Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Designing for Spreadability, Part 1

Posted by nathanpowers22 on April 5, 2017

The part of “What Old Media Can Teach New Media” I found most illuminating was the discussion of “sequels and extensions” as used by established media industries. My view of these phenomena (including the commonly maligned* franchise “reboots”) has always been that Hollywood is just running out of ideas, becoming complacent and lazy, or some combination of the two. However, this essay makes a good point about how in the highly unpredictable world of entertainment, these additions to, and recreations of, previously successful works simply offers a greater likelihood of return on studio investment. Considering the millions of dollars that might go to waste, it makes the most sense for media production companies to expand story worlds, recycle plots, and cast A-list actors rather than gamble on an entirely original idea with considerable, yet subjective, promise.

On the other hand, “Learning to Be a Responsible Circulator” brought up some good points that continue the debate we had in class yesterday regarding the imperative for teach new media literacy skills. Other than the obvious connection to “fake news” that I’ve seen others mention, the section on the subject of using Wikipedia as a teaching aid piqued my interest (as it apparently did for still others). In many ways, this essay reflects the same mindset that I and other students I’ve known since high school have, insofar as Wikipedia is a valuable asset when you know how to use it properly. The most prevalent workaround to “no Wikipedia references” that I’ve seen is to just use the references in the article of interest directly, which makes the most sense to me anyway. In academia, you don’t typically reference secondary sources if a primary source can be found instead unless you’re citing a comprehensive review on a specific topic that needn’t be elaborated upon in your main text.

* – There are, of course, exceptions to this; Beauty and the Beast is a recent example


2 Responses to “Designing for Spreadability, Part 1”

  1. Kimberlea Ferrell said

    I like how you mentioned Beauty and the Beast because I was just thinking about Disney’s plans to remake other movies. They’re just extending what they’ve already made instead of pushing new ideas. But that doesn’t mean these remakes aren’t still great and enjoyable.

  2. emilyjones232 said

    My entire blog post was about these Disney remakes. I love the movies so much, but I realize they are just cashing in on the money that movie is still making 20+ years later.

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