Intro to Networked Collaboration

Transmedia Convergence

When Jenkins talks about convergence culture, he’s also talking about the convergence of different kinds of media — “transmedia.”

For instance, we might watch a movie, like The Matrix, then play the Matrix video game, and then we might download some animated shorts from the Matrix website, and so on.

In Jenkins’ book, Convergence Culture, he states that The Matrix is an example of transmedia storytelling, which refers to an aesthetic that depends on the active participation of knowledge communities. It is an art of “world making,” infused with a sense of play. Consumers chase down bits of the story across media channels, comparing notes with each other via online discussion groups and collaborating to ensure that everyone who invests time and effort will come away with a richer experience. (Convergence Culture, pp. 20-21)

The process may start with any media channel but a successful product will flow across media until it becomes pervasive within the culture at large — comics into computer games, television shows into films, and so forth. (from Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture)

This kind of transmedia intake is fairly common these days. Just take a look at the recent political party campaigns. We might have read about candidates in the papers, watched some of the debates on tv, then checked out videos on websites.

This kind of convergence represents a shift in our relations to media. We are enframing our experiences through popular culture and play, and the skills that we acquire along the way collectively impact the way that we participate in the process and connect with others on a global level.


February 10, 2008 - Posted by | convergence | , , ,


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the point that Jenkins is making. It seems like there is no longer just one medium for things–The Matrix as a film, for example–to be broadcast/consumed. And it’s for EVERY age group. Kids watch High School Musical on TV, buy the action figures, play the game online, since along to the album etc. It’s like, once something comes out in one medium–a TV show for example–it automatically is available in every other way, whether that’s a set of action figures, or pin-up posters.

    Comment by sophiefriedman | February 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Some of the tools used for effective collaboration include self-organizing mesh networks, community computing grids, peer production networks, social mobile computing, group-forming networks, social software, social accounting systems, and knowledge collectives. My favorite tools include: self-organizing mesh networks, and community computing grids.
    The self-organizing mesh networks serve as transceivers and routers, recognizing compatible devices and configures themselves as a node in the network. This eliminates the need for a central controlled network. It picks up signals and then transmits them, helping them to stay strong, rather than withering away, and reduces interrupting noise.
    Community computing grids uses CPU cycles from volunteer personal devices in order to solve computation-intensive problems. It is known as “Distributed Processing”. Because only a fraction of the computer’s system is being used at one time, it is capable of extending itself to public good. The size of the network determines the extent of progress made toward the common good. With a program/grid like this, we are able to fight cancer, stop war, or fight global warming, while typing up a document in Word.
    These tools, as well as the others, help form, connect, communicate and protect the way of collaboration in a virtual environment. Self-organizing mesh networks, peer production networks, and social mobile computing all work to make collaboration, on a local and global scale, possible. They enable people, places and things to communicate. The community computing grids allow us (and computers) to capitalize on strength in numbers surpassing individual efforts. Group-forming networks work in a similar way, capturing the strength of a group. They operate under the combination of human social networks and technical networks. Collaboration multiplies due to these networks. Social software and knowledge collectives are tools, they allow groups and people with common interests to come together in a common community or structure to communicate and collaborate. They allow the share of information with those across the globe with the same interests. And with social accounting systems in place, we are able to build a network of trust. We can reduce risks and keep encouraging safe collaboration around the world producing an enriched environment filled with knowledge, opinions, and communication.

    Comment by jennstar13 | February 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. Adding to what Sophie stated. We are consuming information is so many ways now. I am completely fascinated by the machine behind Hannah Montana. Kids watch her TV show, want her DVD’s, play mobile phones games, buy her cd’s, toys, go to her concerts, play Nintendo DS games, etc. The machine is powerful and the technology available today allows for deep saturation in every market.

    Comment by tra2008 | February 23, 2008 | Reply

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