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Friday, November 16, 2007

(not so live) blogging from Futures of Entertainment 2 Conference

Due to the lack of power outlets and pathetic battery life of my iBook, my blogging from the Futures of Entertainment 2 at MIT will be rather delayed.

The day started with opening comments from Henry Jenkins, director of the MIT Program in Comparative Media Studies (CMS), and Joshua Green, research manager for the Convergence Culture Consortium (C3).

The Future of Television:

We watched this video and discussed the present state and future of television because it shows that even in the late 1940's, people were predicting this interactivity in television. Jenkins discussed interactive television not just as clicking a button to be taken into an interactive on-screen experience, but instead as any form of interaction with a television show in the physical world, e.g. the transformation of 7-11's to Kwik E. Mart's as part of the Simpsons campaign. By this definition, the Kwik E. Marts are considered an example of interactive TV because they brought television into the physical world.

Other examples include CSI's involvement in Second Life, the Nintendo Wii (which was referred to as "the most important interface development in gaming") which changes the way that users interact with the screen, and another example is Heroes use of transmedia. 2 key examples from Heroes include the use of 9th Wonder comic books in the show, and a book which is coming out that includes extra backstory and flushes out secondary characters.

Transmedia is a hot topic - the development of content that can be delivered on many mediums is being used by both television shows and advertisers. Case in advertising: The Geiko Cavemen beginning as an advertisement and becoming a sitcom.

The Writers Strike

The writers strike has been a primary topic of discussion at the conference, and there are two writers here from Heroes who spoke last night. A big part of the strike deals with the payment for content delivered over the web. Right now, this is considered promotional content, but many people get episodes of shows by downloading them or watching them in streaming video online. In the same way that music artists get paid every time their song is played, writers want to get paid every time their episode is viewed. This is a challenge because of the debate over online metrics and measurement, which will be discussed later.

Web 2.0:
Ah the daunting topic of Web 2.0... lets skip the talk about definition and get right into some topics.

Politics: The CNN/You-Tube Democratic Debate was new this year, and there won't be a Republican one. Mitt Romney's public refusal caused some new YouTube videos:

Note: Candidates can speak to us using all kinds of cartoons, but refuse to "debate a snowman"

Niche success: The idea that mass media is giving way to niche success is negated by the global popularity Harry Potter, for example.

Grassroots: Soulja Boy. Over a year ago, a 15 year old boy used blogs, social networks and YouTube to encourage people to take his music and creatively use his original music to create content. Term used to describe this: Remixing.

This is an example of what happened:

More to come.


david burn said...

I hear you on the power outlets and weak battery thing. Live blogging is a hard thing to do well for all sorts of reasons, including hardware challenges.

avin said...

Yeah live blogging can be tough, one alternative is micro-blogging via something like twitter...can do it right from your cell or blackberry.

malbonster said...

On the other hand, Live Blogging can be incredibly effective in getting you up the blog rankings. We were live blogging Le Web Trois last December and the conference was sort of hijacked by Simon Perez - who came onto the stage in place of *other stuff people had paid money to see* for a mad talk about the Middle East. The effect of hundreds of geeks live blogging about this breaking news and the way their live blogs were carried outwards and linked back into as it rippled across the blogosphere gave us a huge boost.

I thought it was a bit sad that people inside the conference were splitting their attention between the live event and the external coverage they were creating... kind of like everyone using their mobile phones to text other people during a meeting...