How can we better understand how content circulates within contemporary networked culture? The collective decisions people make about whether to pass along content are profoundly reshaping the media landscape. Many content creators struggle with the growing prominence of grassroots audience practices, while an array of online communication tools have arisen to facilitate informal, instantaneous sharing. This environment offers new opportunities for people to pass along content and new models to generate revenue from user activities. While the means for people to circulate material have proliferated, recommending and sharing are impulses that have long driven how people interact around media texts. In this session, the authors of the new book Spreadable Media discuss core concepts from their work, focusing on the social logics and cultural practices that have enabled and popularized these new platforms, explaining why (not just how) sharing has become common practice.
Sam Ford is Director of Digital Strategy with Peppercomm and an affiliate with both the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the Popular Culture Studies Program at Western Kentucky University. He is co-author, with Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green, of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. He is also co-editor, with Abigail De Kosnik and C. Lee Harrington, of the 2011 book The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era. Sam was named the 2011 Social Media Innovator of the Year by Bulldog Reporter and serves on the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Membership Ethics Advisory Panel. This year, he has written for Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and commPRO.biz and has spoken at South by Southwest, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the Media in Transition conference at MIT.