Henry Jenkins Interactive Audiences The Collective Intelligence of Media Fans
Jenkins uses media fans as an example of the changes new media, participatory culture works to enhance the ability to produce the benefits of collective intelligence for the consumer. The new software and technology on Web 2.0 are enabling consumers’ access to blogs, collaborative chat, tagging, co-creation and the ability to make the marketplace more responsive to their needs. The new technologies are now allowing consumers to be part of the creation and production process that is changing the relationship between the consumer and producers of media. Consumers are choosing to participate within media rather than just be consumers of media.
The fan community memberships are based on common interests and not limited by geography. These fan communities were precursors to the wisdom of the crowds, communities of practice and participatory cultures that Shirkey (2007), Rheingold (2006) and Palfrey (2008) have discussed in enabling collective intelligence. Digital technologies for fans have created the same opportunities and challenges as business, education and organizations. Just as a single fan brings singular knowledge and perception to a community, collectively fan communities interacting digitally, promote the spread, sharing, integration of knowledge and co-creation within the media. Speed of communication has increased and the value of information exponentially increases as it is combined with other smaller pieces of information.
Fan communities struggle with the pace of information sharing, the amount of information shared and the number of new fans able to join communities through digital technology that bring very different norms and perspectives to the community. While business and education organizations have some ability to control group/team size, direct energy into specific goals and problems, fan communities are not formally structured and are voluntary and temporary. Different social norms and expectations can’t be managed with the more traditional tight and structured hierarchal flows of information. There is not one expert anymore but many experts. Jenkins describes collective intelligence as part of the new knowledge culture that is dynamic, reciprocal and requires many different perspectives and collective experience.
Horizontally integrated media enables participatory cultures, collective intelligence and the ability of individual media creation. As consumers become more engaged in these forms of self expression and knowledge generation media producers will need to find their niche in marketing to a media savvy consumer that does not easily acknowledge copyright, single source experts or businesses that want to control information and maintain hierarchal structures. Fans blog important messages and facilitate the flow of information in the new media culture. Fans and businesses need to find the balance between participation, consumption and creation . Businesses need to market relationships, interactivity and comsumer participation in the new digital consumer world.
Blog http://www.henryjenkins.org/ and http://civic.mit.edu/blog/5
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.
Jenkins, H. Publications Henry Jenkins
accessed February 11, 2011
Palfrey, J; Gasser, Urs. (2008). Born Digital. Basic Books. Perseus Books Group.
Shirkey, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody. The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. Penguin Press. New York