Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

POP 201: The End

Posted by Drake Kizer on April 26, 2017

Today’s selection covered pages 291-305 in our Spreadable Media textbook. The reading competed our semester-long discussion of media’s spreadability, and it was titled “Conclusion”. It was almost a bit sad to finish up the text, especially considering how much of a love-hate relationship I had with it. My disdain for readings from the textbook became apparent early on, and it became a bit of a running joke that I continued as the class moved forward and the readings got better and better.

This excerpt didn’t cover a lot of material since it was so concise, but it contained a great message about dandelions. Throughout the semester, I noticed that dandelions were featured all over the marketing for the Spreadable Media textbook. I was pretty unsure of their significance, but I figured they would not be placed and featured so prominently if there was no meaning behind them at all. I ended up being correct, as the conclusion discusses how dandelions “[produce] more than 2,000 seeds per year and [send] them blowing off into the wind”, much like how “artists increasingly tap into participatory systems of circulation in order to reach desired audiences”.

As we have discussed throughout the semester, a great way for “an obscure writer gain greater visibility and build a readership over time” is to employ this type of “dandelion-style strategy”, in which they release a glut of content onto the Internet, and then allow other users to spread their content for them. Grassroots content creators are becoming more and more frequent, and their ability to amass a wide audience is causing giant “media companies, educational institutions, newspapers, and political campaigns… [to] fear… [a] potential loss of control” on their end. Gone are the days where corporate entities can curate and control all of the content that audiences consume, and the reality that all modern media spreads in a “viral” sense causes companies an “utter terror of the unknown”. More now than ever before, everyone has the ability to spread media, and that responsibility cannot be taken lightly.


4 Responses to “POP 201: The End”

  1. Kimberlea Ferrell said

    I noticed the dandelion thing as well! It blew my mind. The cute moving dandelions on the edges of the articles we read had a much deeper meaning. It’s a very wonderful illustration.

  2. laurenivey22 said

    I definetely agree with both of you! i also wrote about the dandelion-style in my blog post and really appreciated and enjoyed how it brought a deeper and more complex meaning to the section.

  3. vene131 said

    I talked about the dandelion part in my blog post, too! I was so curious as to why that was on the cover of the book basically the whole time we read it, so it was cool finding out the meaning behind it in the end.

  4. adusheck said

    I didnt notice the connection between the dandelions until the end but it was super cool! And the analogy was spot on.

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