Convergence means different things to different time periods and peoples. The basic definition of convergence is where the old and the new come together, and different companies and ideas come together as well to form a new idea all together. In the convergence culture, the user or viewer is just if not more important than the creators and the users become the creators themselves. Some people feel that this convergence switch happens in people not necessarily in companies or media, and I would have to agree. The change starts with ideas from individuals and then spreads like wild fire to companies and media. Old media predicted a new culture of combined media that works together to improve and build upon existing media. One device was expected to do everything. Now, when new media looks forward it tends to have a doom and gloom outlook, where the new media takes over and pushes out the older media completely. When we look back over the past few years that is not exactly what happened. Companies that did not consider using different avenues of media are now providing the public with information in multiple ways. The old media ideas did not come to pass either. There is no one device that does everything (although the IPhone is getting close). Jenkins quotes a Cheskin Research report from 2002, that states each different section of your life requires different things from you, you may use the same device to access the information, but you will be accessing different media for different areas of your life.
One interesting fact from the Introduction stuck out in my mind. Jenkins states that technology is changing so rapidly that is very difficult to write about what is going on right now, because it will change tomorrow. That is so true!! Everyday there are new technologies available and it is hard for everyone to keep up. The technologies you have right now, will be old and new models will come out in two to four months. This exact thing happened to me when I got the IPhone, not more than four months later (I didn’t get the IPhone when it first came out) the new IPhone S was out. I think this is one reason school don’t keep up with technology. Everything becomes old so quickly that some school do not even try to keep up with technology, which is a travesty for our students. A better idea would be for the schools to update technology as they go along. New computers are not needed every year, but each year some new technology could be added. (Smartboards, projectors, writing tablets etc.) Start small and add more each year. This is better than leaving our students without any technology whatsoever. Where are they going to be as they head out into the “real world” where technology abounds?
Another interesting point that was brought up in the Introduction of Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins was that media itself does not disappear, just they way that we access that media. For example the Beatles music did not disappear just because the record players did, the music itself is still being downloaded on ITunes today. I think this is the point of Convergence now, and this is actually what convergence is going in our time.
Chapter 1 Reading:
Collective intelligence is simply the information or intelligence of a group. Each person in the group has a piece of the information, and when all pieces are put together they come together to complete the entire picture or answer. Now, when fans or nonfans of Survivor come together with their little tidbits of leaked information they can spoil the ending of the show. Jenkins calls this “collective intelligence in practice”(Jenkins, 2006). It is amazing what groups can come up together. This reminds me of a unit I teach on Surrealism. The class completes a Surrealism trading game and we discuss the idea of groups of people coming together to make pieces of artworks that they would not have normally been able to create out of their own mind! The students cut out a head, torso, and legs to complete their character, and then they are traded with others in the class to create a completely different character. The students love the process of interacting with others and their characters more times then not come together so well! It’s a great project for everyone involved.
The act of spoiling in Chapter 1 is compared to gaming. Jenkins state that the act of spoiling is a game to the spoilers. They are problem solving, being detectives, and beating others. A lot of research could take place for a spoiler and he or she must take what he knows and turn it into answers. I also think that spoiling could compare to gaming in the fact that gamers are always trying to one up each other or be the best, and some people go to any lengths possible to do this (enter cheat codes). I think the cheat codes in a game could be directly compared to the cheat information of the spoilers of Survivor.
Chapter 2 Reading:
The thought that viewers are couch potatoes that will watch just about anything that happens to be on, is a thing of the past. Active watching is what I would call what we do today. The viewer now has many choices as to what is to be watched where it is to be watched and for how long. TV and movie theaters are no longer the only places to find video. Really the Internet is a cheaper place to find video, yes you pay for the Internet (but pretty much everyone already does this) but you do not pay for the cable to watch a show. The user can just look it up on the Internet.
Brand loyalty is faithfulness to a specific brand of product. Love marks goes into a deeper emotional tie (or love) to a product or brand name. At first glance, I would say that my faithfulness to Coke is a brand loyalty. My kitchen is decorated in Coke which is a great example of a Brand extension (plates, silverware, wall hangings, salt and pepper shakers, replicas of past coke bottles). But, if I would be truthful I would say my obsession would be more of a love mark. I have a bit of am emotional attachment to my Coke. I guess you could say I am a little bit addicted to it. I love a good Coke and it never fails to calm me! Now, I am not as bad as I used to be I used to have to have at least one everyday, and now I only allow myself one every couple of days, but I am still faithful to the brand, I am just trying to be healthy as well.
Transmedia storytelling is telling the story using various medias. The media examples the book gave are movie, tv, novels, comics, games, and rides at amusement parks. The same story is told through all these methods. Each part has to be separate enough where the viewer must not need to see or read the other areas to understand the story. I enjoy transmedia storytelling, for example my favorite right now is the Twilight series. The series started as a book series and moved into movies and many products. You can watch the movie without reading the book or vice versa. Now, the products themselves wouldn’t really make sense on their own. The books have much more detail, but you still get the picture in the films.
In our reading, Casablanca is referred to as the cult classic because it is not consciously created into a cult movie. A cult movie is a movie that is not created around one idea, but many ideas. It must have a complete setting and ideals, so that viewers can feel as if they are part of the movie. It can also create a sense of de ja vu for the viewers, and there is no way they have seen the setting before. I also feel the title of this chapter referred to the unattainable, not really real thing (unicorn)(whether it is a movie, book, etc).
Jenkins, H.(2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.