) recommends that the online essays for the Spreadable Media project be included among the Institute of Public Relations’ list of the “top 10 research studies” on social media in 2013 that all PR/communications professionals should read.
  • The Media Shaker team provides their overview of Spreadable Media.
  • In her Jhistory H-Net review of Noah Arceneaux and Anandam Kavoori’s The Mobile Media Reader, the University of Maine’s Jennifer E. Moore cites Spreadable Media as a complementary book, useful for “any course looking to further our understanding of the cultural, social, and economic circumstances surrounding the digital and mobile media environment.”
  • In her review of Fábio Malini and Henrique Antoun’s @internet e #rua: ciberativismo e mobilização nas reeds sociais for MATRIZes, the journal of The University of São Paulo’s Graduate Program in Communication Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul’s Maria Clara Aquino Bittencourt connects the book’s focus on cyber activism to Spreadable Media’s documentation of changes in cultural practice when audiences have greater ability to circulate media texts and react with and around those texts. See the original review in Portuguese and an English translation of the review here.
  • More Amazon reviews are in: The Ohio State University Communicadtion Professor David Ewoldsen says Spreadable Media “should be required reading for anyone studying the media” because it “motivates the reader to truly think about the implications of the changing media environment.”  Ivan Satuf Rezende writes that it is “essential for scholars, students and media professionals.” David Deans writes that “the authors have compiled a very thorough assessment” of today’s online media environment. M. Bell says the book is “full of helpful insight.” Christina Olivero calls the book “fun and innovative” and recommends it “to anyone studying marketing.” And reviewer Eduardo Campos Pellanda calls the book “very well explained.” Meanwhile, while Kyuhyuk Kim provides the book its first negative Amazon review, the review says “it’s a mighty fine book for guys who study media.”
  • Also, see the book’s reviews on Goodreads.

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.”
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