Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for March, 2017

3/30: What Constitutes Meaningful Participation? Part 2

Posted by tommistowers on March 31, 2017

In What Constitutes Meaningful Participation Pt. 2 it explains about the digital culture in today’s generation. In today’s culture television is become more interactive commodity in the new generation as well. As the book cites a Forrester survey of U.S. I found it interesting the stats that were in front of my face at the time. “52 percent of people online were “inactive” and only 13 percent were “actual creators” of so-called user-generated content.” These stats found a shift away from audiences towards the users that were made unclear exactly what “use” is. During today’s generation you will see that the digital era has been impacted by the new generation of teens. Teens online have produced 64 percent of U.S. media. This includes the 39 percent circulating content beyond friends and family. This means that teenagers are becoming more active in today’s media. On the other hand, the ones who remain “inactive” are also described as “lurkers”. A “lurker” provides value to people sharing commentary or producing multimedia content by expanding the audience and motivating their work. The audience known as “lurkers” often chose to “lurk” for many reasons. I see myself consider as a “lurker” for the most part. I do not speak my opinion often or even stay active through social media just because I don’t have much to say. I often catch myself just going through social media and rarely posting. We view life now through our phone versus actually seeing it. The generation I live in now is 100 percent going to change the digital world of media.


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What Constitutes Meaningful Participation Part 1

Posted by taylorbelcher on March 30, 2017

In one of the essays titled “Television’s Invitation To Participate” by Sharon Ross, I learned that there are three types of invitation. The first one is overt invitations. She describes it as when a tv show invites a viewer to become involved with the show. The example that she used for this was how American Idol encourages the viewer to call the phone in order to vote on the show. Another way of invitation is organic invitation. She said this is “where a TV show assumes that viewers are already actively engaged and incorporates evidence of this within the narrative of the show—or, in some cases, television network.” Ross used Degrassi: The Next Generation as an example for this type. She says this show’s “attention to the role of new communications media in teens’ lives and The N network’s use during Degrassi episodes of interstitials that feature teen viewers texting and IM chatting via The N’s website” is what makes this an example of an organic invitation. The last type that I learned about from this essay was called an obscured invitation. This is described as when a TV show’s narrative complexity demands viewer unraveling that drives fans to online applications. The example that Ross uses is “Lost’s dense referencing of philosophers and artists as clues to the “hidden” meaning of the island and its inhabitants.” I was aware that tv shows each did their own thing for engaging viewers, but I didn’t know that it was intentional and the specific names for each way. Also, Ross’s examples helped clarify what each type meant, which made me realize other shows that could fall into that category. 

In the essay, Ross also says how she believes that organic invitations will become the dominant form of tv invitations to participation because of “today’s texting, IMing, web-surfing teens” and “yet-to-be-imagined forms of new media communication.” I strongly agree with this statement. In 2010, Pretty Little Liars first aired, and one of the main things in the show is how this character “A” texts them to mess with them. I don’t remember exactly when, but I think sometime during season 2, there was this thing on their twitter page where you could text this number and it would send you text messages like in the show as if “A” was texting you. This was a way to get viewers involved with the show even more so that they could feel as if they were alongside the main characters. 

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Meaningful Participation pt.2

Posted by emmaeled on March 30, 2017

The soulja boy crank that phenomenon brought up major points I had not thought of. For the dances crazes to catch on they must be simple enough to understand and preform but also complex enough to be “cool”. People want to be a part of the latest trends and out do everyone else so they will put an extreme amount into being the best of the craze. Soulja Boy fed off the craze he created to gain popularity and push his personal brand. People will always want to mimic others to be included and compete with the masses. Dance crazes have always been apart of american pop culture through out several decades. Music brings people together to an extent but dancing gets people in the same physical space and brings out a happier peaceful time. Dance will always remain an essential part of US culture. When used as a means of promoting a song it is the ultimate form consumer participation. There is always something new to latch on to and participate in but music has always had a stronger tie because it reaches all forms of people from different backgrounds.

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Meaningful Participation P1

Posted by katemilner9 on March 30, 2017

We’ve seen what happens when fans participate on their own accords over and over again, but this week’s readings, particularly Television’s Invitation to Participate show what happens when participation is encouraged, and almost required, for the show to be enjoyed at full capacity, or to keep it on air. It’s undeniable that fan participation is part of shows like American Idol and The Voice’s success, and what fun are shows like Lost if you’re not watching along with an active fandom, with an open dialogue for sharing theories and interpretations? The shows used as examples in this piece lose half their flair if we remove their extra credit opportunities for fan participation.

It reminded me a lot of the ideas presented when we spoke about wrestling as a transmedia form of entertainment, especially when it described the supplemental web series and writings that help enrich the series. By creating these transmedia attractions, we see how series can make people more willing to consistently support their shows: the more time they spend thinking about it and the more they feel personally invested in it, the more likely they are to tune in every chance they get. When you think about it, it really is a model set up for success.

But then, you have to face the reality of it. Instead of these extra credit opportunities creating more fans, they’re usually only used by fans. While I thought it was cool American Idol opened polls for voting, I was never one of the ones who actually utilized them. It could be argued that these participation opportunities only benefit the show if they have the kind of fanbase who’s willing to utilize them.

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Crank That Soulja Boy

Posted by jacobkaraglanis on March 30, 2017

After reading the essays that were assigned for us to read tonight. I got SUPER pumped when I even glanced at it and saw “‘Crank That’ by Soulja Boy.” I immediately thought back to when my sister, my best friend,  his sister, and I made our own youtube video dancing to this song when I was in fifth grade. I had no idea what the song was about, but after watching Soulja Boy’s dance I immediately fell in love with the dance craze and rap culture as a whole. My love for the dance, song, and rap was very quickly shot down my father who heard the lyrics of the song and IMMEDIATELY banned me from all Soulja Boy or anything rap (and still kind of does try to keep me from it). So after reading the part of the essay that discussed the lyricism of the song, I very much relate to the fact that many people had no clue what the words meant in the song. Though many people just enjoy the catchiness of the beat and the dance craze. So then after Soulja Boy’s first modern dance craze. Many other artists decided to follow along with their own kind of dance craze that also have hidden vulgar lyrics. Some that I know are “the jerk” and “teach me how to dougie” these songs also have some grotesque lyrics. But songs like this also become wildly popular amongst teens and young kids because they want to be like the rappers and dance like the “cool kids,” despite the lyrical content.

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Rip & Tear (Child-Appropriate Variant)

Posted by Sean Hull on March 30, 2017

The assigned readings for today offered a variety of content, but “How Spreadability Changes How We Think about Advertising” was perhaps the most interesting of the lot. Though it focused on the results of advertising when produced without considering target contexts, and suggested that advertising may be better served by a “spreadability” model that designs advertisements as media, the lack of positive examples of advertising-as-media is a disappointment. However, this disappointment proves to be my opportunity. An opportunity to talk about Chex Quest.

Released in 1996, Chex Quest was a first-person shooter based off DOOM, but redesigned to be appropriate for all ages. Commissioned by General Mills to promote Chex Cereal, Chex Quest was distributed for free in Chex Cereal Boxes [1].

Though unlike any traditional advertisement, Chex Quest seems an excellent example of advertising-as-media. Chex Quest was a fantastic variation of a classic first-person shooter, retailored to be appropriate for younger audiences. This alone must have ensured its popularity among its target audience, who, if raised anything like myself, would have been kept away from the gore and satanic imagery present in DOOM. Furthermore, the sheer quality of the game, even when distanced from its original context, has ensured its continuing popularity: as of 2016, an impressive HD fan remake has been teased to the public, albeit sans release date [2].

Well, now that Chex Quest has been discussed, I suppose an appropriate question would be how did I learn about it? Though I am only this game’s elder by one year, I remember watching friends play it; presumably they inherited it from an older sibling. I never knew the title of the game, but its vibrant aesthetic and captivating gameplay made a strong impression. Just this year, I took the time to track it down, and was shocked to discover that something so memorable was a Chex Cereal freebie. Though only an example of my personal experience, I think my anecdote nicely illustrates how spreadable Chex Quest is as a piece of media, having transcended the boundaries of simple advertising.

[1] http://www.pcgamer.com/gamings-best-cereal-based-shooter/#article-comments

[2] https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/07/the-chex-quest-remaster-nobody-was-asking-for-is-finally-coming/

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Meaningful Participation

Posted by mackenzie brown on March 30, 2017

The reading in chapter 4 of spreadable media was extremely informative. I liked the part about lurkers because I did not even know what a “lurker” was before reading this chapter. It makes a lot of sense because I feel like I could be considered a lurker because I get on social media and look at stuff but I hardly ever post anything. I also found the part about how consumers can be producers because media is becoming so popular that anyone can create or produce anything. Audiences in the media can be active and inactive when being involved. I think there’s a lot of people who are not active audiences taking part in media but they contribute as audiences because they are considered “lurkers”. I found it interesting that there was a difference between “fans” and “fandoms”. I never really understood the difference between the two but it makes sense after reading the book. Fandoms are at a higher part of the pyramid than fans because they create a sort of world of their own for what they love. The example of Harry Potter is one of the best ones because fans have made it so popular. They even went as far as to make a Harry Potter world because that is how much fans love Harry Potter. Fans and fandoms are the reasons media is so popular. Fans and fandoms determine the fate of the media. If fans stopped watching a show it would go off TV, if they like the show it would stay on TV. Active audiences are so important in the media today.

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Crank That!

Posted by nasir502nasir on March 29, 2017

Oh Boy! The Crank That Era! That was a great time to be a kid. I remember the first time I saw the music video for that song when it debuted on 106 & Park on BET in 2007. Yes, I remember the exact moment and the details and all. I had only heard about this song and this was the World Premiere of the music video. This was back when watching music videos was really big. I learned that dance and every word to the song with quickness! Soon millions of people, kids and grown ups were doing the crank that soulja boy dance and soulja boy was internationally known. People started to do other crank that songs like crank that spiderman, crank that batman, crank that aquaman and way more. This era really made everyone want to get up and dance. Because before this song there were only a few new dance songs that were coming out and were popular. But I feel like the Soulja Boy dance may have been the biggest ever. As far as communication and participation goes, Soulja Boy was able to spread his music through YouTube and MySpace. People would share his music on these sites for everyone else they add or their subscribers to see. Soulja Boy’s popularity was much do to the come up of social media. Because MySpace seemed to be at its peak at the time. Soulja Boy really was a big influence in my life. Soulja Boy is the main reason I created a YouTube account, a MySpace page and a Twitter, back when people didn’t even use Twitter as much. Soulja Boy made my childhood really fun.

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Fan vs Fandom

Posted by cameronbrooks3 on March 29, 2017

What is the difference between a audience and the public when referring to media? Well they say a audience acts of measurement and surveillance, being unaware of the traces they leave by the industries. While for the public it directs attention onto messages that they value. We can compare these two factors just like we can with fans and fandom. Fans are just individuals knowing who they support, unlike fandom it is like a unity type of things within a community. At the end of the day they both play a role and media and we could possible learn a thing or two from it. For example, soap operas are good example just because it plays a good role in the situation. Fans that for some reason actually like the shows they usually gossip among family, friends, and love ones about the episodes. I would called this fans because those are a set of people that like a show and express they interest about it among those people. Now if people participated in a soap opera gathering where fans in the community come over every week to watch the show is more of fandom since it’s a group of fans coming together as a group that enjoys the same interest. At the end of the day you can compare these two things into any type of category but at the end of the day they play the same role in them all so the differences can actually become the same.

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Gotta Get the Kid’s Meal

Posted by emilyfalicaa on March 29, 2017

The essay HOW SPREADABILITY CHANGES HOW WE THINK ABOUT ADVERTISING by Ilya Vedrashko represents an incredible way that spreadable advertisement has kept up in a world of changing media. Later on in the essay it utilizes the example of Burger King and X-Box CDs. The 2000s represented a time where you could advertise and represent a product as much as you wanted to, but you could only guarantee people would see it. Not buy it. But these disks made an interactive platform for people to explore the products of both wonderful burgers and video games. The essay explains that this creates a relationship between customers, brands, and products that go beyond “swag”. It isn’t just a free shirt that grabs attention for a short bit of time before you send it to Goodwill. But the output creates the interaction needed for the product to stick to the consumer. This ideology of advertisement is also seen in kid’s meals for most fast food chains. When you buy a happy meal you get the incredible bonus of a toy. While it seems like just a piece of junk that keeps kids quiet for a bit, the kids aka consumers associate a meal with a toy. So when they are hungry they want to go a place that stuck a connection to them. If the meal doesn’t have a relationship with the consumer it won’t be asked for or remembered.

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