From mass communication to mass conversation : why 1984 wasn't like 1984

Spurgeon, Christina L. (2009) From mass communication to mass conversation : why 1984 wasn't like 1984. Australian Journal of Communication, 36(2), pp. 143-158.

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Marketers and commercial media alike are confronted by shifts in the social relations of media production and consumption in the global services economy, including the challenge of capturing, managing and commercialising media-user productivity. This trajectory of change in media cultures and economies is described here as ‘mass conversation’. Two media texts and a new media object provide a starting point for charting the ascendance and social impact of mass conversation. Apple’s 1984 television commercial, which launched the Macintosh computer, inverted George Orwell’s dystopian vision of the social consequences of panoptic communications systems. It invoked a revolutionary rhetoric to anticipate the social consequences of a new type of interactivity since theorised as ‘intercreativity’. This television commercial is contrasted with another used in Nike’s 2006 launch of its Nike+ (Apple iPod) system. The Nike+ online brand community is also used to consider how a multiplatform brand channel is seeking to manage the changing norms and practices of consumption and end-user agency. This analysis shows that intercreativity modifies the operations of ‘Big Brother’ but serves the more mundane than revolutionary purpose of generating commercial value from the affective labour of end-users.

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ID Code: 26610
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: media, advertising, interactivity, intercreativity, 1984
ISSN: 0811-6202
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Past > Research Centres > Smart Services CRC
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Christina Spurgeon
Deposited On: 03 Aug 2009 04:19
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 00:54

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