Wednesday, April 30, 2008


"Welcome to convergence culture - where old and new media collide"

"Welcome to convergence culture - where distortion is inevitable"

I uploaded a video to YouTube that I created one night with a group of friends for a laugh. At the time, in my opinion, I was doing just that......making a video. What I didn't realise that by contributing to this network, that I in fact was becoming an active participant, driving the convergence culture.

The advent of the internet (and its huge growth, reach and difficulty in policing) has turned everything on its head. What makes it even more difficult is defining “who” is the actual producer of the content in the event that something posted is actually an infringement of copyright. Take for instance this video (above) that I have posted onto YouTube: "Unfaithful"

Now, I'm not the only person that has ever done something like this, every day i see people posting what appears to be copyrighted material lifted from other websites, tv shows, and movies, etc. onto their blogs. Jenkins argues that convergence is not simply about technology. Rather, convergence is a cultural and social shift – in other words, it’s about how people (producers and consumers) make use of technology to suit their own needs and wants, and the way that technologies are developed around these uses.

The Bum Spangled Banner was a video created that re purposed, remixed and mashed up the American anthem. This was an interpretation of the star spangled banner, which was written to exemplify that America stands for something special and was the hope of the world - potentially bringing all American's together, regardless of race, gender and socio-economic status. It was a common element for citizens amongst a sea of differences.
At the time the video was made - the world had been witness to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, and it was evident that still, despite claims, all American's were not created equally. Being created equally is an idealist perspective, not a realist. The video is a comment on the American dream - portraying the American reality.

The gross distortion of sound and the manipulation of images was an anti-american demonstration, supported by digital and new media technology. It is essentially, creating a cult around the bum spangled banner.
For Jenkins, ‘convergence’ refers to a series of interrelated changes: the conglomeration of media companies, the increasing flows of media content movement of audiences across those platforms in search of content.

When I read about
Castells thoughts on the rise of the network society I understood what he meant when he said that it "is a complex pattern of interaction". It's great to think that it is a co-evolving relationship among physical technologies, cultural technologies and economic systems, and that we (the citizens) are at the forefront of this merging technology. But is this merging technology causing further distortion?


Castells, M. The Rise of the Network Society: The information age: economy, society and culture, Blackwell Publishing, accessed, April 25, 2008

Jenkins, H. (2006). Introduction: Worship at the altar of Convergence in Jenkins, Henry, Convergence Culture: When new and old media collide, New York: New York University, pp. 1-24

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