Creating Spreadable Media

This week for my digital artefact, I decided to do some academic research behind content creation, and what makes content viral and reach large audiences. Chris had suggest a great book called Spreadable Media which was published by Henry Jenkins, which talks about viral media, and what it takes, and what it contains.

Henry Jenkins in ‘Spreadable Media‘, talks about every concept imaginable that is relatable to Chattr. One that he talks about is engagement and exploitation of fans and user labour, which is two completely different ways to think about your audience. On one hand, you can engage with your audience in a positive way, by creating content that they want to see. Or you can exploit your fans through forced advertising and thinking mainly about the money, rather than the audience.

The biggest example that springs to mind is Facebook, and the different methods and approaches to growth that Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin had. Mark thought that Facebook needed to be about ‘the experience’, and so wanted to make a nice clean website, without many advertisers, and wanted to create something that gained an audience first, then start thinking about the money. While Eduardo wanted to put advertising on the website straight away, and was thinking about the money straight away, and not the aesthetics of the websites.

While Facebook obviously is a huge success, and started at university, we’re all not as committed to the level of dropping out of uni to work on Chattr full time, simply because we still don’t know how successful it will be. So while I would like to take the approach of Mark, and think purely for the audience growth and aesthetics, we really can’t afford that luxury.

“The Social Network”

There’s so much more that he talks about, including the shift to on-demand media rather than scheduled media on television, and meaningful participation. All of which are concepts that we’ve thought about at Chattr, or are things we’ll have to consider sometime in the near future.


Jenkins & Ford & Green, HJ SF SG, 2013, ‘Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture’, Spreadable Media <>


2 thoughts on “Creating Spreadable Media

  1. Creating spreadable media, or media that people want to share is extremely important in order to create virality. This virality is seemingly what sites such as Facebook and Buzzfeed thrive on due to the attention economy which the internet has created. I feel even this large sites are still engaging with their fans rather than exploiting them, so this is clearly fundamental to success. It’s great to see the research you have put behind Chattr so hopefully it comes to fruition!

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