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Spreadable media creating value and meaning in a networked culture. Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green [Text]

By: Jenkins 1958-.
Contributor(s): Green | Ford.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York New York University Press 2013Description: 352 p. hbk.ISBN: 9780814743508.Subject(s): Mass media - Social aspects | Social media | Mass media and culture | Mass media and technology | MEDDDC classification: 302.2'3
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

<p> How sharing, linking, and liking have transformed the media and marketing industries<br> <br> Spreadable Media is a rare inside look at today's ever-changing media landscape. The days of corporate control over media content and its distribution have been replaced by the age of what the digital media industries have called "user-generated content." Spreadable Media maps these fundamental changes, and gives readers a comprehensive look into the rise of participatory culture, from internet memes to presidential tweets.<br> The authors challenge our notions of what goes "viral" and how by examining factors such as the nature of audience engagement and the environment of participation, and by contrasting the concepts of "stickiness"--aggregating attention in centralized places--with "spreadability"--dispersing content widely through both formal and informal networks. The former has often been the measure of media success in the online world, but the latter describes the actual ways content travels through social media. The book explores the internal tensions businesses face as they adapt to this new, spreadable, communication reality and argues for the need to shift from "hearing" to "listening" in corporate culture.<br> Now with a new afterword addressing changes in the media industry, audience participation, and political reporting, and drawing on modern examples from online activism campaigns, film, music, television, advertising, and social media--from both the US and around the world--the authors illustrate the contours of our current media environment. For all of us who actively create and share content, Spreadable Media provides a clear understanding of how people are spreading ideas and the implications these activities have for business, politics, and everyday life, both on- and offline.</p>

Includes bibliographical references and index

This volume provides a clear understanding of how people are spreading ideas and the implications these activities have for business, politics, and everyday life.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. vii)
  • How to Read This Book (p. ix)
  • Introduction: Why Media Spreads (p. 1)
  • 1 Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong (p. 47)
  • 2 Reappraising the Residual (p. 85)
  • 3 The Value of Media Engagement (p. 113)
  • 4 What Constitutes Meaningful Participation? (p. 153)
  • 5 Designing for Spreadability (p. 195)
  • 6 Courting Supporters for Independent Media (p. 229)
  • 7 Thinking Transnationally (p. 259)
  • Conclusion (p. 291)
  • Notes (p. 307)
  • References (p. 313)
  • Index (p. 333)
  • About the Authors (p. 351)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Jenkins (communications, journalism & cinematic arts, Annenberg Sch. for Communication, Univ. of Southern California; Convergence Culture), Sam Ford (Peppercom Strategic Communications), and Joshua Green (strategist, Undercurrent; coauthor, YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture) have written a timely and accurate account of the current state of media in our networked culture. While referencing writers such as Howard Rheingold (The Virtual Community) and Andrew Keen (The Cult of the Amateur), the authors describe the problem with a traditional broadcast media paradigm that expects viewers to come to them and why instead meeting the audience where they are and creating valuable relationships is important. They discuss exemplars of independent media who already understand the need for spreadability-that content is easy to share and transform without reprisal-and echo messages like musician Amanda Palmer's "We are the media," whereby consumers decide what content is worth their time and how they contribute to and shape it. Verdict This book covers topics that are relevant and accessible to anyone looking for a better grasp of how the communications environment is changing and seeking models for how to be successful within it. It will be especially meaningful for those in the media and communications fields, marketing, content creation, and advertising.-Rachel Hoover, Thomas Ford Memorial Lib., Western Springs, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In this earnest study of our media landscape, academics and consultants Jenkins (Convergence Culture), Ford (The Survival of the Soap Opera), and Green (YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture) examine the diverse ways that news and entertainment travel. The Internet has cause a shift "from a culture shaped by the logics of broadcasting toward one fostering greater grassroots participation." Not long ago, reporters and network programmers operated in an environment where "stickiness" was key. The system privileged "putting content in one place and making audiences come to it." These days, however, "spreadability" matters more. The authors ponder how far and wide viral phenomena can circulate, and show how synergistic television, video, music, and live concert performances can be-not to mention how lucrative. Content today, the authors suggest, can travel not only from the top down but also from the inside out. It is a remarkably different terrain than what we have been used to, one they effectively and stridently analyze. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


It has been seven years since Jenkins (USC) published Convergence Culture (CH, Jun'07, 44-5465), and the present is a worthy and exciting follow-up to that text. Jenkins and his coauthors--both PhDs now working as strategists in the communication industry--argue that understanding online videos, news stories, status updates, and the like as "spreadable media" requires repositioning the user as the primary actor in the scenario, rather than thinking of the content itself as the primary element with agency. They note that thinking has been trapped by metaphors like "viral" and "meme," and these terms do not accurately describe the way much of one's day-to-day engagement with the Internet works. From advertising and marketing to piracy and fandom, the examples explored are timely and serve to reveal the current state of networked culture. The book has a companion website with numerous essays from outside contributors, who extend and debate the book's central thesis. Written in a very accessible way and drawing on media theorists and public intellectuals, this book will interest a broad audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. S. Pepper Northeastern Illinois University

Kirkus Book Review

A wide-ranging examination of the contemporary media environment as individuals increasingly control their own creation of content. Jenkins (Communication and Journalism/Univ. of Southern California; Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, 2006, etc.) and digital strategists Ford and Green collaborate in a book combining abstract academic theory, how-to advice for businesses and popular-cultural anecdotes for lay readers. The basic message is simple--"If it doesn't spread, it's dead."--but the authors express their theories with language that will feel unfamiliar to nonspecialist users of digital media. Even most Luddites probably know that circa 2012, content circulates from grass-roots sources as well as corporate sources. But why that is happening, and exactly what it means for corporate bottom lines, nonprofit think tanks and individual consumers, is less evident. The authors attempt to provide a framework for understanding the phenomena involved, going beyond the bits-and-bytes technology to the elusive democratization of communication throughout global society. The outcomes of a networked culture are not inevitable; without the predictions of further change, the authors write that their book would be pointless. In the introduction, the authors aid general understanding by sharing the example of Susan Boyle, the remarkable songstress who rose from obscurity through YouTube. The case study helps explain not only the spread of entertainment content, but also the spread of news content, overtly political and religious messages, advertising and branding. In the past, Boyle's fame could have theoretically spread slowly through individuals sharing newspaper clippings by snail mail, but she never could have become an international celebrity within a week of her singing debut without the power of networked culture. May serve as a useful handbook for digital media strategists and marketers, but this dense tome will take a major effort for nonspecialists to fully understand.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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