DIY Days with Henry Jenkins: If It Doesn't Spread, It's Dead
We’ve covered DIY Days a little before, mainly because our own Koo was one of the speakers at the recent New York event. DIY Days for those who don’t know is basically a gathering of creatives and focuses on the future of media and sustainability for those who create it. This presentation from Henry Jenkins was recorded at DIY Days in Los Angeles back in October, 2011.
Here is a description of the presentation from the DIY Days website:
Distribution has historically described a process for spreading media content which is top down, planned, and controlled and which independent filmmakers had trouble entering. Circulation refers to an emerging, hybrid system where the spread of media is partially shaped by the authorized and unauthorized behavior of consumers. What new opportunities does this still evolving world of spreadable content pose for those who create media outside or on the margins of the established industry? How can indie media makers more effectively court online communities who may be invested in their work? And what is the value of sharing content rather than seeking to tightly control its afterlife?
The full video presentation from Henry Jenkins:
Here are some highlights from the video:
- People are more engaged when they can participate and claim ownership
- Unauthorized distribution can help the product (constructive) vs Piracy that exploits the product (destructive)
- Independent artists: obscurity is more of a problem than piracy
- There are bigger audiences than ever before, but building a market for our products is less guaranteed than it ever has been
- People who engage in something small like kickstarter are more likely to engage in a larger social media campaign sometime in the future
Though it feels a lot like some Communication Theory classes I’ve had, it’s an extremely informative presentation and it brings up a lot of interesting points. As I said before, we really need to have conversations about piracy, and I particularly like that Jenkins makes a distinction between unauthorized distribution and piracy. There is a fine line between constructive distribution and destructive distribution, and independent creatives need to explore ways that they can engage audiences through constructive distribution. We need to find ways to give that audience an opportunity to take ownership. Transmedia is at the forefront of this process, and many of its ideas are based around getting the audience engaged and letting the work spread organically through ownership.
As he says in his talk, the biggest problem that independents face is obscurity. Getting noticed is actually more of a problem than having our work pirated, so our conversations as independent creatives should focus on how unauthorized (constructive) distribution can actually help us in the long run, rather than on how we can tightly control our work from being shared.
Link: Henry Jenkins – DIY Days
[via Sheri Candler @shericandler]