Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday Section, Jenkins

I agree with Jenkins in that convergence should be thought of as a cultural shift. When consumers find new information and “make connections among dispersed media content,” they are blurring the line between producers and consumers (3). While the two roles used to be distinct, as in newspaper companies sending their product to the printing press, media users and consumers are now one and the same. News gets posted online and instantly readers can interact with the material and share their opinions of the news worldwide. We don’t quite understand how the roles got blurred, but we all participate as both producers and consumers.

In general, the blur was made possible by our minds interacting with new resources. Just like the connection someone made between Sesame Street’s Bert and bin Laden, pieces of information can be combined to draw new connections that no one saw coming.

In a way, it’s this convergence that allows our individual thoughts to be shared in a world where everyone is exposed to the same digital information. You can’t just make a statement or release a product; you have to create something and also project it through many forms of media. We have to be over-prepared to defend ourselves, as we can be instantly attached through blogs. People can share their opinions on your product; for example, a company can release their product but is instantly vulnerable to individual comments. Companies lose control over the reviews they advertise, and a quick web search can highlight everything wrong about their product.

When Jenkins brings up freedom and control on page 11, earlier discussions in the course were brought to mind and almost united. Every technology we’ve discussed thus far enhances freedom and control, just for different groups of people. Thus, we have to be ready for the “transition and transformation” that will never end. At least not in the predictable future.

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