Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Designing for Spreadability, Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on April 10, 2017

As we transition from participation to spreadability, I was very excited to see what Chapter 5, “Designing for Spreadability”, had in store for us. Since we have discussed what spreadability, stickiness, and the effects of media in popular culture are today, I was interested to learn how creators and producers “design” this media to increase their chances of success. For example, the first steps to designing for spreadability that stood out to me were the five steps between 197-198 in Spreadable Media. These five steps include: making sure media is available when and where audiences want it, ensuring media is portable, creating easily and reusable media in a variety of ways, making media relevant to multiple audiences, and guaranteeing media is part of a steady stream of material. Though some of these steps are mostly common sense, they can be overlooked and decrease the chances of success for a piece of media. Next, not only are strategies important in the spreadability of media today, but also the characteristics behind these types of media. Some of the characteristics from Spreadable Media that stood out to me were humor, parody and references, unfinished content, timely controversy, and rumors. Though these are not all the characteristics that affect media today, certain characteristics like humor and timely controversy are very effective in popular culture today. Timely controversy for example is seen through the Pepsi commercial we discussed in our last class session. In times like the present, certain types of media do not need to be produced because they can have negative effects that truly hurt others. The last point that stood out to me occurred in the “Avatar Activism and Other Civic Media” section, referring to Harry Potter and its civic media influences. Though I am not a Harry Potter fan, the positive effects this popular culture icon has had through a variety of media platforms are mind-blowing. From “mobilizing more than 100,000 young people worldwide to participate in campaigns against genocide in Africa”, to “raising money for disaster relief in Haiti”, this goes to show media can not only entertain people, but benefit others worldwide through unity. Therefore, designing for spreadability may be a simple part of media success, but the effects go far beyond monetary values in today’s society.


One Response to “Designing for Spreadability, Pt.2”

  1. kaufmansw said

    I want to touch on the part where you talked about how spreadable media hit on humor and parody. If people think it’s catchy or funny they’re more likely to remember your product and talk about it. Finding the unique combination of catchy and effective is the trick.

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