“A selfie becomes currency the moment you get it into circulation.” -Henry Jenkins.
Henry Jenkins is a name media students around the world know too well. He has been responsible for introducing once again to the minds of impressionable students and professionals-in-making the concepts of convergence of media, transmedia story-telling and other such brilliant concepts. The points he puts forth in an hour and a half are to-the-point and concise.
Media is a forum for people to express their opinions, know about influential people, have people know more about them. In very simple words, Prof. Jenkins says that when it comes to activity in media, interactivity doesn’t hold much stock. Participatory culture is key. Unless a person chooses to immerse in media, he or she can have no legitimate conversing. Participatory culture mainly talks about how media affects or imposes itself on an individual’s life.
It all began with folk culture that classifies as something that is very personal. Only personal choices and opinions are discussed. Displaying or conveying of these ideas doesn’t take place in folk culture. Mass culture is defined as something that is introduced to be made big in the realm of media. Unlike viral media, mass culture is destined to be celebrated and spread across forums. Best example of mass culture is the show ‘Simpsons’. Participatory culture can be defined as something that allows a media creator to label themselves that because of their contribution, regardless of the degree of contribution, to a field or leaf of media.
Education has a strong influence of participatory culture as the option of students putting out their ideas in the realm of media enables them to feel like they are an integral part of the education system. Participation and contribution of ideas packages the entire deal in the most perfect way, ensuring that along with interaction, participatory culture is used as a tool to simplify and amplify the essence of conversation, education and media as a whole.
One of the most accurate examples of this would be the Twitter situation that Prof. Jenkins explained so kindly. Twitter didn’t always have the hashtag option inbuilt. But the demand for the hashtag as a symbol of hip trendy online behavior gave a rise to it becoming a permanent fixture in the social networking website.
The brilliance of the subject and the ease with which Prof. Jenkins has explained the topics amazes us and we are honored to have been a part of his excellent seminar at Godrej Cultural Labs, Vikhroli, Maharashtra, India.