I really enjoyed this white paper by Henry Jenkins called 'If it doesn't Spread, it's Dead'. Interestingly it was funded by the members of the Convergence Culture Consortium, including GSDM Advertising, MTV, and Turner Broadcasting.
Some really interesting stuff on the evolving nature and re-contextualising of media as it circulates within our culture and how this may be seen as something separate to a meme or viral which merely 'passes on'. Phrases such as memes and viral media suggests replication of the original idea, ignoring that ideas get transformed, repurposed, and distorted as they pass from hand to hand. He prefers to refer to it as 'Spreadable Media', something that changes shape as it follows a journey. A view that goes against the idea of sticky media. Members of the Radio 1 interactive team may remember me referring to this as 'Slippy Not Sticky' in my awayday talk last year.
It goes on to look at the metaphor in more detail and talks about power relationship between the producers and consumers.
Our audiences are no longer passive consumers that simply pass on messages at best? Often marketers and media companies would like to think so in hope of keeping their message pure. Relinquishing the power of the message is still something they struggle with and will continue to do so for some time. He also talks about 'viral DNA', a myth that I talked about in this blog post.
Worth watching and certainly worth taking the time to read the full white paper. Having said that, and despite all its great intentions, I won't be able to include the video on my blog because it's not embeddable. Or in other words, less spreadable. It's less remixable and difficult to help evolve.