Saturday, December 16, 2006

Henry Jenkins and the bloggers

He has gotten himself an official blog, so he doesn't need to ask Elin for help to talk to bloggers any more. But Henry Jenkins today uses the authorial power of an established and well-respected scholar to frame history correctly.

The article is no longer at the end of the link, but if you want to read it - well, you got to buy the book: Fans, Bloggers and Gamers. Here Jenkins repeats the story about the editor making an unfortunate analogy calling the bloggers "cockroaches", and how he had the editor do something to his article which has since been dubbed "Doing a Dave" - changing the content after it has been blogged, hence making a lot of very angry and outspoken bloggers look stupid.

In the introduction Henry Jenkins claims that the bloggers never got past the "cockroach" phrase to understand what he was saying. However, this is from his article: "Once this column appears, my authorial control ends and theirs begin." First - if it really was the editor who wrote that unfortunate intro (and editors can be blamed for any number of things , several which are true), Jenkins' control ended long before the column was online. Second - the bloggers understood that perfectly. No need to tell them - it's why they reacted. Third - by changing the column it was clear that Jenkins' authorial control DID NOT end once the article was online. "Doing a Dave" took authorial control away from the bloggers and placed it firmly in the hands of the man with the advantage.

And while we're talking about framing... Henry Jenkins may have asked the blogging community to "blog this", but that's not why they responded. The "pretentious ass" he claims he may be called by bloggers is not deserved for his more well-considered scholarly writing, but for sentences like this: '"Blog this" I said, and not unexpectedly, the blogging community followed the instructions.' What redeems his framing of the incident is the next sentence: 'I simply wasn't prepared for the consequences.'

Water under the bridge 5 years ago, old stuff, yada yada, but I am still happy there is a reprint of Jenkins' "Blog this" article now that the links are no longer correct. Sadly Jill and I can't change the reference in our article, as it's in print and not online, but it should be Jenkins, Henry (2006): "Blog This!", in Fans, Bloggers and gamers, Ecploring Participatory Culture, New York University Press, New York, p. 178-181.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

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(Don't worry, this is not to raise my own numbers.)