In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, and every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. – Jenkins, H 2006
Based on my understanding of the reading by Jenkins (2006), media convergence is the “ﬂow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences”. This refers to the fact that information is transferred through more than one form of media and different forms of media come together in satisfying the audiences. Also, audiences are able to have a certain degree of power in determining the way information flows through these media.
An example of the cooperation of different media industries can be the e-book, where old media and new media technology converge to make it more convenient for consumers or audiences. Books are an old and traditional form media of spreading information such as stories, novels, poems, plays and et cetera. Using new technology, people have now come up with e-books which can be found through media such as the Internet. Websites such as Scribd.com and gutenberg.org are namely few of the websites which provide free access to e-books for online reading. As we can see from this example, “convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences” (Jenkins 2004).
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Scribd.com also allows users to upload any kind of text document they wish to upload and enables them to share whatever they upload with other users. This is where the behaviour of media audiences evolve. Back in the day, before all these new technologies existed, consumers or audiences did not have much of a choice on what the media provides, as in the case of books again. We purchase a book and get whatever is in the book as determined by publishers and authors. Now, with the Internet and new technologies such as smartphones which we can use to go online with convenience, we can be authors as well and publish our works on these websites which allow us the liberty to do so.
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“Prosumers” are a mixture of consumers and producers of the media and this word depicts the way society nowadays deal with media. This is because consumers can produce their own works and publish it in the media as well. As i mentioned earlier, Scribd allows users to publish their own text documents on the website, and this means users are the producers of the documents that they are uploading onto the website and it can be consumed by other consumers. At the same time, the users are also consumers because they utilize the website to view and documents uploaded by others as well.
Therefore, Scribd is a very good example of how the “prosumer” (Mitew 2012) is formed. We have come a long way in the sense of media, from “analogue to digital data” (Mitew 2012) and as consumers ourselves, we can notice how media convergence has drastically changed they way we gain and share information and the way we come in contact with media.
Esengulov, A 2008, ‘The Best 6 Sites to Get Free Ebooks’, website, accessed 22/9/2012, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/the-best-6-sites-to-get-free-ebooks/
Jenkins, H 2006, ‘Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide’, pp 1-24, New York University Press, New York, accessed 21/9/2012, http://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf
Jenkins, H 2004, ‘The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence‘, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol.7, no.33, pp 33-43, accessed 21/9/2012, http://ics.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/7/1/33.full.pdf+html
Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 Transglobal entertainment and media convergence, lecture notes, accessed 22/9/2012, http://prezi.com/zcvqfdos9uga/digc202-transglobal-entertainment-and-media-convergence/