Not wanting to give ground to his advancing years he hangs out at the beach cafes flirting with theMoreBill Bond, an affable, outgoing, gentleman who envisions himself a romanticist decides to retire to the Middle Atlantic beach town of Delmarva. Not wanting to give ground to his advancing years he hangs out at the beach cafes flirting with the ladies.
These places are swarming with Eastern European girls and women hired by managers to take the hundreds of temporary summer jobs. One hot, sultry, July evening while Bill was dining with friends a vivacious Russian woman appeared at their table and she would be their waitress. YB - not a non seq - WSJ creating a network of paid subscribers. A signal about what kind of person they are. Same thing possible with public television, except not an issue of payment but participation.
Not sure if it would capture young people. HJ : what;s your research showing about what motivates people to join social networks? YB : not just social networks-- we're slowly coming to accept loosely defined "we" that academia is dominated by a view of selfish rationality.
Shared perception that this is largest modality of perception in social sciences. Image of Alan Greenspan - I relied on self-interest and it failed me. Not to be sneezed at.
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For me, free software as been particularly powerful in making this argument. Someone who relies on markets renewed interest in mapping catalog in an organized way what are human motivations object is to come up with a sufficient usable set of clusters of human motivators, and then, what do I need to think about - using the terms of gift and worth and the gift economy. Tends to think in terms that are useful but partial.
Examples - status, atomistic giving, reputation, function of social capital - also interpersonal relatedness - a sense of identity fascinating surveys of free software - why- reputation, expectation of future work, solving a particular problem - easily convertible into a self-interested problem. Though guilt and shame can be part of it. HJ : Web 2. How might it scrambled?
In my previous post on the SM Global auditions, I talked about the complications within the very idea of "global" in the contexts of national markets and the anxieties or tensions surrounding the what is meant by the "global" stage, especially when "globalization" is used not simply as a euphemism for westernization.
In this part, I would like to draw out another, perhaps related, component, which was the function of the SM Global auditions as a transnational fan space.
Rather than functioning as straight talent gathering, the auditions in fact worked as a sort of fan-relations event that not only did not require the presence of celebrities, but also worked to direct fan energy from the individual artists towards the larger company brand as a whole, a critical strategy in the development of new artists.
Ths site for C3's annual conference, the Futures of Entertainment , now in its third year, is now live. Registration information will be soon to follow, and be sure to check in for updates to speaker lists as we start to finalize our panels in the upcoming weeks. This year promises to be exciting and provocative, as we push our themes of convergence and media spreadability onto the global stage, while not losing sight of central C3 issues such as transmedia storytelling and audience value.
To get an idea of what the Futures of Entertainment conference is like, check out last year's site and listen or view the podcasts. Since much of C3's research this year, as well as my individual work, seeks to examine how the principles of cultural convergence and media spreadability play out on a global scale, it was with great enthusiasm that I set out to do ethnographic fieldwork at this year's SM Global Auditions in New York Flushing, Queens, to be exact.
SM Entertainment is one of the biggest and most elite talent stables in Korea and, thanks to growing prominence of "the Korean Wave," across much of Asia. Known for their pop music talent, in particular well-groomed and intensely professional girl groups and boybands with up to over a dozen members per group. Their strategy, like many successful talent agencies throughout Asia, is to recruit extremely young, usually pre-teens and teenagers, and then put their recruits through extensive training and often, not insignificant amounts of plastic surgery, before choosing the most promising ones to "debut," or launch officially, as "idols.
Their Global Auditions, according to SM's website, are an effort to discover talent that can "stand on the stages of Asia and the world. News of the auditions were spread online, via blogs, message boards, and SM's own website. SM also made recruitment videos featuring all their biggest acts, which got uploaded onto Youtube, Veoh, Dailymotion, Crunchyroll, and a number of video-sharing sites. These circulated mostly amongst fans of the groups, acting both as recruitment and promotional footage for SM Entertainment, but it also ensured that a significant portion of the people at the auditions were fans, rather than people seeking to seriously pursue entertainment careers.
As such, the auditions were an interesting site in which certain tensions between concepts of global and national, fan and "professional" surfaced. This first part will discuss the tensions of national origin and "global" media reach, while part 2 will deal with the auditions as simultaneously a site of professional development, but also fan participation.
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I posted this recently on my blog and thought it would likewise be of interest to C3 blog readers. One of the most powerful tools in the Karl Rove arsenal was a form of political Judo: take your opponent's strengths and turn them into vulnerabilities. For example, coming into the convention, Democrats had seen war hero John Kerry as pretty much unassailable on issues of patriotism and they made it a central theme of their event. Within a week or two, the Swift Boat Campaign made Kerry's service record an uncomfortable topic to discuss, flipping Kerry's advantage that he had served in Vietnam and neither George W.
Bush nor Dick Cheney had done so on its head. This added the phrase, "Swiftboating," to the language of American politics. Coming into the Primary season, several things stood out about Barack Obama: First, he had developed a reputation as the Democrat who was most comfortable talking about his faith in the public arena; many Democrats felt that he gave them a shot at attracting some more independent-minded evangelical Christians, especially given the emergence of more progressive voices that linked Christianity to serving the poor, combating AIDS, and protecting the environment.
Indeed, we saw signs of that pitch during Obama's appearance at the Saddleback Church Forum last week, when he clearly knew and deployed evangelical language better than McCain. Yet, the circulation of the Rev. Wright videos -- not to mention the whisper campaigns charging that he is secretly Islamic -- blunted his ability to use faith as a primary part of his pitch to voters. Similarly, the Obama campaign showed an early comfort with talking about American traditions in lofty and inspirational values, so he has been confronted with attacks from reactionary talk radio questioning his patriotism.
Over the past three weeks, we've seen the McCain campaign take aim at a third of Obama's strengths -- the so-called "enthusiasm gap. To confront this "enthusiasm gap," the McCain campaign has clearly decided that it needs to pathologize enthusiasm itself, suggesting that emotional investments in candidates are dangerous, and thus positioning himself as the only "rational" choice.
In doing so, he has tapped deeply rooted anxieties about popular culture and its fans. This is not the old culture war rhetoric where candidates accused each other of being soft on "popular culture," a tactic which Joseph Lieberman has turned into an art form. No, this time, the attack is on politics as popular culture. Both tactics strike me as profoundly anti-democratic. After all, how do you found a democratic society on the assumption that the public is stupid and has bad judgment? Being part of the team that helped launch what became the Convergence Culture Consortium and being at the center of the group's work for the past few years, I am interested in how C3's work is situated at an intersection amongst fandom, media companies and brands, and the academy.
I feel that positioning is what energizes the group's work, but it can likewise lead to skepticism and scrutiny, especially as the perspective here on the blog and elsewhere balances positions that are sometimes oppositional or more often of little interest to one another. Some industry folks who attend C3 events or read this blog might find it "a little too academic for them," while some academics might find it "a little too corporate. After all, this is media studies: while cynicism is often unhelpful, where would we be without a healthy dose of skepticism?
I've written in the past about criticisms of the Consortium that I felt were somewhat off-base look here and in the comments here for more. As the Consortium's PI Henry Jenkins often does over on his blog , I've attempted to describe the philosophy and approach our group takes toward talking with industry and other constituencies such as here. But the most thorough and thought-provoking critique and by that I don't mean critical in the pejorative but rather as reasoned and thought-out of the Consortium's position I've seen came recently from cryptoxin on LiveJournal.
Anyone interested in these issues should read cryptoxin's post and the intelligent debate that follows it. Who owns the media property? Is it the copyright holder? Or is it the audience, the group that makes that product popular? These are questions at the core in tension between media producers and media audiences and at stake in discussions about relationships between producers or consumers or what consumer "can do" with texts out of the ausipices or interests of the producers.
A reader forwarded me some threads from the official ABC Daytime boards for General Hospital , where fans are upset about the way they are treated and the technical attributes of their board as opposed to message boards for ABC primetime shows. Rather than just complain, though, they have taken to invading the boards of other spaces in order to make their problems and presence more well known.
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See this thread , in which fans are organizing 5 minute invasions of various other boards. That didn't go over as well with the Lost fans , but attention has been directed instead toward the official board for Notes from the Underbelly , a cancelled ABC show that still has an active board, and a board that some GH fans feel are better than what they've been given. I have written some in the past about the continued development of the Luke Snyder coming out storyline on As the World Turns , a story which has engaged new viewers to that portion of the soap opera audience and attracted some mainstream attention due to ongoing controversies about the way the show has handled the gay storyline and resistance from conservative groups.
The story started with Luke's coming out, complete with an online transmedia extension in which fans could read Luke's blog. From the beginning, there was a broader audience who started watching the soap specifically through Luke's scenes, as I wrote about back in June That energy grew significantly when Luke eventually met and had his first gay relationship, with Noah Mayer. For instance, back in August, considerable attention was given to the first kiss between the couple see here.
Then, there was no kissing for quite a while, and the show started getting protests, not from conservative groups but rather from online fans who were impatient to see the couple kiss again. First, there was the scene under the mistletoe at Christmas, in which the couple looked to be about to kiss, only to have the cameras pan out. Then, there was Valentine's Day, when Luke and Noah were the only couple featured on the episode not to lock lips. One of the current shows of focus for understanding fandom within fan studies is Supernatural on The CW.
When I go to academic conferences, I probably don't hear about it quite as often as Lost , but it ranks high up on the list and usually comes from a different set of media scholars. In particular, it is the active fan creation around the show that has driven such scholarly interest in Supernatural along the way, particularly in terms of fanvids. I've written about one of the fan organizations that has done interesting work around Supernatural in a different context; see my interview last September with the founders of Fandom Rocks , a fan organization built around Supernatural that raises funds for non-profits.
But I spent part of the afternoon reading an interesting piece from Louisa Stein based on her recent Console-ing Passions presentation on fanvids about Supernatural , and I wanted to post a few notes on that work while it's fresh on my mind. One of the fan studies scholars I had the pleasure of meeting in person for the first time at Console-ing Passions in Santa Barbara was Alexis Lothian.
I bwecame familiar with Alexis through her many insightful comments in and around the Gender and Fan Studies converastion that I referenced in my previous post, and her presentation at Console-ing Passions was informed in many ways from that conversation. In short, Alexis posits that we've gotten pretty good at talking about fan enthusiasm in fan studies, as well as the importance of hate, but we haven't developed a significant discourse as of yet for talking as well about fan ambivalence.
Alexis writes that C3 Consulting Researcher Jonathan Gray "recently insisted on the importance of viewers' hate for media productions; but fans' more ambivalent affects toward their objects are rarely foregrounded in academic analysis. When questions not only of taste but also of racism, sexism and homophobia get involved, the textual and discursive spheres active fans build around and from their objects become very complex. Over the next several posts, I'm going to revisit some of my traveling around the conference circuit in March and April and share some of the other interesting research projects and papers I had forwarded to me.
Many of these will be from the Console-ing Passions conference in Santa Barbara I've written about on the blog in a few previous posts. On that topic, I saw a recent post from Kristina Busse, one of the central figures in helping to drive that discussion between male and female fan scholars about the state of the field and gender divides in fan communities and fan studies, that I thought might be of interest to blog readers who follow fan studies issues in particular.
Kristina is one of the founders of the Transformative Works and Cultures journal that I am on the editorial board for.
Download PDF Three VOCALOID Producers Interview and essay
Another note this early afternoon that I wanted to pass along to blog readers. Kozinets wrote a blog entry detailing some of his experiences from the event. I recently wrote about that new publication on my blog , and I wanted to cross-post that here as a reminder to C3 blog readers. This also includes information about another new organization, The International Association of Audience and Fan Studies.
Our second panel discussion at the C3 Spring Retreat in our Friday session focused on the topic of media audiences and the worth of looking at media audiences as a community and as social beings.
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