Conference Presentation: Travel Influencers and Ethics of Authenticity

Social media personalities, bloggers, and other influencers have been questioned for their ethics because of fears associated with influencers marketing products without telling their audiences. Joe Sinkwitz has an accessible summary of the concerns around influencers’ lack of disclosure. My research group on influencers within the travel industry sought to explore how these workers understood their ethical obligations to their audiences. Our paper, titled “Ethics of Authenticity: Travel Influencers and the Production of Sponsored Content,” was recently accepted to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference. Mariah Wellman will be presenting the conference in Washington D.C. this August. Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Travel Influencers and Ethics of Authenticity”

Conference Presentation: Netflix and Independent Media Producers

I will be presenting my paper “’They can now be seen’: Netflix and the cost of transnational audiences for independent film producers” at the University of Wisconsin for the annual Big 10 Mini Conference. This paper explores Netflix’s (and partially Amazon’s) 2016 and 2017 presence at major independent film festivals. By acquiring films at these festivals, these streaming video portals provide independent producers a chance to reach global audiences while simultaneously profiting off of their work.

Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Netflix and Independent Media Producers”

Conference Presentation: Bridging the Gap

Brian Ekdale, Melissa Tully, Mariah Wellman, and I launched a research group during my first semester at the University of Iowa. We blended our interest in production, global media, travel, blogging, and social media to start an on-going project that explores how travel influencers and destination marketing organizations work together, which includes questions about the ethics of disclosure, the negotiation of labor and compensation practices, and much more. The first paper our research group produced, entitled “Bridging the Gap: Influencers, Destination Marketers, and Intermediaries in the Changing Travel and Tourism Media Industry,” was accepted into the 68th annual International Communication Association conference taking place in Prague, Czech Republic in May. Brian and Melissa will be presenting the paper, so the picture at the top of this post was basically meant as self-torture since I can’t attend the conference.

Here’s the abstract for the paper: Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Bridging the Gap”

Conference Presentation: Nostalgia, Transmedia Storytelling, and Kingdom Hearts

There are few stories I enjoy more in the world than the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The games have always been fun, the stories have grown increasingly complex, and I really appreciate how much Square Enix and Disney mess with fans by seemingly releasing each game on a new video game system (the games have now been released on PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and iOS/Android). When Square Enix and Disney released Kingdom Hearts 2.8 earlier this year, I was struck by the strangeness of releasing a feature length film on a PlayStation 4 disc. In my paper, “Selling Nostalgia: Selling Nostalgia: Transmedia Storytelling in Video Game-Inspired Films,” I theorize that this distribution model nostalgically connects the movie and video game to consumers both temporally and spatially (sensorially) through this release method. This distribution model both encourages consumption of the film and provides an alternate release format for Square Enix to fund their films, which have historically struggled financially. This paper was recently accepted to the game studies division of the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference in Indianapolis March 2018. Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Nostalgia, Transmedia Storytelling, and Kingdom Hearts”

Conference Presentation: Identity and Labels in Grandfamilies

Dr. Jessica Freeman and I were awarded top paper in the Aging and Communication division of the National Communication Association. We will be presenting our paper, “Grandma or Mommy: Familial Labeling as Constructs of Identity in Grandfamilies,” in November at the NCA National Convention in Dallas, TX.  Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Identity and Labels in Grandfamilies”

Conference Presentation: Transmedia Storytelling and Niche Markets

As part of my ongoing research on Netflix, I wrote a paper looking at the relationship between Netflix’s transmedia shows and marketing to niche audiences. My paper, “Appealing to Niche Markets: A Typology of Transmedia Storytelling for Digital Television” was accepted to the 2017 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Chicago August 9-12. After developing the paper a little more after the conference, I will be submitting the paper for publication. I’ll have a summary of the major points of the article posted to my site after publication. For now, here’s the abstract:

Traditional television networks have a limited amount of time available to broadcast content, so programming decisions are based on maximizing potential market reach instead of in appealing to small markets. Digital television’s broadcast time is solely limited by server space and regulation of broadband data transference, so their technological infrastructure affords more opportunities to appeal to smaller markets. These affordances can be seen through the types of programming digital television services produce. This paper proposes a typology of transmedia stories used by digital television services like Netflix and Hulu to appeal to niche markets to grow their business. Five types of transmedia stories were theorized to appeal to varying levels of niche markets: serialized continuations, augmented continuations, world building universes, cross-platform personalities, and adaptations. This typology provides a better understanding of the production practices of digital television networks, an area of research that has received little attention to date.

Edit: And here’s the poster.