How can we better understand how content circulates within contemporary networked culture? The collective decisions people make about whether to pass along content are profoundly reshaping the media landscape. Many content creators struggle with the growing prominence of grassroots audience practices, while an array of online communication tools have arisen to facilitate informal, instantaneous sharing. This environment offers new opportunities for people to pass along content and new models to generate revenue from user activities. While the means for people to circulate material have proliferated, recommending and sharing are impulses that have long driven how people interact around media texts. We'll focus on the social logics and cultural practices that have enabled and popularized these new platforms, explaining why (not just how) sharing has become common practice.
Sam Ford is Director of Digital Strategy with Peppercom, an affiliate with both MIT Comparative Media Studies and Western Kentucky University, a Fast Company contributor, and co-author of Spreadable Media (2013, NYU Press). He also serves on WOMMA's Membership Ethics Advisory Panel. He was named 2011 Social Media Innovator of the Year by Bulldog Reporter and 2011 WKU Communication Department Alumnus of the Year. Sam organizes the Futures of Entertainment conference each year and is a Kentucky Press Association award-winning journalist. He was also co-editor of the 2011 book The Survival of Soap Opera. He has written for BusinessWeek, The Huffington Post, Portfolio, Chief Marketer, The Public Relations Strategist, PR News, Bulldog Reporter, The Christian Science Monitor, CommPRO.biz, and BIZ Builder, among other publications, and has been quoted on Investor’s Business Daily, The Financial Times, Fortune, CNN, NPR, BBC Worldwide, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Télérama, Mashable, Hollywood Reporter, and ESPN: The Magazine. Sam is based in Bowling Green, KY.