Such a lovely Friday doing nothing but homework, what a beautiful way of spending my break <3

I set the goal to finish most of my papers today. I can tell you that I set my expectations (quite) to high this time.

But anyways, I felt like I really needed to share with you guys what I’ve done so far (no, no more lame pictures of Richmond and random things with weird edits)


I actually spent my day doing a lot of research on Henry Jenkins calls “Participatory Culture“.

I think I have my notes pretty clear now and I can share with you some sneak peeks about  my final draft.



Then this one; this one is cool 2.




Participatory culture is anything that involves the creations and contributions of people generating new kinds of media through different mediums, mostly on the web. Examples of this can be:

  • videos share by regular people on YouTube,
  • people editing a Wikipedia article,
  • people commenting on message boards about anime or comics,
  • people writing fan fiction and sharing it online or
  • people writing in a personal blog discussing topics of their interest and commenting in their peers’ blogs.

All of these things that we create and put out there on the web combine to create a super rich atmosphere that contains lots of content that people like you and me help to create everyday.

You and I are being part of this phenomenon called “Participatory Culture” since we create and share things on the web. In this course, each one of us owns a blog. It’s our blog. We make it the way we want it to be and we write on it; we publish things and throw them out there for anyone to read them.

The posts we have done for this course are most likely to stay for years and years after we are done with this course, or even done with college. We will probably forget about them and forget about our blogs too, but the evidence of the knowledge and the effort we once made for this class is going to be captured here forever.

What we are doing here is using a (relatively) new medium. A medium that our generation seems to be naturally bounded to already. Social media, for example, is a big part of our daily lives now, and it will continue to be,, undoubtedly. It will evolve, as our thoughts, always evolving, and as our culture, always evolving. Our culture moves towards the digital medium as its strong reliant, and so our way of doing/thinking and learning about everything (this includes keeping up with our social circles). So our way of learning things changes everyday and with that, our learning tools too.

What we do here in these blogs of ours could probably not be fully understood in the beginning of the semester, and the readings we first read made have seem boring sometimes, but I understand now what was all of these about.

I am sure that you understand it too, but I just want to mention it again. What we are doing here is constructing knowledge together. We are given a set of points (call it, a map with a compass) to go from here (the start) to there (the end), say, from point A to point E, and each point in-between is a reading.

Each reading takes ideas from the previous author, each one constructs over the previous shared knowledge/ideas. Back in the day they did not have the mediums you and I have now, and still they were capable to do so many incredible things. Some of those things changed the world. Some of those things changed and shaped the world so we could have our own (personal digital) world today. How many of you have a personal computer? How many of you have a smartphone? How many of you rely on technology to study for school? Someone back then was inventive enough to think about new tools to help and ease people lives in some way. Someone back then was perceptive enough to realize that things weren’t going quite right and came up with a discussion of ideas on how could things be better in some way with something that helped the humans. Some of these people may have got inspired by the previous work (and ideas) they were exposed to and introduced something new that could help not them but everyone.

Now, why don’t any of us come up with a new thing to make the world a better place? -I think sometimes- We have the tools. We have far more tools that any of the “dreamers” had back in their times. Then, why? Maybe it is not our thing. Maybe it is not our area; not really our interest right now. I understand. I understand why we don’t identify with any of them, really. We may not even really identify one with each other in this class that much, even though we are living in the same time and place, we all go to the same school. So, I ask, why don’t we help each other a little more?

Well, at least we are doing this and we are helping each other. We are giving our peers information on whatever we decided to focus on for our final projects.  We shared our thoughts first, now we share the useful information we found after a lot of research. We are helping each other, even when we are not. What I know now about Target getting the personal information of anyone, or the risk of online shopping, or all the positive sides of a Mac Pro… all of that I would probably never investigate on my own. I get informed, and so do you. We all win.

We all get informed. We all share our knowledge. We did our effort, put our time and resources in it, and now we get information to share in topics that we probably never heard of before (I don’t know if that is the case for any of these for anyone). We share what we found. We give space for discussions and debates, we gave ourselves food for thought. We create a space of shared knowledge that is going to stay here long after we are done with the finals and the grades. What we did (+ our efforts) are not going to be only a letter on a paper, a letter on a system that is going to erase everything after the end of the course, no, instead, is going to perpetuate, and not only for us in this class, but also for anyone else out there.

Think about it this way, maybe one day one kid is going to stumble upon your blog post and they may quote you for their homework. They may quote your words on their homework for any class. The knowledge you put out there for the sake of your grade regarding this course, will help the work, and thus the grade, of someone you probably will never know. It happened the same with Wikipedia. How helpful it is for our lives. That article that you read when you didn’t have time to watch the film for your class, that time you kept clicking on the links because the topic was far too interesting to stop reading, that time when you ended up in a very different place from what you were reading at first…. All those times that you read articles or just parts from Wikipedia, you gained knowledge. (And knowledge is power, I guess). For that, someone else had to write it, someone else knew about it, someone else did the studies. Someone else did some kind of research and share information about it publishing it for people to be able to get informed about it too. We are all sharing our knowledge and hoping that it helps someone else too. We are all participating. We are all constructing and modifying constantly what we take as truth. We are shaping our knowledge together. We are taking part of the participatory culture every time we go online and make something new.



For further information please visit these links

 New Media Literacies website

Participatory Culture Foundation

Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning

Official weblog of Henry Jenkins

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Part One) 

The Conversation Never Ends: Participatory Culture in a Networked Era

Participatory Culture in a Networked Era (book)

Google Scholar and More: New Google Applications and Tools for Libraries and Library Users (book)

Social Media: A Critical Introduction (book)

Digital Fandom: New Media Studies (book)

Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers (book)

Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century (book)

The YouTube Reader (book)

Computer Lib / Dream Machines (book)

The Harry Potter Alliance 

One comment on “HJ // PC [DRAFT#1]

  • Great start. Keep going. In his 2006 overview, Jenkins argues that full participation in contemporary culture requires new literacies in new media. I think he would agree with you that this kind of participation doesn’t happen automatically. So what’s the answer? Or, what are some possible answers? Jenkins works on these answers, as do Mimi Ito, danah boyd, and a number of us who see the riches we are surrounded by. Find some of their answers. Suggest some of your own.

    Keep going!

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