Users Across Media
Conference at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6th-8th, 2015
Recent years have seen a great diversification in mediated communication as highlighted not least by the vast spread of the Internet and mobile media. With new media come new use practices, which, in turn, have consequences for individual media users as well as for established media producers and societal institutions.
One concept that has been offered as a way of approaching the changes to practices of communication in the contemporary mediascape has been that of cross-media communication.
While the concept of cross-media communication has mainly been associated with the production of media content to multiple platforms, it is clear that media users also cross media; they combine, juggle and move almost seamlessly between various media platforms and services to pursue information and entertainment and to communicate about and act on tasks and demands in their everyday lives. This insight has important consequences both methodologically and theoretically.
In terms of methodology, analyses focusing on technological platforms, mediated content or contexts of production and use as isolated phenomena fall short in a cross-media perspective, as each analysis paints only part of the larger picture. Consequently, methods are needed that may help researchers study in a more holistic manner the interactions among platforms, content, users and producers.
In terms of theory, a cross-media approach to the study of the contemporary mediascape implies an increased sensitivity to the interconnectedness and interactions of communication practices, platforms, users and institutions. A cross-media perspective thus may affect and challenge our understandings of key concept such as media, communication, participation, users and institutions. Furthermore, it raises questions about the consequences of cross-media communication for users, producers and institutions.
We encourage both scholars and practitioners to contribute to the further development of the study of cross-media communication in a user perspective. Contributions might include, but are not limited to:
- Methods and tools to study users across media, platforms and/or contexts
- Theoretical frameworks to understand the complex use practices in the contemporary mediascape
- Critical perspectives on the concept of ‘user’ in cross-media communication, for instance in relation to concepts of ‘consumer’, ‘audience’, ‘prosumer’, and ‘producer’.
- Empirical studies of cross-media usage
- Empirical studies of how media producers and institutions envision, target and interact with users in their cross-media communication
Accepted papers may be invited to be re-written into articles appearing in a special issue of Convergence on users across media.
The conference is organized by the research project Meaning Across Media located at the Department for Media, Cognition and Communication.