Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jenkins' Opening Remarks

I'm a huge fan. I read Convergence Culture to do a review on it for Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, and I got to see Henry Jenkins at the Association of Internet Researchers in Vancouver last October. I have been evangelizing about him ever since. I am most impressed with they way he talks about and holds respect for fan communities, those who are putting great effort into personal endeavors, exercising vast talents and engaging resources and collaborative networks. Jenkins discussed how, as a society, we need to figure out how to get people to be that inspired in their work.

He says our challenge is to figure out why some of these activities are so meaningful to those engaging in them.

He mentioned his new Knight Foundation funded endeavor the Center for Future Civic Media, and this is specifically interesting to me, as I work in an environment in which I am often justifying the importance of studying social media in relation to journalism and traditional mass media.

He also discussed the participation gap. 60% of our young people are engaged in producing media and 1/3 are producing content for those that are not their immediate family or friends. But, what about the 40% that are not? What are the issues around this participation gap?

And, I love his optimism. He said that if he sees a glass that is 1/4 full, he thinks it is 1/2 full. What a breath of fresh air!

If you haven't read Convergence Culture, get it now and do so.

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