My research focuses media industries convergences, particularly legacy media institutions’ use of ‘new’ technology in content strategy. Sites of inquiry include film and television production and promotion; digital distribution; multiplatform content; streaming video and podcasts; social platforms; and professional wrestling. I am particularly interested in ephemeral media — not just media institutions’ manipulation of temporality but also failed, discarded, and projects/content.
I am writing a book tentatively called Social TV: Multiscreen Culture and Branded Content, which reveals how the US television industry promised—and failed to deliver—a social revolution in the 2010s. The book recounts the evolution of social TV across the industry from its emergence as buzz-phrase to its diffusion into standard industry practices. I report on a cross-section of the key players invested in legitimizing social TV, including Twitter, Facebook, ABC, HBO, Nielsen, Amazon, and a variety of start-ups hoping to cash in on the latest tech trend.
I’m also currently researching Netflix’s experiments in podcasting, news in the #content era, and the language of modern multi-level marketing companies online.
“From Cinematic to Podcast Universe: Wolverine: The Long Night and Marvel’s Multiplatform Repurposing.” In Parallel Universes: Remaking Superheroes in Film and Popular Media, edited by Lorna Piatti-Farnell. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. Accepted/forthcoming.
“‘Tout It Out’: WWE’s Experimentation and Failure with Social TV.” In #WWE: Professional Wrestling in the Digital Age, edited by Dru Jeffries. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Forthcoming in December 2019.
“The Surprise Drop: The Cloverfield Paradox, UnREAL Season Four, and Evolving Patterns in Streaming Video Distribution and Reception.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 16.2 (2019). Forthcoming November 2019.
Review of John Tinnell, Actionable Media: Digital Communication Beyond the Desktop. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies. Online first, July 1, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856519856623.
“WWE Network: The Disruption of Over-the-Top Distribution” (with Andrew Zolides). In From Networks to Netflix: A Guide to Changing Channels, edited by Derek Johnson, 385-394. New York: Routledge, 2018.
“From Social TV to TV on Social: Original Content Comes to Facebook and Twitter.” Transformative Works and Cultures 26 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2018.1291.
“‘Great Shows, Thanks to You’: From Participatory Culture to ‘Quality TV’ in Amazon’s Pilot Season.” Television & New Media 18.5 (2017): 441-458. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476416667817.
The Age of Netflix: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery, and Instant Access (co-editor with Myc Wiatrowski). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2017.
Arrow and Superhero Television: Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series (co-editor with James F. Iaccino and Myc Wiatrowski). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2017.
“It’s Not TV, It’s Twitter: HBO’s Branding Practices and Tweeting Quality and Distinction.” The Projector: The Journal on Film, Media, and Culture 15.2 (2015): 73-112. https://goo.gl/iLZpQt.
Review of Bad Boys & The 84 Draft, directed by Zak Levitt. 2014. The Journal of Sport History 42.2 (2015): 227-229. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/594220.
Review of Wired TV: Labor Over Television’s Interactive Future, edited by Denise Mann. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2014. The Journal of Popular Culture 48.2 (2015): 435-437. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpcu.1227.
Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters (co-editor with Chris Ryan and Myc Wiatrowski). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2014.
“‘Social’ TV: Pretty Little Liars, Casual Fandom, Celebrity Instagramming, and Media Life.” The Popular Culture Studies Journal 2.1/2 (2014): 215-242. http://mpcaaca.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/B10-Barker-Social-TV.pdf.
“‘Chlark’ Versus ‘Clois’”: Shippers, Anti-Fans, and Anti-Fan Fans.” In Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters, edited by Cory Barker, Chris Ryan, and Myc Wiatrowski, 174-192. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2014.
“Populist or Prestige? Amazon’s Attempts to Brand Pilot Season.” Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture. August 2014.
“Check-in vs. See It: How Twitter’s Latest Moves Impact GetGlue.” Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture. October 2013.
“More than Logos: AMC, FX, and Cable Branding.” Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture. April 2013.
Review of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, written by Rob Salkowitz. New York: McGraw Hill, 2012. The Journal of Popular Culture 46.3 (2013): 693-695. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpcu.12043_10.
“Working Out the Kinks: Perceived Pilot Quality in Contemporary Network Comedy.” In Media Res. September 2012.
“Quality Television-by-The-Numbers: Veena Sud and AMC’s Failed Products and Faulty Assumptions.” In Media Res. November 2011.
Review of Television and New Media: Must-Click TV by Jennifer Gillan. New York: Routledge, 2011. Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture 9.3 (2011): 232-233. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15405702.2011.587170.
“Stranger in a Strange Land: Quality Television’s Episodic Failures.” In Media Res. April 2011.
“Making the Scripted More Real? Pro Wrestling and Twitter.” In Media Res. August 2010.