The recent production of the latest American-animated web-series RWBY (pronounced “Ruby”), had become one of the more popular online franchises among many viewers today. The series took it’s jump-start in 2013 by director, animator, and producer, Monty Oum, who created the anime-like show within the Roosterteeth studio in correspondence to their other well-acclaimed Halo spin-off web-series, Red vs. Blue. With the show hitting over a million views on Youtube, the early promotion of the trailers and soundtrack leading to the first episode was widely accepted among audiences and had went viral shortly after the release of it’s second volume.
The use of Wikipedia as an online encyclopedia to gather basic information regarding a subject has been a well-connected source in describing the general content of the production of the web series as well as an overall outline of the story so far. The page itself has been maintained in a fairly balanced way among a select group of users and continuously updated as episodes are released. Jenkin’s states in part one of his lecture, What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies, of the skills regarding the function of Wikipedia, “Collective Intelligence: the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal. Judgment: the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information source. Networking: the ability to search for, synthesize and disseminate information. Negotiation: the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative sets of norms” (Jenkins, Part One). Wikipedia in itself expresses these fundamental aspects in order to relay information in an accurate but non-bias way.
Due to RWBY being an original series and not seeding off of a mother franchise like Red vs. Blue, information about it is constantly updated and left temporary as more episodes are released. An example of this is the soundtrack to volume 2 being unavailable for sale throughout the season in which caused part of the page to be left blank due to the lack of factual evidence from an item where it’s availability was yet to be announced.
Since the series is still in it’s early stages of growth in terms of being a fleshed out franchise, fans are the main support in making it recognized throughout the web. In terms of popularity, all types of people are able to edit the page in regards to providing information that may contribute to bettering the knowledge of the subject. Just as Jenkins states, “Wikipedia invites youth to imagine what it might mean to consider themselves as experts on some small corner of the universe. As they collect and communicate what they know, they are forced to think of themselves writing to a public. This is no longer about finding the right answer to get a grade on an assignment but producing credible information that others can count upon when they deploy it in some other real world context,” (Jenkins, Part Two). However, open-editing also gives access to those that may not know or care about the series who could possibly provide false information. Such as the example above in terms of vandalizing the page out of personal opinion, not fact.
In relation to RWBY, the recent death of creator Monty Oum, had left many people, both aware and unaware, of his works checking the page in concern of news regarding the continuation of the series as well as of his death in February of this year in which the page had reached it’s peak. Since the web-series had only gone through the production of it’s second season, viewers were questioning the studio as to what would become of the unfinished work Oum had proudly started.
Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part One).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., (2007, June 26). Web. March 8, 2015.
Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part Two).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., (2007, June 27). Web. March 8, 2015.