Henry Jenkins, founder and director of MIT’s comparative media studies program, debunks outdated ideas of the digital revolution in this remarkable book, proving that new media will not simply replace old media, but rather will learn to interact with it in a complex relationship he calls “convergence culture.” The book’s goal is to explain how convergence is currently impacting the relationship among media audiences, producers and content, a far from easy undertaking. As Jenkins says, “there will be no magical black box that puts everything in order again.” Jenkins takes pains to prove that the notion of convergence culture is not primarily a technological revolution; through a number of well-chosen examples, Jenkins shows that it is more a cultural shift, dependent on the active participation of the consumers working in a social dynamic. He references recent media franchises like Survivor, The Matrix, and
American Idol to show how the new articipatory culture of consumers can be utilized for popular success and increased exposure. Jenkins’ insights are gripping and his prose is surprisingly entertaining and
lucid for a book that is, at its core, intellectually rigorous. Though wordy at times, Jenkins’ impressive ability to break down complex concepts into readable prose makes this study vital and engaging.
This Authors@Google event took place November 5, 2007 at Google in Cambrige, MA.