Convergence Culture

In the introduction to his book, Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins discusses the direction in which he feels media are moving. Recently there has been an increased focus on what he calls convergence of media, the bringing together of multiple services on one device. Convergence accelerates 'the flow of media content across delivery channels' (CC, 18) allowing companies to expand their market. Corporations are not the only groups affecting this shift in media culture. Consumers are, according to Jenkins, actively involved in what they receiving.

Convergence culture is visible in many new technologies, cell phones, computers, the kindle. As Jenkins said it is' both and top-down corporate-driven process and a bottom-up consumer driven process' (CC, 18). Consumers desire an appreciate having a multitude of ways in which to access products, as witnessed by the massive success of the iPhone. As products like the iPhone gain more popularity more corporations want to invent even better more interconnected ways of accessing digital media. I agree that consumers want this change and find it just as convenient as the corporations do, but I just don't see the desire as stemming from the same root.

Jenkins attributes this consumerist move towards convergence culture to the public wanting to 'bring the flow of media more fully under their control and to interact with other consumers' (CC, 18). While I think this is true I still think their is little room for free thought in this system. People who choose to consume products whether on the internet or on a television, or even through their phone are still constantly being preached to about what is true. As a consumerist society we accept too much that we know little to nothing about as truth. Half of our opinions our grounded on "fact" fed to people by the media. The convergence of media does allow people, at least, an opportunity to respond but often in my experience I have seen a perpetuation of the same real world ignorance.

Jenkins also brought up a point that I found very interesting. He said that consumers are becoming less loyal to one medium (CC, 19), which causes corporations to need to adjust the services they provide. Just because people will willingly listen to a radio show through iTunes doesn't mean the company wants everyone to stop listening on the air. Media have converged but corporations still want mass consumption through all networks of media because, bottom line, for them this is all business. They will give consumers what they think they want if it seems reasonably profitable and secure. Ultimately they still make the decision on what to provide and what not to.

Maybe this is just me being pessimistic but I feel like the convergence of media is just increasing the ways in which many (not all) people become immersed in distractions, manipulated by companies, and dependent on the information others gather to form their sense of the world.