Reading some Media Theory
Last week I had my Monday lunch meeting presentation and then the rest of the week off. I traveled (again) to Austria. Rob got it almost right when he said that I travel back and forth almost every week. Well, this time I really enjoyed being at home with Marion, since I was/am ill. Its one of these diseases that are too bad to go out, but too harmless to stay in bed all day. So, I spent some time coding and finalised the tagging and archive facilities to this blog - now everything is prepared for the research prototype. While being at home I got my books and CD's from the latest Amazon delivery and this means that I can read Henry Jenkins' latest book. On the back-cover the publisher quotes Howard Rheingold who calls Jenkins the 21. century McLuhan. After reading the first two chapters of the book I am not sure if I agree with Rheingold.
Convergence culture is a analysis of the current state of the media society. Jenkins distinguishes between delivery technologies and media. While a large number of German speaking media theorists do not separate delivery technologies and media, media are for Jenkins closely related to the social practices of using different information and communication technologies. These practices are loosely coupled with the delivery technologies. As such old media live on while the people continue social practices of the media while using different delivery technologies.
From this stance Jenkins analyses the changes of the American pop culture that is inherent to the recent developments of cross-media communication. What makes this book very interesting to are the case studies that analyse the developments from the viewpoints of different stakeholder groups. What makes the book very interesting to read is the question about the meaning of participation in the future society. New media change the view on participation fundamentally. This affects control, power and, of course, democracy and society.