Doing Crossmedia

In 2009 – 2010, Media Factory had two research tracks.

Track 2: Doing Cross-media. Technology, production and consumption

The Doing Cross Media research group takes as its guiding ethos the exploration, problematization and advancement of the ongoing evolution of media by focusing on the interdependent and co-constitutive relationships between producers and consumers especially from the cross-media perspective. Cross-media is understood as production and consumption of content products and services which integrate multiple media types, delivery channels and user interfaces.

In particular, this will involve studying how the design and management of digital assets can be informed through in-depth understandings of users’ media experience and consumers’ media practices, and vice versa, how emerging (and existing) media technologies might produce new forms of agency relating both to the producers and users of media.

This research proposal concentrates on how digital media innovations change the media landscape and its products as well as its production and consumption. It focuses on the design, management, analysis and development of media concepts. The term “media concepts” is understood here in a wide sense, including brands, organizational models, products, new formats, technological innovations, new audiences and their changing media habits.

New technological frames for interaction (mobile and ubiquitous technologies, social media, etc.) call for new theories of media interaction that should be intimately connected with multiple questions concerning the user/consumer/agent. The scope of our research includes technological, organizational, (socio-)psychological, (socio-)political, ethical, aesthetic, economic, ecological aspects of interaction, interaction design and agency in user/consumer/producer behavior.

We approach the field of media as an interactive system of meanings that is part of a larger and more complex network of global flows and activities. This involves defining

(a) the production of media technologies and content in an increasingly competitive environment in print and digital media

(b) the management of digital assets (text, visuality and usage data) for cross-media publishing

(c) the appropriating experiences and practices of the consumer as interdependent and mutually constitutive From a systemic perspective none of the above dimensions takes a determining role – rather, they are interdependent and co-constitutive, conditioning and constructing one another at both the everyday and global level.

We also develop ways to inject the knowledge gained in the research project back into the domains of media producers and ‘asset’ managers in developmental interventions. Our investigations are based on what has loosely been coined as a ‘practice-approach’ in organization studies and use-inspired basic research in studies of science and innovation. With the increasing demand for research that is relevant to society but also for business, this strategy entails shifting from a logic of building media practice merely from theory to one of building media theory also from practice. We develop accounts of practices and treat the field of practices as the place to study the nature and transformation of their subject matter.

Our approach is also trans-disciplinary. We will study cross-media production and consumption by combining theoretical knowledge and expertise from such diverse fields as management and marketing research, cultural studies, media studies, organizational research, audience studies and technological innovation. We engage in a dialogical and multi-perspective conversation between researchers, organizations and audiences through an ethical research design of ethnography, interviews and developmental interventions.

During 2010 the Doing Cross Media research is expected to occur as part of a new integrated project subject to funding through the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, TEKES via its Strategic Centre for Excellence (SHOK) funded activities.