Thursday, October 16, 2008

Notes from Mimi Ito's talk: "Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Genres of Youth Participation in Networked Publics"

Presentation about Teens engaging in video games, digital media production
Found youth through parent networks, youth programs
Social and cultural factors driving innovation "translators"

Rise in teens use due to:
  • Growing availability of tools
  • Sharing with public visibility

Youth Networked Publics were geeky, but now they are more mainstream, "domesticated." These are placed within the context of regular interaction readily accessible persistent, specialized and broader context for publicity.

Genres of participation:
Tie together structures of participation and engagement with media/social groups
  • Friendship-driven participation - Hanging out within online spaces without restrictions on mobility and school with privacy. CJ Pascoe ("Living Digital") has done research on romantic relationships between teens through social networks. Notes that teens prefer to meet people in person first, not on Facebook. FB comes second. Teens use sns to overcome restrictions in their local social network. Media literacy comes through these everyday activites (web design, video production). Casual messing around can lead to "geeked out" participation
  • Interest-driven participation - Passion and interest drive these interactions. Exemplify the potential to change social worlds teens have access to. Expand beyond local social groups, niche knowledge, broader context for disseminating information. Most youth aren't participating, but Ito sees a possible expansion in the future.

Fansubbing anime is Mimi Ito's current research interest. Amateur fan networks will subtitle videos that aren't released in the US. Often these fans sub videos are the only access to particular shows. Speed focused groups will typically get a video out after 24 hours of release. Often extremely collaborative and specialized someone who records the show, typesetter, translators, quality checkers, editors, etc. Fans take high level of ownership with the products that fansub communities output. Often they'll critique fansubs and compare along very detailed standards. Improve craft, some peer pressure involved here - but focus in on creating and improving fansubs. They want to gain notoriety for their work, many downloads and views.
Anime Remix Videos. Ito shows us an AMV that shows a woman getting interested in AMV and her process. Kudos for showing a woman since fan remix videos are a very feminist approach and women have taken a huge role in producing these videos. Interestingly, the video shows a high level of self-deprecation that I think is common among video remixers. I like AMV's because they aren't concerned with the legitimacy that most remix videos are concerned with (i.e. Disney mashups that include the title screen, re-dubs where lips matching voiceovers matters). Transmedia videos like this one really push the boundaries of the reality of a story or show's universe - which what remix was all about initially. Video editing skills may not be encouraged locally, but through online communities, teens can become "greater gods" of editing.
There is a high level of self-deprecation among fansubbers and remixers - Is this a practice that is required to become legitimate among a community? There are specific levels of involvement with AMV communities and levels of engagement/induction. However, there are low barriers of entry.

Back to teens in public networks:
Learning in networked publics for youth happens through observing and practicing - outside of typical structures of school and limited access to peers. Experimenting with adult like autonomy. Stakes for participation are raised, consequences for publishing all this stuff, delayed gratification. Youth are engaged with the result is immediate. Adults will having to catch up to learning and innovating online.

Some youth have disabled the ability to have a top 8 to avoid social pressures.
Parodies are typically male genres, relationships are female dominated.

Hypersociality - more digital media tokens.

Report coming soon - November 2008 at

No comments: