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1. Provide a quick over view or summary of the readings (3 – 5 sentences) (8pts)
Jenkins’ chapter on Spoiling Survivor went to great lengths to describe the new interplay and blurred roles between producer and consumer, and how each influences, plays with, and sometimes frustrates the other with their new interactions on discussion boards, fan sites, and conferences. Bill Hilf‘s article on the reinvention of the World Wide Web talks about the ease with which we analyze and plan new medium with the limitations of the old in mind, and the ways in which that can bring the limits of the precedent media in new forms to the ‘successor’ medium. Hilf goes on to talk about how the advent (now current practice) of semantic web building through XML and the DOM will allow for new, not yet imagined mediums to reuse and make portable existing content that has traditionally been locked together with the medium and fixed to it (inked words and page, exposed film and images, etc).
2. Clearly Identify what you feel are 3 key ideas in the readings (8pts)
1. Consumers and producers roles are becoming increasingly convergent and interactive.
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2. Thinking of new media in terms of its relationship and similarity of old media is tempting, but we should resist the urge, as it may color our interpretation of the new media.
3. Choosing highly structured ways to encapsulate content will allow for the automated and spontaneous use of it in not yet imagined media formats which will make use of them.
3. Support your summary and/or key points with three specific references to the readings (7pts)
Jenkins described the online spoiling activities of ChillOne, firstly a consumer of the show Survivor, secondly a producer of insider information about the show, and thirdly an expert because of his personal relationships with people who had information about the show. Jenkins contrasted this with Mark Burnett, an actual producer of the show, who watched the online spoiling discussions, actively worked to throw out misinformation about the show he knew to not be true, and therefore participated as a producer and consumer in the spoiling community. Burnett was an expert in that he had first hand knowledge of the show’s production. Both ChillOne and Burnett were part of a collective intelligence that participated in creating a collective truth that may or may not be the actual reality.
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Hilf indicated that looking at the internet simply as an extension of television, or seeing the internet as a black box where radio, television, and all other media are replaced and converged is too simple a way of looking at things, and also negates the other possibilities of what the Internet can be. By focusing mostly on what comes before, we may have blinders that block innovations in media that eclipse what the previous mediums were capable of.
XML and the DOM will allow highly structured content, such as news stories, blog posts, and other data to be easily connected with other related data, and also be far more portable in the future. For example, if blogging goes the way of traditional web sites, the content in those blog posts will be much easier to move to new mediums and destinations because the content was built using XML structures and the DOM, which will provide an easy path to a new destination, placing the actual content in the new system unaltered, but changing the look, feel, handling, treatment, and usability. An exampe is when highly structured content in a blog post is automatically reformatted for a cell phone browser. That’s a function of XML, CSS, and the DOM.
4. Identify the most difficult or challenging concept for you from this week’s readings. Saying “I don’t know” or “nothing was difficult” is not an adequate response. (8pts)
I feel that as more and more work is done by large production companies to prevent their ideas from being unearthed and their productions from being interfered with (the Big Brother tennis balls) it makes it far more difficult for the comanies to stay focused on the entertainment’s quality because all of the distractions. Also, I feel like the fan community and spoiler community which is arguably a production company of its own becomes less and less able to produce effectively, because of the imposed restrictions of the primary production company. I feel like this situation needs mediation, but I don’t think that it will be easy to arrange, nor likely to occur.
5. Provide 2 or 3 discussion questions for us to talk about in class (6pts)
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Who in the class participates in a spoiler style community, and in what ways does it affect the producer in the relationship?
Can anyone explain some of the benefits of XML markup and Cascading Style Sheets?
Do you belong to any groups that act as a production company? Is your office a production company of sorts?
6. Discuss how this week’s readings might relate to your upcoming presentation, paper or to the “real world.” Here too, saying “I don’t know” or “it does not apply” is not an adequate response. (8pts)
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I feel like my interactions on Netflix, Facebook, my blogs, LinkedIn, and Flickr all have a potential effect on those or other creative communities. Spoiling Survivor goes into the details about just one of those relationships. On my beer blog, for example, I’ve often had the opportunity to speak with Brewers about their brews, gotten compliments on my photography, gotten critiques of my critiques, and met quite a few people who are interested in the same things I am. I’m both producer and consumer, interacting with both producers and consumers of the content, the object (beer, photography, writing, etc.). The Hilf article talks about how because of the way in which I’m publishing, the content I’m creating becomes part of the Semantic Web, is auto-related to other content, highly portable and re-useable, and won’t be stuck when and if blogging dies sometime in the future in the same way that static web sites are now.