Entourage wikipedia

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Entourage was a tv show that aired on HBO between 2004 and 2011.  The show involves the main character, Vincent Chase, and his entourage doing various antics throughout hollywood.  The show was based on many real life personalities and events from hollywood, and the entourage wikipedia page details much about the show’s history and its critical reception.  Though the page was rated a C-class article, the article provides a very rounded summary with few biased views and opinions.

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The article shows the both the strengths and weaknesses of “Collective Intelligence”.  For instance much of the show’s history and development have been documented and cited well and offer a wide range of views, theories, and articles to back up these claims.

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On the other hand some aspects of the article are severely lacking in content and quality of that content.  The later seasons of the show are also well documented and explain the plot well; however, the first few season’s summaries are lacking in both length and quality of response.

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After looking at the revisions page for this article, it shows that the last revision occurred shortly after the show finished airing in 2011.

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This explains how certain aspects of the article, such as the status of the movie, are not up to date and lacking in content.  This shows another inherent problem with wikipedia and collective intelligence.  Collective intelligence is only up to date and accurate if there are users who are willing to contribute and update an article.  However as a whole, collective intelligence applications and websites such as wikipedia are far and away the most up to date and wide reaching encyclopedias on the planet.  In Jenkin’s article “What Wikipedia can Teach us About New Media Literacies”, he says, “The community has taken on responsibility to protect the integrity and accuracy of its contents; they have developed procedures which allow them to rapidly spot and respond to errors, and the information they provide may be more up-to-date than that found in printed encyclopedia which in school libraries might sit around for decades”.  Though some articles are not as accurate and detailed as others, the system and the users try to ensure that most articles express unbiased and accurate information. “Yet, the accuracy of an entry has to be judged “at any given moment.” Some entries, which receive heavy traffic, also receive more regular attention than others which might represent tide pools that lay stagnant for extended periods of time. Someone using the Wikipedia needs to assess the state of a current entry”. (Jenkins)  This is one of the most important aspects that a user must understand about collective intelligence sites such as Wikipedia.  If someone is truly relying on a collective intelligence source, it is crucial that the user follow up on the claims in the article.  By following up on the article’s sources and reading the wikipedia talk page on can accurately ascertain the validity of the wikipedia entry.  Collective Intelligence despite its flaws is the best way for humanity to express and record our history and our thoughts.

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About The New Media Literacies (Parts One and Two).” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. WordPress. 26-27 June 2007. Web. 8 March 2015.

“Entourage (TV series).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.

Breaking Bad and memes

It is nearly impossible to surf the internet nowadays and not see the ever pervasive moving pictures known as gifs.  Brief media consumption usually in the form of a gif has become an incredibly important facet of modern media browsing.  This media format allows for the summarization or juxtaposition of many types of media formats.  Often times this involves short video clips that involve a self evident action such as a humorous act, or as an expression of a certain action or feeling that does not relate to the original media.  This form of gif is known as a reaction gif and has seen a tremendous rise in popularity over the past few years.

Though the idea and creation of the gif is a relatively new phenomenon, the concept of a meme has been around for much longer.  According to Richard Dawkins, who wrote The Selfish Gene, a meme consists of the propagation of social material.  Some examples of memes as shown in The Selfish Gene include,“tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.” (123)  This shows how long before the internet was created memes still existed heavily apart from their digital counterparts.  However, with the advent of the internet the ability to create and share memes such as gifs grew exponentially.  The internet perfectly embodied Dawkins’ ideas for creating successful, pervasive memes.  He believed that a successful meme requires “copy-fidelity, fecundity, and longevity.” (194)  Comparatively the internet is built with data retention and data protection being of utmost concern.  In addition, there are numerous websites and offline tools that allow for the near instant creation of memes such as gifs.  This allows for a high amount of media richness as well as providing platforms such as social networks and websites for interpersonal, social involvement.  Further, Michael Mandiberg said in his article “The Social Media Reader, we will personalize the media rich environment to meet our needs and desires. (Mandiberg)

A popular tv show known as Breaking Bad has been used to create a large amount of gifs that both summarize events from the show and could easily be juxtaposed in various other texts.

For instance, this gif involves the character, Jesse Pinkman, saying the word what on a loop.  This gif has little relevance towards the original media text, but makes for an extremely useful reaction gif.  The lack of context allows for this gif to be used in multiple situations and help to convey feelings and emotions that could otherwise not be conveyed through text.

Another example of a meme from Breaking Bad involves a memorable seen where Walter White quits his job in a funny and dramatic fashion.  This gif is unlike the previous example in the sense that it has a very specific context that it can be used in.  For this reason this gif is more of a meme used to summarize a scene instead of a reaction.

I won.I created this final gif to show how gifs can serve multiple purposes.  For Breaking Bad fans, this gif depicts an important climax in the show.  For others who are unfamiliar, this gif could easily be repurposed as a reaction gif for many scenarios.  This shows how memes can be universally appealing and how sometimes memes can convey situations and emotions far better than text.

Mandiberg, Michael. The Social Media Reader. New York: New York UP, 2012. Archive.com. Web. 8 Feb. 2015.

Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. Web.

Better Call Saul Comics

Better Call Saul is a recent series by AMC that is an offshoot of the award winning series Breaking Bad.  In and of itself this series is a transmedia story originating from Breaking Bad; however, this blog post will detail how AMC has further bridged these two worlds using comics.

Though this particular series is brand new and only in its 3rd week of broadcasting, Better Call Saul is able to pull many aspects and draw from the already populated world of Breaking Bad.  This allows for the creators of the show to easily flesh out stories from Breaking Bad and add details and events only relevant in Better Call Saul.  The creators of this comic are engaging in world building, where they are able to craft events and scenes that add to the existing fantasy world of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.  In doing this the creators are able to incite creativity and pleasure amongst the show’s fanbase. According to Henry Jenkins, “We are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.” (Jenkins)  This shows how despite the fact that fans hold no stake in this world, they are still able to garner pleasure from it through fantizations.

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The first comic in the Better Call Saul “Client Development” series pulls heavily from the reader’s Breaking Bad knowledge; specifically the comic details a scene in which Badger, a Breaking Bad client, hands money to a man claiming to be Heisenberg.  Though it is known in Breaking Bad, the comic shows how Saul orchestrates the events and provides backstory to the scene from a different perspective. This exemplifies Janet Murray’s definition of a multiform story, “a written or dramatic narrative that presents a single situation or plotline in multiple versions.” (Murray 30) This is evidenced by the fact that these events occur at the same time as Breaking Bad, and that the comic is through the eyes of Saul Goodman as opposed to Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White. Another key aspect of transmedia storytelling that the creators of these texts make use of is negative capability.  Negative capability refers to, “the art of building strategic gaps into a narrative to evoke a delicious sense of “uncertainty, mystery, or doubt.”  (Murray 45)  There are many points in show where the scene leaves viewers wanting more and in doing so leaves many unanswered questions.  The scene in which the comic takes place is one of those instances which provides the perfect opportunity for a backstory or more information to appease the viewer.  Screenshot 2015-02-24 14.41.48

This online comic features many of the transmedia storytelling elements that Murray and Jenkins detail in their works.  As a result the comic is able to both add and build upon the world of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and help create a more enriching experience for the viewer.

Works Cited
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 24 Feb. 2015. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html&gt;.
Murray, Janet Horowitz. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free, 1997. Web.