Posted by: julierussell55 | October 3, 2011

Collective Intelligence: Story-telling in the 21st Century

As I try to make sense out of the first three interesting, yet complicated, chapters of “Convergence Cuture,” by Henry Jenkins, I am fascinated with the idea of collective intelligence and how this author has used this concept to explain the popularity of “Survivor,” “American Idol” and “The Matrix.”

Defined on page 27 as, “this abiity of virtual communities to leverage the combined expertise of their members,” collective intelligence is at the very heart of today’s communication process. While traditional media has always involved creative story-telling, today’s new media has shifted into story-telling with collective intelligence, utilizing the sum of all its consumers’ apparent knowlege. This trend explains the interest in spoiling the “Survivor” episodes, voting via text for “American Idol” contestants, and “Matrix” gaming cults.

Humans today love to particpate in problem-solving online, to have a voice and to express themselves, to be a part of the story-telling of new media, and to be a part of the collective intelligence process. While Jenkins addresses this convergence of collective intelligence in great detail, I am left with one over-riding thought:  The cultural, economic and political changes brought on by online intelligence sharing, via transmedia modes, have been truly amazing and reflect extraordinary cultural shifts in the 21st century.

Discussion question:  On page 133, Jenkins writes, “This transmedia impulse is at the heart of what I am calling convergence culture.” In what way might you involve the “transmedia impulse” at your work in order to communicate a corporate message to your consumers?

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