Tag Archives: Henry Jenkins

Mass Amateurization – Popularizing mediocrity?

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Professional – defined as “A paid occupation – one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification”. Gone are the days where people have to get degrees and graduate tertiary education to become a part of an industry, the internet and its many social media platforms allows for anyone to write or produce anything they want, and it being displayed for everyone else on the internet provides an audience for that content. The idea that to be a professional on the internet has become blurred and an unnecessary step for many people and has caused an era of “Mass Amateurization”, brought to our attention by Henry Jenkins in this reading.

mass amateurization

Mass amateurization can be simply put as the contribution from people on the internet who produce content such as blogs, videos, music and who have seen success out of this content, which would be seen as absurd from someone who went the traditional, educational route. Popular websites known for being a medium for mass amateurisation would be YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia and WordPress.

The amount of traffic websites produce by visitors and contributors, there is an overwhelming influence on popularizing the content that is produced on these websites. Using YouTube as an example – the training and dedication that is needed to get an education in editing and filming is restrained by time and cost, while getting basic experience by editing and filming your own content and uploading it to YouTube you are getting that experience on your own time and leisure. The restrictions that come from industries has been changed to a mere effortless approach where it is up to the individual to do what they want and post what they want when they want to.

The easy-going effort put into amateur content is allowing for people to get a better experience from being a part of these websites and learning a part of what it takes to be in an industry. People who become professionals from mass amateurization, from the amount of people that contribute and are a part of the audience allows for some people to get paid – much like the Yogscast on YouTube.

The Yogscast started out as a couple of guys filming (video and audio) the games they play and uploading it onto YouTube, by continuing the filming and uploading of the videos they create, they have managed to make money from what they do. The amount of money they make has always been a private matter but speculation has always arisen – from $2000 to $2500 for every 3 million views, though the amount of pulling power they have from their devoted fans is shown when they raised $500,000 for their Kickstarter for producing their own game, or when they raised over $120,000 in 2011, and over $200,000 for Oxfam by live-streaming through December last year.

What the Yogscast has achieved and continues to achieve is quite rare compared to the amount of people that are users of YouTube. Considering the medium and revenue that the Yogscast collects is based around getting hits on the content they produce, they need to maintain a flow of content that appeals to their audience.

Image Source:

“Ugh…” http://cultureandcommunication.org/tdm/nmrs/fa1/tag/mass-amateurization/

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Does convergence make my butt look big?

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Simply put – no, convergence does not make your butt look big. Convergence is upon us as a process that involves the integration of multiple technologies into a singular tool, the most popular and recognizable tool would be the smart phone, as it acts as a calendar, a weather report, a notepad, a radio, a street directory, a music player, a video recorder, a T.V and even, surprise, surprise – a phone to make calls with. So instead of having each one of those items mentioned in your pants, you have a smart phone as a replacement – so it does the opposite; convergence gives a more flattering look.

Not going to fit in my back pocket

Not going to fit in any back pocket

Understanding convergence is a hard task to ask even for global corporations that are based around converging technology. When given a tool that is capable of any function digitally, when do limitations come into play about what it can do, and what should be involved. Instances such as watching international television shows on my computer, through the televisions website we can still be restricted from the content that we want to see – but why are these restrictions in place? Legality – television licenses is the meaning of this – while the content on the internet is direct and instant for those who know where to look, the corporations that make money from the content restrict the showing of television shows. Convergence allows for the option, though “Old Media” (television) corporations have restricted the access and ability for convergence to show its full potential. Therefore there needs to be a way where Old Media maintains an impact on society but is not entirely pushed aside – mentioned by this site there are still many benefits of Old Media.

Convergence restriction HuLu

Highlighted by Henry Jenkins in this article – corporations that deal with convergence question the intent on what should happen, what can potentially be created from understanding and utilizing the convergence process, all that is understood is those that control the process of convergence control the influence and power that is created with in the media.

Image sources:

“Not going to fit in any back pocket” – https://twitter.com/rebeccagoodway/status/374823438310834176/photo/1#

“Sorry…” – screen capture from Hulu.com

Transmedia confusion with a lot of grey

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Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. – Henry Jenkins

This blog post has taken me a while to write because there was a lot of grey area with what I thought about the topic, so I had to try and find a good understanding of what is and what is not in the grey area. A main point in my confusion with what Transmedia storytelling is, is the intention of creating a multichannel production to begin with and if the production is an on-going series over multiple channels/platforms then can you count it as Transmedia?

My example is the Pokémon franchisePikachu-losing-weight. Since it was first created in 1996 in Japan, the intention of Pokémon became to create a television show to sell the games. While the intent of story is told mainly through the television show, there are individual aspects that are separated for each channel Pokémon has been established on.

The games give a unique perspective of what is around the towns that the anime brings up, also the hands-on involvement of being a Pokémon Trainer and setting out for your own quest. The manga involves stories that occur in the Pokémon World that do not act as one consecutive story – just small parts. The Pokémon Trading Card Game uses the intent of creating physical objects (cards) that were meant to be played along with the video game series. Over the past 15 years Pokémon has been transformed over multiple channels, games, T.V series, manga and movies – each being relevant to another.

Considering the 10 different points outlined by Henry Jenkins (hyperlink above) on what makes something Transmedia, I would guess it would seem that a production would need to tick a point explained. Pokémon being around for 15 years, having an impact on a majority of channels/mediums – so to target a majority of people, has successfully utilized the idea of transmedia production.

Transmedia projects have become an impressive and interesting way to utilize multiple markets and therefore a larger audience. The intent to carefully play a movie off a game, off a book, off cards, to create one main story has become a powerful tool reflecting on what technology has become, and also reflecting on the intent for a wider consumer range over multiple channels, cashing in on the different interests of people.

Convergence with YouTube

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Technology today has morphed into a convenient tool that we can use for multiple tasks at any given time, but the technology has to be able to have multiple capabilities.

It is brought to our attention that we have approached a time of convergence – defined by Henry Jenkins as, “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, cooperation between media industries and the migratory behaviour of media audiences”.

Convergence has brought along with it a triangle of creation – Technologies, Audiences and Industries. The constant change in Technology has allowed the Audience, consumers to become a ‘prosumer’, where an individual produces and consumes technology, which effects Industries by them not being able to maintain/control what is being produced/distributed.

This time has approached unknowingly to many but it isn’t something to be discouraged by, people are most likely using it each day. When looking at media platforms today such as YouTube – an internationally recognized video based platform which allows anyone to become a user and post content that they have created, which allows anyone else in the world to watch. The user gets to create a channel where they get to customize what it looks like and what they want to watch. This includes Subscribing to other people’s channels which create content that you would like to watch, and also create playlists of other videos that the user is interested in. Due to the global connection YouTube has presented it is in constant change with viewers and content creators. YouTube created a partnership with consistent/popular creator content so the user can continue with their creation but also get paid and develop new content and methods for their videos. This showed that the change in technology and the audience caused the industries to find a way to maintain viewers of the website but also to keep content creators on the site also, this was introduced in 2005.