Tumblr: the convergent machine

 

Convergence is ‘the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they wanted’ (Jenkins 2006). This essay will focus on how does convergence affect the relationship between media technologies and audiences, specifically how social networking site Tumblr has accommodated convergent media practices for the audience. Tumblr has been described as ‘part blogging platform part social networking community, and part social media dashboard’ (Mansfield 2012) Launched in 2007 it has slowly grown in popularity. A month on Tumblr sees 507 million visits with 13 billion page views. When compared with websites like wordpress.com, which experiences roughly ten million more users than Tumblr, Tumblr is still receiving 70 million more views than WordPress. Tumblr has become very effecting in allowing its users to participate in convergence. Tumblr has created a participatory culture where uses are able to participate in global activism and citizen journalism, transforming into prosumers and as a result mobilising online and changing the read only culture. The recent acquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo has created massive concerns around the users privacy and what will happen to their online identity.

 

With Yahoo recently purchasing Tumblr, many users are concerned with what will happen with their online identities. Tumblr has never been a massive moneymaker, which causes concern as how Yahoo plans to make revenue to justify the 1.1 billion they spent in buying Tumblr. Fleury has stated that “Yahoo is hoping that its purchase of Tumblr will boost traffic to its other properties, such as the photo sharing site Flickr. But the $1.1bn question is: will it also help boost revenue?”(2013). Since it first started Tumblr has never hosted advertisements which Yahoo is already in the process of changing ‘Yahoo would now work with Tumblr to create ads that “are seamless and enhance the user experience”’ (Fleury 2013) which is concerning users that it will change the dynamics of Tumblr in that companies and even other users can sponsor their posts to be shown first which could transform Tumblr into a bidding war.  The joining of Tumblr and Yahoo will mean that users from both platforms will have new ways to access different types of content. Another benefit for Tumblr is that it will be able to develop faster from more diverse resources (Fleury 2013) when new media technologies join together with other media technologies it creates the opportunity for new ways for content to be shared across various platforms and it will be interesting to see what Yahoo and Tumblr do with this new partnership.

 

Convergence has lead to an activism culture on Tumblr, with many bloggers dedicating their posts to social justice issues around the world. Citizen journalism is on the rise on sites like Tumblr. Just within the last week, blogs have been dedicated to showing uncensored photos from the #occupygezi riots in Turkey. These photos have been posted live from all across Turkey, creating a network of collected intelligence that users on Tumblr can access without being censored. What this means for the audience is that it creates more options for them to access content without gatekeepers controlling what content they can see.

 

Everyday Tumblr creating more and more globalised content: ‘What takes off on Tumblr these days often breaks through as viral phenomena on the internet at large…Tumblr is unstoppable’ (Dumenco 2013). YouTube user Mcharris222 created his own remix video of popular Disney movies called ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’ and put it on to YouTube in March 2012. The video went viral when the video was shared on Tumblr, which resulted in thousands of views. Mcharris222 then created another video, ‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’ in April 2012 thanking the users on Tumblr for creating so many views. The audience does not want to be restricted by when they can access their content for example only when a show airs every week.  As Jenkins (2006) describes “desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want”. Social media sites like Tumblr have started to cater to this desire which has been a major par of why Tumblr has been receiving large volume of traffic daily. ‘Tumblr’ has become a bigger Google search than ‘Blog’ (Alfonso III 2013) and is now listed as one of the ten top websites visited worldwide (. Prosumers have been given a platform to which they can share their content and have it reach thousands of viewers.

 

Convergence has affected the relationship between the producers and the audience. The audience is actively creating a participatory culture in that there has been more online mobilization by the audience. At the end of 2011, NBC cancelled the television show Community from returning in 2012. Through sites like Tumblr and twitter, the fans organised a protest outside NBC’S Rockafella Centre, demanding that it be renewed for another season

Then, in arguably the most useful protest of the Occupy movement so far, a group of nefariously bearded Community fans from the dark timeline decided to flash mob NBC and express their disgruntlement – Trumbore (2011)

Eventually NBC responded to the protest and Community was at first renewed for just half a season. The audience has more tools then ever to be part of a participatory culture.  Firefly is well-known for having a very dedicated audience, what could of have happened if Tumblr was around when Firefly was cancelled. Perhaps a different outcome could have arisen ten years ago, that instead of being cancelled the fans could have caused a greater online presence. Platforms like Tumblr are reshaping the relationship between the audience and the industry as it is giving the audience tools to be heard and participate with the content.

 

Media corporations are starting to adapt to the changing relationship between the audience and the creators. Tumblr is being used frequently by the fans of the TV shows to critique of the most recent episodes and discuss up coming episodes. Media industries realise the new power the fans have in the dynamics of a programme.

Loyals are fans, and although they may be in the minority of viewers, “advertisers are increasingly realizing that they be better investing their dollars behind a show that have high favourability rather than shows that have high ratings” [24]. Indeed loyals tend to purchase more products, percentage wise, than do other types of media audience. When these producers court fans and fan communities, the resulting increase in critical praise and profits can also help the media company’ – (Booth 2010)

A new TV show Oxygen has teamed up with Tumblr to infuse their TV show with GIFS made by the fans (Hernandez 2013). Traditionally, GIFS were made by the fans to recap and pray tribute to their favourite part of the episodes, but Oxygen has designed its programme so that each week the fans GIFS will be part of the episode.  The producers have realised that audiences are looking for new types of engagement with their favourite content and have started to allow for that in their programming. Oxygen has transformed its content from a read only culture into a read write culture in that, the audience has freedom to engage with the content in a different way.

 

Recent research about the use of secondary screen use whilst watching television by Neuro insight, MCA Australia and the Seven Television Network has produced interesting results. Their results found that using social media at the same time as watching television programmes increased programme engagement with the audience by 9%. Four times during a programme, the average audience will interact with social media about the programme, which has resulted in details being encoded into the audiences memory (Quancast 2013). This means that the audience are more likely to remember specific elements from the television programmes. Fans then use the social media sites like Tumblr to discuss and reflect on these moments. This affects how producers take on their shows, recently television shows have started to provide their social media accounts information at the bottom of the screen so that their audiences can interact with the content on new channels. Producers are investing a lot more effort to encourage their audiences to participate on social media sites like Tumblr because they have discovered the benefits of using platforms like Tumblr in conjunction with their content.

 

Convergence has affect the relationship between media technologies and audiences in multiple ways, changing the way the audience gains content. The collaboration between different media technologies creates opportunities for new ways for the audience to engage with content. Social networking sites like Tumblr have become instrumental tools for users to be able to engage with their content more effectively. Globally it has given them a stage to share their intellectual property and participate with the content. It has help change consumers into prosumers where they are constantly finding new ways to engage with their content which has resulted in media industries changing the way they let their audiences engage with their content. The users have been given a platform without gatekeepers and censorship which has resulted in the freedom for citizen journalism.

 

Bibliography

  1. Mansfield, H. 2012, Social media for social good: a how-to guide for nonprofits, McGraw-Hill, New York.
    1. Booth, P (2013). Digital Fandom; New media studies. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 10-20.
    2. Trumbore, D. 2011, Community Flash Mob Occupies NBC Rockefella Centre, collider.com, accessed 23/4/2013, http://collider.com/community-flash-mob/
    3. Hernandez, B A. (2013). Oxygen teams up with Tumblr to infuse TV Shows With GIFS, mashble.com, accessed 2/6/2013, http://mashable.com/2013/04/23/oxygen-tumblr-gifs-best-ink-2/.
    4. Miller, S. (2013). Social Media drives increase in TV programme engagement say studies, Research-live.com, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.research-live.com/news/news-headlines/social-media-drives-increase-in-tv-programme-engagement-says-study/4009516.article
    5.  Dumenco, S. 2013, ‘It’s a Crying Shame Tumblr Hasn’t Quite Figured Out Its Revenue Problem Yet’, Ad age, accessed 26/4/2013, http://adage.com/article/the-media-guy/tumblr-s-revenue-problem-a-crying-shame/240806/
    6. Alfonso III, F. (2013). ‘Tumblr’ Now More Popular Google Search than ‘Blog’, Daily Dot, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.dailydot.com/news/tumblr-blog-google-search-rankings/
    7. Mcharris222 (2012) ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0v-V2_g4rI
    8. Mcharris222 (2012)‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’, accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I-z1ccHns8
    9. Busis, H. (2013). Yahoo buys Tumblr:Should users of the meme machine be worried?. Available: http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/05/20/yahoo-buys-tumblr/. Accessed 7/6/2013.
    10. Fleury, M. (2013). Yahoo to buy Tumblr for $1.1 bn. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22591026 . Accessed 7/6/2013.
    11. Unknown. (2013). #occupygezi. Available: http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com.  Last accessed 7/6/2013.
    12. Quancast. (2013). Tumblr. Available: https://www.quantcast.com/tumblr.com. Last accessed 7/6/2013.
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What is more powerful: Tumblr or the producers

With the rise of social media platforms like Tumblr, audiences aren’t satisfied by just reading the books or just watching an episode every week anymore. The audience is searching for deeper stories and the creators of this content need to be able to transform their work into media that can converge into multiple platforms. Social media platforms like Tumblr, have given fans authority over their shows like never before. They have the ability to build up or tear down the reputation of content with one simple post. The producers are more aware of the bloggers powers ever day, and are increasing beginning to accommodate for that. Social media platforms have transformed how the content media industry functions and how the audience participates with the content. Tumblr has been described by Mansfield (2012) as ‘part blogging platform part social networking community, and part social media dashboard’ Launched in 2007 it gained astronomical traction. A month on Tumblr sees 507 million visits with 13 billion page views. When compared with websites like wordpress.com, which experiences roughly ten million more users than Tumblr, Tumblr has 70 million more views than WordPress

Tumblr has become a platform for the fans, across multiple genres. What Tumblr offers its users is the ability to participate the creation of artifacts for the media content. The audience does not want to be restricted by when they can access their content for example only when a show airs every week.  As Jenkin (2006) describes “desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they wantAs a result it has created produsage users in which they have begun to create their own content and share it among other users, creating a online universe of their favourite content. Booth (2010) expresses ‘fan created fan fiction allows other fans to reread the show in a new way. Rereading is a critical aspect of the fan’s online interaction with a media object’ Tumblr has often been described as the ‘fangirl site’ in which fans of different content are very dedicated in making GIFS, fan fiction, editing photos of the content and discussing spoilers about new content. These fans create their own tumblr communities based on their content.

More and more fans have begun to use social media sites and blogging platform to take control of their favourite content, particularly among television fans. At the end of 2011, NBC cancelled the television show Community from returning in 2012. Through sites like Tumblr and twitter, the fans organised a protest outside NBC’S Rockafella Center, demanding that it be renewed for another season

Then, in arguably the most useful protest of the Occupy movement so far, a group of nefariously bearded Community fans from the dark timeline decided to flash mob NBC and express their disgruntlement – Trumbore (2011)

Eventually NBC responded to the protest and Community was at first renewed for just half a season. Fans have always had the power considering that they are the ratings, but know they have platforms in which they can be heard.  Firefly is well-known for having a very dedicated following, what could of have happened if Tumblr and even twitter was around when Firefly was cancelled. Perhaps a different outcome could have arose ten years ago, that instead of being cancelled the fans could have rallied for more seasons and they would have been heard. Platforms like Tumblr are reshaping the relationship between the consumer and the producer as it is giving the consumer a place to be heard.

Media corporations are starting to adapt to the changing relationship between the audience and the creators. Tumblr is being used frequently by the fans of the TV shows to critique of the most recent episodes and discuss up coming episodes. Media Corporations realise the power “loyal” fans have in the value of a show and are increasingly starting to target these fans.

Loyals are fans, and although they may be in the minority of viewers, “advertisers are increasingly realizing that they be better investing their dollars behind a show that have high favourability rather than shows that have high ratings” [24]. Indeed loyals tend to purchase more products, percentage wise, than do other types of media audience. When these producers court fans and fan communities, the resulting increase in critical praise and profits can also help the media company’ – Booth (2010)

Minutes after an episode has aired in the USA, the fans are already making GIFS from their favourite moments of that episode and sharing them on Tumblr. As a result fans in UK, Australia and all round the world are able to access the episodes by watching GIFS quicker than ever before; They are able to access new content, whenever they want and in new formats.  A new TV show Oxygen has teamed up with Tumblr to infuse their TV show with GIFS made by the fans. Traditionally, GIFS were made by the fans to recap and pray tribute to their favourite part of the episodes, but Oxygen has designed its programme so that each week the fans GIFS will be part of the episode. This interaction between the producers and the consumers has never been this direct in that the fans can have an active part in the creation of their shows content.

Recent research about the use of secondary screen use whilst watching television by Neuro insight, MCA Australia and the Seven Television Network has produced interesting results. Their results found that using social media at the same time as watching television programmes increased programme engagement with the audience by 9%. Four times during a programme, the average audience will interact with social media about the programme which has resulted in details being encoded into the audiences memory. This means that the audience are more likely to remember specific elements from the telelvision programmes. Fans then use the social media sites like Tumblr to discuss and reflect on these moments. This affects how producers take on their shows, recently television shows have started to provide their social media accounts information at the bottom of the screen. Producers are investing a lot more effort to encourage their audiences to participate on social media sites like Tumblr because they have discovered the benefits of using platforms like Tumblr and Twitter in conjunction with their content.

Everyday Tumblr is setting more and more trends on the internet ‘What takes off on Tumblr these days often breaks through as viral phenomena on the internet at large…Tumblr is unstoppable’ – Dumenco (2013). Look at what happened with youtube user Mcharris222, he created his own video ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’ and put it onto Youtube in March 2012. The video went viral when the video was shared on Tumblr. So much so that mcharris222 created another video, ‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’ in April 2012 thanking the users on Tumblr for creating so many views. This is not surprising when you look at the amount of traffic Tumblr has been getting daily resulting in ‘Tumblr’ being a bigger Google search than ‘Blog’ In November 2012, as Tumblr is one of the ten most visited sites in the world, the online presence

Tumblr has reshaped the way in which content flows between the producer and the consumer. It has given its users a platform to become Produsers, sharing their content with other users, creating their own universe of Transmedia storytelling.

References

  1. Mansfield, H. 2012, Social media for social good: a how-to guide for nonprofits, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  2. Booth, P (2013). Digital Fandom; New media studies. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 10-20.
  3. Trumbore, D. 2011, Community Flash Mob Occupies NBC Rockefella Centre, collider.com, accessed 23/4/2013, http://collider.com/community-flash-mob
  4. Hernandez, B A. (2013). Oxygen teams up with Tumblr to infuse TV Shows With GIFS, mashble.com, accessed 2/6/2013, http://mashable.com/2013/04/23/oxygen-tumblr-gifs-best-ink-2/.
  5. Miller, S. (2013). Social Media drives increase in TV programme engagement say studies, Research-live.com, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.research-live.com/news/news-headlines/social-media-drives-increase-in-tv-programme-engagement-says-study/4009516.article
  6. Dumenco, S. 2013, ‘It’s a Crying Shame Tumblr Hasn’t Quite Figured Out Its Revenue Problem Yet’, Ad age, accessed 26/4/2013, http://adage.com/article/the-media-guy/tumblr-s-revenue-problem-a-crying-shame/240806/
  7. Alfonso III, F. (2013). ‘Tumblr’ Now More Popular Google Search than ‘Blog’, Daily Dot, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.dailydot.com/news/tumblr-blog-google-search-rankings/
  8. Mcharris222 (2012) ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0v-V2_g4rI
  9. Mcharris222 (2012)‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’, accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I-z1ccHns8

Back to the Blogs

I dont know what blows my mind more: that we are almost at the end of my first semester at uni or the volume of information I have already learnt during my very short time at uni. 

BAM! Said the Lady another best seller for me would hands down be the favourite blog post I have done this year. The topic for that week was about Transmedia storytelling which is interesting in itself, but the realisation that my favourite TV show was a relevant example for Transmedia storytelling which therefore meant I could write about it for my blog post was one of the reasons this was my favourite blog post. The day I published this post my blog received 123 views in one day which completely blew me away. I learnt then that what you write about can drastically change how popular your blog posts can be. If I had instead wrote about a TV show that not a lot of people had heard about I doubt I would have received as many views as I did talking about Castle not to mention so many international views.

Bam! said the lady... views

Never in a million years would I have guessed that in my first semester of uni would be able to talk about any social causes I am involved with but when we studied Clicktivism I was given the opportunity to share about a cause that is very important to me. In writing Awkward moment when they have stereotyped us wrong, I discovered the value of writing about issues and topics you are passionate about. Your posts are more likely to be more influential if you are infested in the topic to even the smallest degree.

Hold on to your mouses, icarly could really happen is easily one of my favourite blogs post. As someone who is trying to make it in the television business it was extremely encouraging to see the amount of people that have “made it ” by posting their video’s on youtube. I was surprised by the amount of likes this blog post received but after comparing my posts, I realised that the amount and type of video’s I used affected the traffic on the blogs.

Annon.

More and more blogs and professional journalists are being targeted by misogyny and anonymous hate messages, which has resulted in a lot of these blogs turning off their comment sections or even shutting down their blogs all together.  Even on this blog (which has only been functioning for 3-4 months) i have already received over 200 messages, most were random spam messages.

Anonymous hate on Tumblr has become a real issue for the millions of users. I have been using tumblr for the last three years and luckily have never had to deal with misogyny or any annonmous hate but I have witnessed a lot of anon hate experienced by some of my followers.
tumblr_mmawjkSOfP1rkv8mbo1_500

The Tumblr community has started mobialising to combat anon hate using similar methods used in the  #mencallmethings campaign. One tumblr blogger even created a Blog called Men Call Me Things which was dedicated to explaining what was happening with the twitter hashtag as well as creating their own videos about the issues surrounding Misoygny and anonymous hate messages. Blogs like the ‘Combatting Anon Hate’ for example, are also being created every day which are dedicated to fighting the anonymity war online. Bloggers have even started creating video’s on YouTube about the anon hate.

At the moment there is no easy answer to stopping anonymous hate on the internet. Bloggers can not allow comments on their blogs, even start new ones, but is that really a solution?

BAM! said the lady, another best seller for me

For a market that is constantly losing its viewing to the internet, there is an popular trend of enhancing your content by creating it in several different mediums and in doing so, giving something to your already dedicated audience as well as possibly attracting a new audience. The television show ‘Castle’ has done an incredible job of transforming itself from a single story into transmedia storytelling, meaning that instead of focusing on one platform fans of  castle now have a universe to explore.

Promo - Season 5

For those who aren’t familiar with ‘Castle’ let me give you the run down. Richard castle is a famous murder mystery novelist who has just killed off his character ‘Derrick Storm’ and is searching for a new character to base his next set of books on. Detective Kate Beckett is investigating a string of murders that greatly resemble the way Castle killed some of his characters in his book. Long story short, Castle ends up basing his next character on Detective Beckett and shadows her cases…Ta Da we have a cop show.

But what is so special about this show? Andrew Marlowe has created a show that is not restricted within the television format. ABC has actually created the novels Castle writes in the show. ‘Heat Wave‘, ‘Naked Heat‘, ‘Heat Rises‘, ‘Frozen Heat‘ and the newest novel to come out later this year ‘Deadly heat‘ are all novels about Beckett’s persona ‘Detective Nikki Heat’ which the audience can actually buy and read. The brilliance of this is that in the books Castle and Beckett’s personas are together (Jameson Rook and Nikki Heat) while on the show they were still doing the romantic dance all shows do with their leads. This meant the fans were getting the best of both worlds which has only increased its popularity and dedicated fan base.  Not only have ABC created the Nikki heat novels, but they have also fleshed out Castle’s previous novels about Derrick Storm and turned them into graphic novels: ‘Deadly storm‘, ‘Storm season‘ and ‘A calm before the storm‘; as well as creating ‘Storm Front’ into a novel. Surprisingly the books are having phenomenal real world success:

The Nikki Heat series is no stranger to the New York Times Best Seller list; the first novel, Heat Wave, debuted at #26, while the second, Naked Heat, debuted at #7. With Heat Rises debuting at #1, it only solidifies proof of Castle’s success in both television and fiction. – The Examiner

This year ABC took it one step further by creating a board game and trading cards. They have even created castles own brand of coffee (for the fans of the show, that is possibly one of the most exciting creations for the castle universe) with flavours like ‘Brewing storm’ and ‘writer’s roast’.

What was once just a television show is now several series of novels and graphic novels, board games, playing cards, calendars, coffee and an increasing amount of merchandise. With multiple fan made merchandise and websites like castletv.net and castle-fans.org (which are run by fans of the show) as well as a growing library of fan written castle fan fictions. The fans have been given a world to explore and a story that is not limited to one platform.

I’m Sorry…Were you still using that?

One of the major markers, I’d argue, is in the participatory capacity of digital media: the ways in which the distinction between producers of media and consumers of media begins to collapse…Once you start contributing and sharing and connecting with the work of those who connect with yours, you’re engaging in something called produsage. You’re in the network. – theory.cribchronicles.com

Welcome to the produsage age! Where every man and his dog have the ability to create and consume. Everyone has the power if they wish to use it. People now have the ability to create new images and ideas and share them over the internet, then have other users change them, re-develop them, make them something greater. Of course the downside to that is if they didn’t want it edited, that’s the cost of sharing intellectual property in the public sphere.

The one of the best examples I have seen for the new relationship caused by produsage is between John Green (author of the ‘The Fault in our stars’) and the Tumblr community. He created the novel, his artifact, which was then made into a painting, which in-turn was transformed into a poster they could sell and was all done by people from different parts of the world. This transaction wouldn’t have been possible with the previous relationship between producers and consumers in that so many people could connect and create. This gives the audience a new gateway to participate with their favourite content whether it is: books, movies, TV shows, comics, YouTube channels, bloggers. They are able to create their own content, whether its GIFs, Fan fictions, or fan art, the produsage age has created a new brand of audience.

Talking bout the blogger in the mirror

I was surprised by how much of this course built on knowledge I gained from the ‘Society and Culture’ in the HSC, especially about looking beyond what you are presented. Although we weren’t taught with such detail about who controls the media, we were always taught to question what we are shown. Without realising it I have started to look at the end of the credits to see who owns this TV show or news report. One concept I never really heard about was the ‘public sphere’. Although it’s not what is put into the public sphere that’s important, it is what the audience reacts to – which in-turn causes debates and conversation – that is crucial to society. I never understood why it was so important about who owns the media, but whoever owns the media is controlling the content that is entering the public sphere. That is why it’s important to have a variety of voices…That is why there is such a high value on blogs today.

It’s crazy to think that it was only a month ago that we started these blog posts. I have always been a bit of a micro blogger on Tumblr, which has been helpful in that it has helped me adjust to using WordPress but at the same time it might have restricted my audience. What I mean by that is, I am use to writing to a specific audience on Tumblr, it has shaped how I address issues and even my writing styles. To have your own writing style is really important when blogging, I have learnt that from reading everyone’s blog posts, as you need to have your own voice to stand out. The problem I faced during these last couple of weeks is that I hadn’t found a way to both sound sophisticated as everyone else had managed to do and still use my writing style.

Shipping it publicly

Before you hit me with your keyboards, give me a chance to explain. I’m over twilight as much as the next person BUT it is a really good case for the public sphere and how something can cause so much debate. Firstly, the public sphere is where people can openly discus issues and ideas. The Internet has become the most popular place for these discussions of increasing variety; Politics to technology, movies to health concerns.

Look at the debates on the Internet about twilight. As soon as those books were released Fandoms were screaming out for team Edward and team Jacob. Yeah great no one really cares about that but there still was a lot of debate caused over it. As any good shipper worth their keys, they began to write fan fictions (Shipper: the term “shipper” comes from supporting a ship. To ship something means a person wants two characters to get together and/or shows support for two characters already together – Urban Dictionary) One writer in particular gained massive popularity for her twilight inspired fan fics, so much so that they were made into our beloved 50 shades of grey.

50 Shades of Grey changed the landscape of the literary world, being placed at #1 for 50 weeks straight on some best-seller lists. What has been the impact on the public sphere due to the books popularity? Fans trying to recreate scenes from 50 shades of grey, have in many cases had very damaging effects on their relationships:

British woman is divorcing her husband after he refused to re-create scenes from E.J. James’ best-selling novel…”The woman had been reading the book and wanted to spice up her love life,” the wife’s attorney, Amanda McAlister, said. “She thought their sex life had hit a rut — he never remembered Valentine’s Day and he never complimented her on her appearance. So she bought sexy underwear in an attempt to get her husband more involved. She said, ‘Let’s make things more interesting.” [1]

If you were to Google 50 shades of grey how many results would you get? When I googled it 83,700,000 results were found! Articles like:

What does the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey Say about our Sexuality

Why women Really like “50 Shades of Grey”

Explaining ’50 Shades’ wild success – CNN.com

50 Shades of Grey is best-selling book of all time – Telegraph

50 things I hate about 50 Shades of grey

And its about to be reintroduced to the public sphere in even more formats: a movie, soundtrack, television show, even a musical have all been suggested if not already in production. And just think all of this was started because Twilight was introduced to the public sphere.

Hold on to your mouses, icarly could really happen

I have always had a fondness for childrens television shows, but icarly always annoyed me. As if three teenagers could become celebraties from vlogging; but what does it all actually mean? More than likely you would have heard of Youtube channels like , the Janoskians, Jenna Marbles and Pez films. They all made videos and started posting on Yotube, getting views into the millions like these videos below.

As a result of their popularity the Janoskians have been picked up by Sony (who knows why) and Pez films has been hired to make stop motion ad’s for company’s. All this was achieved without publishers and agents.

This creates opportunities for people like me. I have created and written my own television show and I’m currently doing the circuit trying to get it signed. IF I CANT I can make webisodes post them on youtube and other social media platforms and try to build the popularity online and get it noticed that way. Even twitter is changing the relationship; now you can trend a topic and tag the actor, writer, producer, someone you have never met and there is a good chance they will see it. If you were to do that without twitter, you would have to go through agents, and second in commands etc. It is changing the creative industry as we know it; Artists, writers, film makers, comedians, poets, dancers. They have all been given a platform to express themselves and be heard in the world.