Skip to main content

Review: "Convergence Culture" and "Deciding the Next Decider"

2 books.
I haven't finished either yet, but I recommend both. :)


I'm nearly through Convergence Culture, and can't recommend it highly enough if you're interested in media/storytelling/technology/marketing etc.
Through exploring a few examples (Survior fans, Heroes, political blogs, Harry Potter fans, American Idol, the parts of Matrix most people didn't know about etc), Henry Jenkins explores just how much the very idea of what constitutes entertainment and storytelling, and, marketing and branding has changed.

My impatience meant I thought the book could use some editing :), but still its a must-read. I'll avoid trying to summarize the main points, but there are two tangential things that I took from the book that I'll talk about:
  • On storytelling: This forced me to change my thinking on this. Back when I tried to write short stories, one of the arguments that I had with others was about writer's intent. I believed that if the writer didn't strongly intend for you to explore/think about something you shouldn't. It wasn't valuable or efficient to have side-stories or distractions. One of the things that I got out of this book, is how people can tell stories weaving in more and more complexity for people that choose to find it. Basically, find ways to give more and more to your most ardent fans.
  • On feeding your most ardent fans: From the above, it was a reminder of just how important it is to provide ways to engage with those who are willing to invest more time in whatever experience you're providing. This applies not just to storytelling: it applies to any experience that you're responsible for. Find ways to delight your power users, while making sure the average user isn't confused and/or insulted.

The other book that I just started about 30 mins ago and about half way through.
Its funny. It rhymes.
I like funny. I like rhymes. :)

Sample rhyme about Obama early on:

"But the pros said it was a long shot bet,
To think the nomination's what he'd get,
When faced with Clinton's powerful machine,
They said, he might collapse, like Howard Dean,
Experience was what he seemed to lack.
And to be frank, they pointed out, he's black."

Comments

you're blogging again! nice! also, Henry Jenkins is a god-among-fans if you're steeped in fandom. i haven't read CC yet, but intend to at some point. his earlier work was very influential for me as i learned to 'read' the text of culture, but i've found it interesting to see how his work, which occupies that weird space where culture, technology, and fandom collide, can have such wide appeal.
Satyajeet said…
Yup. He speaks to that and how it informs all his work, right through the book actually.

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Everyone's struggle is real... at the very least to them

A couple of weeks ago, while in line waiting to pick up some food I'd just ordered, I overheard two conversations - I don't make a habit of this, but it's hard to not hear things when you leave your phone behind. :-/
My first reactions as I heard both of these conversations was annoyance at the protagonist in one and admiration for the other. Both conversations stayed with me for a while, but it took me some time to realize that was unfair on my part to be annoyed at the person that I was annoyed at.

So about these conversations:
The first was between someone working there and a friend. She was sympathizing with her friend who'd be starting a new job leaving this place. "Oh, it's minimum wage again?", she said with concern in her voice. "Yes, but it's fine", said her friend. The job was closer to where she lived so she thought she'd make about the same and she might get home a little earlier to her daughter some evenings though the hours…