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What Dr Horrible Can Teach TV About Participatory Culture

Yesterday at the Social Networks stream of the conference attached to GO3 at the Perth Convention Centre I gave a fairly rough version of a new paper called “What Dr Horrible Can Teach TV About Participatory Culture.”  As readers of this blog will be well aware, one of my ongoing interests is the way that traditional media forms, especially television, engage with participatory culture and their immediate fan networks.  In my past writing on the Tyranny of Digital Distance I’ve looked at the way shows like Battlestar Galactica have harnessed a global fan network only to have that network turn sour as national media distributors insist on broadcasting shows at different times (implicitly encouraging fans to participate in peer-to-peer downloading of TV).  While Joss Whedon’s Dr Horrible had a few similar teething issues, it looks like a very promising model for web-based media that can actually be a fan favourite and make a decent profit in the process.  My thinking on this very much in process (as, indeed, is the ongoing story of Dr Horrible’s success), but my first stab at drawing a few ideas together was in this paper.  I didn’t get a chance to record my talk, but I’ve uploaded the presentation onto Slideshare if you’re interested.  There’s a fair bit not on the slides, but they should give you at least an outline of the argument:

Any questions, feedback or criticism would be most welcome!

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Dr Leaver,
    Just wanted to drop a comment and say I really enjoyed the talk, and am watching Dr Horrible on Hulu as i type this 😛

    David Busher

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