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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on June 13, 2008.

As many regular C3 blog readers know, I spend quite a bit of my research time focusing on soap opera related projects. At the moment, I'm working with C3 Consulting Researchers C. Lee Harrington and Abigail Derecho on a collection looking at this pivotal moment in the history of one of U.S. television's oldest genres.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 28, 2008.

Who owns the media property? Is it the copyright holder? Or is it the audience, the group that makes that product popular? These are questions at the core in tension between media producers and media audiences and at stake in discussions about relationships between producers or consumers or what consumer "can do" with texts out of the ausipices or interests of the producers.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 28, 2008.

I wanted to start out a full round of post-Memorial Day blog entries today with highlights of a couple of things worth seeing from around the Web. For this post, a few interesting soap opera related posts:


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 21, 2008.

Lynn Liccardo suggested to Lee Harrington, Gail Derecho, and me that one of us should respond to the recent article in The New York Times by Gina Bellafante about the soap opera and specifically the popularity of the Luke and Noah couple on As the World Turns, because of the work we are doing on putting together a contemporary anthology of work on U.S. soap operas. Unfortunately, the article had to run right as I was moving into a new apartment, just the worst time to try to organize my thoughts, especially in a way that limited them to 150 words.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 21, 2008. 

I have written some in the past about the continued development of the Luke Snyder coming out storyline on As the World Turns, a story which has engaged new viewers to that portion of the soap opera audience and attracted some mainstream attention due to ongoing controversies about the way the show has handled the gay storyline and resistance from conservative groups. The story started with Luke's coming out, complete with an online transmedia extension in which fans could read Luke's blog.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 21, 2008.

One of my greatest frustrations from Console-ing Passions was that my workshop was scheduled directly against some of the panels most directly relevant to my interests. Now, this is not meant as an attack on the conference planners; I'm keenly aware that there's just no way to avoid this when you're launching a media studies and fandom conference, but it was hard knowing that, next door, there were four interesting research presentations occurring while I was boring audiences with all my blabbing.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 20, 2008.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on May 6, 2008.

In my final piece this afternoon regarding product placement, I wanted to provide some excerpts from my research on the subject of acceptable and unacceptable placement. This project started as my Master's thesis work (see original submitted version here--today is the one year anniversary of my thesis defens...ahem...consultation), and I have continued editing the manuscript, eyeing eventual publication. Let me know if you have any thoughts, queries, or disagreements.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on April 24, 2008.

Perhaps even more frustrated, then, are soap opera fans. Soap opera producers sell the 18-49 female demographic more broadly, and the 18-34 female demographic in particular, to advertisers. Further, since soap operas primarily only exist as a daily television show, there are few economic forces counterbalancing the pervading "logic" of the target demographic, thus leading "the powers that be" (or "the idiots in charge," as soap opera fans more often refer to them) to constantly try to develop stories, and feature characters most prominently, that they believe will play well to the target demo. Since soap opera ratings have been falling steadily for the past 15-20 years, soaps have responded by trying to even more expressly target the target demo. However, the problem with that logic is that it directly defies the transgenerational nature of the narrative itself.


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Sam Ford

This post originally appeared on the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium Weblog on April 24, 2008.

 In the case of pro wrestling, the WWE's popular television shows--Monday Night RawECW, and Friday Night Smackdown target a young adult male and teenage audience.


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