Using the word “viral” to describe content that is circulated across social media platforms makes the authors of a new book cringe. “It (the term ‘viral’) strips aside the notion of human agents,” says Henry Jenkins, co-author with Sam Ford and Joshua Green of “Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture.” Their book demonstrates how individuals spread ideas and outlines the implications their activities have for business, politics, and everyday life.
Watch the authors discuss the importance of individual curators to the sharing of content:
“One of our focuses is understanding how content circulates in a digital world, where often the audience as a whole, citizens as a whole, have a greater agency in determining how content spreads…” Ford says. “Now you’re as likely to read a news story or find out a clip of video content from one another as you are to see it from the Web site or on the television or in an ad placed in the newspaper … What does that mean and really tracking how things spread.”
Jenkins has taken the concept to the classroom with his book, “Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom,” in which he examines what it might mean for students and fans to engage creatively with literary works like Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” or media texts.
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