Introduction: The Expanding Landscape of Connected Viewing

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Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies


The impetus for this issue on connected viewing grew out of research being done by humanities scholars for the Connected Viewing Initiative, a partnership between UC Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center and Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. The collaboration created a space for original work that has resonated with industry and academic audiences and has expanded the impact of qualitative scholarly research on digital media. This special issue of Convergence showcases some of the projects that began during that initiative, and others that were independently conducted but intersect brilliantly with the questions and issues animating connected viewing as an area of inquiry. Indeed, media scholars have written a great deal about the myriad ways technology has transformed the media experience in the digital age, and the essays and ideas behind the work in this issue build upon their efforts. Such work on the varying dimensions of sociality, audience engagement, and community (Jenkins, et. al., 2013; Shirky, 2008; van Dijck, 2013); issues of surveillance, privacy, and the cultural power of data analytics in a connected media environment (Andrejevic, 2007, 2013; Nissenbaum, 2010; Schneier, 2015; Turow, 2013); formats, intermediaries, and infrastructural formations (Braun, 2014; Parks and Starosielski, 2015; Sterne, 2012); and the recalibration of business models and media economies (Mann, 2015; Lobato and Thomas, 2015; Vonderau, 2014) are just a small sampling of the research that has contributed to our understanding of the connected viewing landscape and its cultural implications.


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