Futures of Entertainment 2 takes place in the Bartos Theater in the MIT Media Lab (building E15). The event runs from Friday, November 16, to Saturday, November 17, 2007.
The evening before FoE, feel free to join us for an MIT Communications Forum event featuring Jesse Alexander and Mark Warshaw in conversation with Henry Jenkins about Heroes and the changes taking place in the TV landscape. NBC's Heroes: "Appointment TV" to "Engagement TV"? Thursday, Nov.15, 5-7pm, Bartos Theater, MIT. Details here!
Friday, Nov. 16
Opening Comments - 8:30-9:30
Henry Jenkins, MIT; Joshua Green, MIT
Mobile Media - 9:30-12
Panelists: Marc Davis, Yahoo!; Bob Schukai, Turner Broadcasting; Alice Kim, MTV Networks
Beyond the launch of shiny new devices, the mobile market has been dominated by data services and re-formatted content. Wifi connections and the expansion of 3G phone networks enable pushing more data to wireless devices faster, yet we still seem to be waiting for the arrival of mobile's "killer app". This panel muses on the future of mobile services as devices for convergence culture. What role can mobile services play in remix culture? What makes successful mobile gaming work? What are the stumbling blocks to making the technological promise of convergence devices match the realities of the market? Is podcasting the first and last genre of content? What is the significance of geotagging and place-awareness?
Lunch - Bartos Lobby, 12-1
Metrics and Measurement - 1-3:30
Panelists: Bruce Leichtman, Leichtman Research Group; Stacey Lynn Schulman, Turner Broadcasting; Maury Giles, GSD&M Idea City
As media companies have come to recognize the value of participatory audiences, they have searched for matrixes by which to measure engagement with their properties. A model based on impressions is giving way to new models which seek to account for the range of different ways consumers engage with entertainment content. But nobody is quite clear how you can "count" engaged consumers or how you can account for various forms and qualities of engagement. Over the past several years, a range of different companies have proposed alternative systems for measuring engagement. What are the strengths and limits of these competing models? What aspects of audience activity do they account for? What value do they place on different forms of engagement?
Fan Labor - 3:45-6:15
Panelists: Mark Deuze, Indiana University; Catherine Tosenberger, University of Florida; Jordan Greenhall, DivX; Elizabeth Osder, Buzznet; Raph Koster, Areae
There is growing anxiety about the way labor is compensated in Web 2.0. The accepted model -- trading content in exchange for connectivity or experience -- is starting to strain, particularly as the commodity culture of user-generated content confronts the gift economy which has long characterized the participatory fan cultures of the web. The incentives which work to encourage participation in some spaces are alienating other groups and many are wondering what kinds of revenue sharing should or could exist when companies turn a profit based on the unpaid labor of their consumers. What do we know now about the "architecture of participation" (to borrow Kevin O'Reilly's formulation) that we didn't know a year ago? What have been the classic mistakes which Web 2.0 companies have made in their interactions with their customers? What do we gain by applying a theory of labor to think about the invisible work performed by fans and other consumers within the new media economy?
Reception - Bartos Lobby, 6:30-7:30
Saturday, Nov. 17
Opening Remarks - 8:30-9:30
Jason Mittell, Middlebury College; Jonathan Gray, Fordham University; Lee Harrington, Miami University.
Advertising and Convergence Culture - 9:30-12
Panelists: Mike Rubenstein, The Barbarian Group; Baba Shetty, Hill/Holliday; Tina Wells, Buzz Marketing Group; Faris Yakob, Naked Communications; Bill Fox, Fidelity Investments
Migratory audiences and declining channel loyalty are seen as two key challenges convergence culture poses to the advertising industry. At the same time, campaigns that respond by capitalizing on the creativity of audiences prompt questions about the continuing role for creatives. This panel looks at the unfolding role for advertisers within convergence culture, looking at questions about the nature of agencies, transmedia planning and the increasing circulation of advertising as entertainment content. Does the agency structure need to be rethought? What are the implications of breaking down the distinction between content and advertising? What are effective ways to collaborate with creative audiences? How is convergence culture changing the value of different advertising sites?
Lunch - Bartos Lobby, 12-1
Cult Media - 1-3:30
Panelists: Danny Bilson, Transmedia Creator; Jeff Gomez, Starlight Runner; Jesse Alexander, Heroes; Gordon Tichell, Walden Media
Cult properties have become mass entertainment. Marvel's success bringing comic book characters to the big screen and the resurgence of the space opera suggest niche properties may no longer mean marginalized audience appeal. This panel explores the politics, pitfalls, and potentials of exploiting niches and mainstreaming once marginalized properties. How do you stay true to the few but build properties attractive to the many? What role do fans play in developing cult properties for success? Is it profitable to build a franchise on the intense interest of the few and relyi on Long Tail economics? Are smaller audiences viable in the short term, or do we need to rethink the length of time for a reasonable return?
Closing Remarks - 3:30-3:45
Joshua Green, MIT