Henry Jenkins tries to help us to understand media change and convergence.
To me his major point is that the technological side and the social side of media convergence cannot work without each other. Obviously, there’s more than just entertainment content flowing across media platforms. “Our lives, relationships, memories, fantasies, desires also flow across media channels” (as stated by Jenkins, p17). So, without devices to interact socially through media platforms, and without the platforms alike, we as consumers would be lost. However if there was no social interactions across these platforms, media would not progress and media convergence would not be where it is today… or tomorrow… or the next day… because it is evolving at such a crazy speed.
In other words: Media convergence is not just a technological process bringing media functions together within the same devices. Convergence does not occur through media appliances, however advanced they are. Convergence occurs within the brains of the consumers and their social interactions. It is a cultural shift as consumers seek out new information and make connections among many media platforms and content.
Jenkins also introduces us to Pierre Lévy, a French cybertheorist. Lévy discusses collective intelligence and how it is essential to media convergence. When I think of collective intelligence I like to think of a trivia night. You’re split up into teams, then asked a bunch of general knowledge questions that you have to try and answer. The magic with this is that for each question there is usually at least one person who knows the answer, or one person will hold one part of the answer and one person the other. Many minds come together to discuss a topic. When it comes to collective intelligence and media convergence, the discussion topic is the media. Another way that a trivia night is related to the media? Well now there’s the fact that you can actually use your iPhone/Android to cheat! Yes your phone! It’s one of the most obvious examples of media convergence. Google is right there in your hands, along with many more platforms.
Together I think Jenkins and Lévy enforce the point that if you didn’t have the consumers interacting socially over platforms, you wouldn’t have media convergence.