Amazon’s Kindle Worlds

This has been dashed off fairly quickly, I may add to it in 24 hours, as I think of other elements I want to address.

NB – I am a scholar, with a scholarly interest in fandom. I am not a lawyer, nor am I a publisher. But the opinions expressed below are based on things that I have read from people I respect, and people who *do* seem to know what they’re talking about.

A day or so ago, Amazon announced their newest project, Kindle Worlds, an attempt to monetise, and ‘legitimise’ fan fiction. Almost immediately, my social media lit up with response. Some people were raving about the potential for this to see creators and fic authors get compensated for their work. Others were far less positive, and saw a number of concerning aspects to this move.

My immediate instinct was that something *felt* wrong about this idea. But I was really struggling to construct an argument that actually laid out the problems with it.

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In Defence of Reality Television in New Zealand

There has been more discussion about television in New Zealand in recent months than I can remember ever before. The discussion over the demise of TVNZ7, the last true space of public service television broadcast in New Zealand, the decision by the government to only fund content rather broadcast platform, and some of the recent funding decisions made by the national content funding authority, New Zealand on Air. However, one of the things that has come through very strongly to me has been a distinct strain of anti-Reality television discourse. I absolutely understand that reality television is not to everybody’s taste, but to my mind, there have been some distinctly knee-jerk reactions, and suggestions of causality from people who really should know better.

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The Joy Of Sharing Pop Culture

For me, there is a distinct pleasure in sharing items of pop culture with people. I love the act of introducing people to something they haven’t come across before, and then seeing them getting joy from it, perhaps discovering a new favourite. But when I was thinking about this the other day, I realised that the things that I often recommend are not necessarily my absolute favourites – there are things which I love that I would never think to recommend to people, because I assume that most people would have come across them already. But there are certain things, lesser known, indie, obscure, or just forgotten, that I find that I champion over and over again. So, I thought I’d put a list together. Please feel free to engage with this selection in the comments, or to recommend your own 🙂
I’ve tried to provide some sort of A/V material of each of my choices, obviously that’s not always possible.

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The launch of Quickflix

I have a blog post on Hacktivision.org which was initially intended to discuss NZ’s impoverished position in the world of digital distribution. However, the announcement and launch of Quickflix in the past few days gave me pause for thought. However, I’m not sure that this offering, at least at it’s initial stage, is going to be the holy grail that we seek. In fact, I’m not sure that a holy grail is actually possible under the current global distribution systems, and they are showing no signs of changing!

A caveat, first up. A lot of my inspiration to discuss this came out of a Twitter discussion I glommed onto, between @ellenstrickland, @radiowammo and @paulbrislen. My thoughts are inflected by that discussion. I also don’t want to discourage people from signing up to this service. I will sign up just as soon as I can afford to (even $9.99 per month is a lot to an impoverished grad student), and I encourage any and everyone to do the same. Competition needs to be encouraged. Having said that, when you do sign up, make your voice heard. Let them know what you want.

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The NZ TV Broadcast industry: a snapshot

Having just spent a stimulating couple of days in Portland at the What is TV conference, hosted brilliantly by the University of Oregon, I started to realise how little most of us, and I very much include myself in this, know about the realities of each other’s broadcasting systems. To try to mitigate this a little, I thought I would try to put together a quick post to provide the most basic of overviews of the shape of the NZ broadcast (specifically television) industry. By way of caveat, the NZ industry is not a direct area of expertise of mine, and so some of the details here may not be perfect, but hopefully it will be sufficient to serve as a snapshot.

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What is TV paper: A New Model for Understanding the Television Industry in the Twenty First Century

This paper was delivered at the What Is Television conference at the University of Oregon on March 3, 2012. I believe video from the conference will be available at some point, and I will add the link here when it is easily available. As I mentioned to those present, I had a tech fail and was unable to provide the accompanying graphic – it can now be found inserted below. Although it has already been delivered, this forms a part of my ongoing work, and as such, any constructive criticism is always gratefully appreciated.

(Paper appears after the jump)

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