Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

WKU graduate co-authors book on 'Spreadable Media'

The days of turning on the evening news or opening the morning paper to catch up on local, national or world events are long gone. Now when news breaks, we turn to online media or social networks to “like,” “share” or “tweet” the latest news.

The fundamental changes in the contemporary media environment are examined in a new book, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture.

Sam Ford, a 2005 WKU graduate, is one of three co-authors of the book about the role everyone plays today in circulating media content and what that means for audiences, media producers and marketers.

“A lot of people don’t see themselves as providers of media, but they do circulate content,” said Ford, an Ohio County native who lives in Bowling Green and is Director of Digital Strategy with Peppercomm. “The distribution of media content is not owned by companies now but by everyday people.”

Spreadable Media, published by NYU Press, will be released on Feb. 15 but is available online at amazon.com.

Ford said he and co-authors Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green weren’t trying to create a new buzzword with “spreadable” media, but “we wanted to take this beyond the metaphors we’ve been using like ‘going viral’.”

Sharing media content through social media and email has become so commonplace for most people that “we don’t think it’s special,” he said.

“Content that we find interesting doesn’t infect us like a virus, and leave us sharing it with others without our knowledge,” he said. “Instead, the content spreads through the audience’s conscious decision to share it.”

For news media and marketing/public relations professionals, this shift in content sharing means that “the audience has a much more direct say in how things are distributed,” Ford said.

The challenges aren’t limited to media or the professionals, he added. “What is our responsibility as a circulator?” Ford asked.

The audience (or those of us who share content) must consider questions like: Is the source credible? What is our relationship to the content or to the person who shared it? What gives the content meaning? What if I find out the content I shared is incorrect?

“We all have a stake in this,” Ford said.

Ford, an alumnus of the Honors College at WKU, graduated from WKU with four bachelor’s degrees — news/editorial journalism, communication studies, mass communication and English (writing). He received his master’s degree in 2007 from MIT. He is an affiliate with both the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the Popular Culture Studies Program at WKU.

He plans to use the book this semester in his Intro to Pop Culture Studies course at WKU. The 352-page book also is accompanied by 35 online essays, including one by WKU faculty member Ted Hovet.

Ford and his co-authors have been working on the project since late 2007. He worked with both Jenkins and Green as part of the Convergence Culture Consortium project at MIT. Jenkins is Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education at the University of Southern California. Green is Senior Strategist at digital consultancy Undercurrent.

As part of the book’s launch, Ford and his co-authors will present a featured session March 8 during the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

Ford is co-editor of the 2011 book The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era with Abigail De Kosnik and C. Lee Harrington. He was named Social Media Innovator of the Year in the 2011 Bulldog Stars of PR Awards for Outstanding Achievement by Communications Agencies and Professionals.

Read more about the book.

Contact: Sam Ford, samford@mit.edu

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
CEBS
CHHS News
GFCB
Ogden News
PCAL
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
Transportation
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Police
Emergency Preparedness
Facilities
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
DELO News
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Employee Wellness
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WellU
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
WKU President Timothy C. Caboni takes oath of office

With his wife Kacy holding a Bible belonging to Western Kentucky University’s first president, Dr. Henry Hardin Cherry, Timothy C. Caboni today took the oath of office as WKU’s 10th president during the Board of Regents’ quarterly meeting.

Summer Project Updates

July 31st – August 5th

WKU Students Study Climate Change in Iceland

Drs. Leslie North and Jason Polk of the Department of Geography & Geology and Ms. Heather Thomas from WKU Housing and Residence Life recently led a group of 15 students on a Faculty-Led Study abroad course to Iceland

Featured Articles
WKU PBS Pool Party, with Curious George, set for Aug. 6

Get ready for the end of summer WKU PBS Pool Party being held at the Russell Sims Aquatic Park on Sunday, Aug. 6, from noon to 5 p.m.

11 new members elected to WKU Alumni Association board

The WKU Alumni Association recently elected 11 new board members for 2017-2018.

'There's No Place Like Home' theme for WKU Homecoming 2017

WKU alumni and friends will celebrate "There’s No Place Like Home" for Homecoming 2017.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 5/2/17