Here is a link to the eye-opening Wired article about the writer who tried to disappear in today's ultra-connected America: Where is Evan Ratliff?
That piece inspired another set of runners, connected to the release of a new movie, called Repo Men:
"Last week, Wired, Universal Pictures, and Lone Shark Games launched an alternate reality game combined with a manhunt. It’s connected to the upcoming March 19 release of the movie Repo Men. In the futuristic movie, characters who have received replacement organs from “the Union” fall behind on payments have to go on the run from Repo Men. In the new game, four real people have gone on the run, and it is the job of the public to find them. Read More.
On American Idol as participatory culture:
Looking back at Jenkins' chapter on "Buying into American Idol," he doesn't make a specific connection between American Idol and participatory culture, but it does make sense to me, I think, as we talked about it in class. The voting certainly is participation, and by picking the people who advance, the voting certainly gets people involved in the "creation and circulation of new content." So in a broad sense, yes, it is. ... While rereading the AI chapter, I found this interesting paragraph, to further develop some of the discussions we had:
"Here's the paradox: to be desired by the networks is to have your tastes commodified. On the one hand, to be commodified expands a group's cultural visibility. Those groups that have no recognized economic value get ignored. That said, commodification is also a form of exploitation. Those groups that are commodified find themselves targeted more aggressively by marketers and often feel they have lost control over their own culture, since it is mass produced and mass marketed. One cannot help but have conflicted feelings because one doesn't want to go unrepresented, but one doesn't want to be exploited, either."