Module 8: Understanding Transmedia

Coming to the end of this long and winding road that is COMM 2F00, I look back and reflect at all the different outlets that I have experienced in this course. I’ve started blogging, edited my own shark video that could potentially give Discovery Channel a run for its money, recorded a podcast, and complied a story through Storify.(All of which I’ve never done before, nor actively sought out). Now that I think of it, as a Media Communications, I’m really not as savvy with technology as one would think I should be.  

So this brings up the topic of transmedia and the role of the audience. Bird points out that especially with advancements in technology that we see today, audiences are “interactive fans”. This term essentially embraces the idea that audiences are active as opposed to passive. We engage with technology in so many ways, enough to make it almost second nature to us. We are truly fans of these outlets, because, as we’ve discussed as part of this course, it becomes part of our identity, an extension of ourselves. We are produsers because these digital tools have opened up opportunities for two way communication. It is what Bird, who draws from Jenkins, claims to be a cultural shift. The way we interact with media now is the way we will continue to interact with media, and I argue, this relationship will only become increasingly significant rather than be considered a passing trend.  

So do produsers actually have any power in this relationship? I definitely think so. I am a frequent YouTube user and a general enthusiast of the site. I think its a great form of social media and what a way to kill time! But I have always wondered, who has all that time to post these videos? Once I edited my own video, I realized the process is not as difficult as I thought, but it also revealed that audiences, or produsers rather, are really the fuel of this whole site.  

Transmedia encompasses this cultural shift into media convergence. Media is the norm, it is mainstream! The term makes me think of a ‘black hole’. where all media just becomes one giant thing, a hypperreality. Rheingold uses the example of his students and what they claim to be ‘multitasking’. They admit that if they are using technology and engaging in forms of social media, they pay less attention in class. (An age old argument).  Not too be eccentric, but maybe at some point it will be hard to tell the difference between the virtual world and the real world. This may be slightly similar to Sterne, and I may have mentioned this in other blogs. But I actually do have a very skeptical attitude towards the development of technology and the way audiences interact with it. I can’t understand why I don’t fully embrace it but I think part of it is that we have become too reliant on it and will only continue to incorporate it more into our lives giving it more value. I always go back to the animated film WALL-E. it depicts humans as overweight, unmotivated people floating in space because Earth has gone right down the drain. They sit in these hover chairs and talk to a screen all day even when the person they are communicating with is hovering beside them. It is an environment where face to face communication ceases to exist. It brings up some serious anxieties about venturing into a world that is digital. Are we really far off from this image?  

Image

Nevertheless, I do see myself becoming more of a frequent produser. Its really amazing all the outlets we have and that I’ve never taken the time to explore. The one outlet I most enjoy is blogging and I can see myself having an ongoing experience with this form of media. We are all becoming produsers, whether we like it or not, and I just hope that we keep this relationship a positive one. 

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About followemc

In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground where I spent most of my days, chillin out max and relaxin all cool.
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4 Responses to Module 8: Understanding Transmedia

  1. I definitely agree with your post, and want to add that we don’t only engage in technology, it is a part of us. Our lifestyles are so intertwined with technology that we use technology in absolutely everything we do, and we don’t even realize it. I love your WALL-E example and I think that we as a human race are probably very much near when everyone will be overweight sitting around talking to a screen. Actually I can think of examples of when we do things like that in our lives now. I can think of times I’ve texted someone and they’ve been sitting next to me. And you state that we have become reliant on technology and I completely agree with you. We most definitely have become reliant on our technological devices, I sleep at night sitting in bed finishing up work on my laptop and wake up in the morning and jump to check my email. Ridiculousness! I’m waiting until the summer, when I’ll be done school to try and go at least every other day without my computer, too much reliance on technology and too much time spent with technology only does bad.

  2. Any time you can cite a Pixar movie I say do it – allegory upon allegory about the perils of modern consumption. Like you, in my matriculation into this course had little to no experience with any of the mediums through which we developed expressive voices during the school year. Again, like you, I see the importance that many of these mediums in our lives. To be able to access social media platforms, news websites, other blogs, and any other information we desire within seconds of desiring it is an obvious improvement to the potential of human knowledge capacity. However, your comment on being able to wander aimlessly on Youtube for hours can serve as a parable – much like your analysis of WALL-E – for those who over-consume transmedia content. We are how we spend our time. Some consume, some produce, and some do both. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to our communications and media literacy that have progressed and developed since the advent of Web 2.0. The questions remains: how do these advantages and disadvantages ultimately contribute to our understanding of the human condition?

  3. jadeboucher says:

    You sound exactly like me in the sense that prior to this class I had never created a podcast, youtube video, etc. in which we have both come to the conclusion that we truly aren’t that media savvy in relation to what is actually popular and seen as mass mediated. Prior to this class I used facebook and twitter on a daily basis and felt that I was tech savvy because of this, but in realty I was just at the beginning or starting point of what is actually incorporated in being a producer. I also agree with your statement that producers ultimately hold the power in controlling what we see and consumer as they know how to push their opinions in forms that the mass audiences will watch and also that lines are harder to define between the real world and virtual world due to the large amounts of media communication forms online, etc. Ultimately we need to question everything we consume online now as what we are taking in may not be 100% truth.

  4. katemuellez says:

    I enjoyed your point about the line between the real world and the virtual world becoming blurred, because this is something that I find happens in many of our lives. Today, we’re all focused on getting as many Facebook friends and Twitter followers as we can, where we develop these online friendships. Many of the ‘friendships’ I have online are not ones that I have in real life – we do not communicate outside of social media, we do not make plans to meet up, and so on. Additionally, many people will post content that they hope will get as many likes as possible. Pictures may be photoshopped, or their status may embellish things just a bit to make people jealous or think they’re “cool”. For these two reasons alone, I believe that many of us have created both an online and in-person persona. We may say, or post, things online that we feel make us more “popular”. Due to this, we create two separate worlds which become very real to us – further blurring the line between reality and our online worlds, because we can no longer remember which is actually real. This is why I believe so many people are so reliant on the internet, because they have the ability to become two different people with little effort.

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