Henry Jenkins

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Henry Jenkins, American academic and communications expert, has a new book, Spreadable media: creating value and meaning in a networked culture
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  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, July 2017

Introduction

See also danah boyd | Howard Rheingold | Robert Scoble | Clay Shirky | Social media | Social capital | Web 2.0

Henry Jenkins (1958 — ), American academic, media scholar, communications professor, teaches at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Cinematic Arts. Previously professor of humanities and director of MIT's Comparative Media program, Jenkins is a noted author of several books about media and participatory cultures, such as Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture and What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic. Jenkins is principal investigator for Project New Media Literacies (NML), a group which originated as part of the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Initiative. Jenkins wrote a white paper on learning in participatory culture that is now considered a centrepiece of efforts to test materials focussed on preparing students for engagement with new media. Jenkins is actively involved in the Convergence Culture Consortium, a faculty network which seeks to get academic researchers and the media industry together to reform thinking in an age of participatory culture. He is currently working on a research project focused on young people, participatory culture, and public engagement.

Jenkins' new book is Spreadable media: creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2013. In it, Jenkins maps fundamental changes taking place in contemporary media, where corporations no longer control distribution of ‘the message’. He contrasts "stickiness" - aggregating content and attention in central places - with "spreadability" - dispersing content widely through formal and informal networks, some formal and approved many unauthorized. Stickiness has been the measure of success in the broadcast era (and now central to the online world), but "spreadability" describes how content travels through social media. Following up on Convergence culture: where old and new media collide, the book challenges the frameworks used to describe contemporary media from biological metaphors such as "memes" and "viral" to the concept of "Web 2.0" and the emerging key influencers. See the book’s website: http://spreadablemedia.org/

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