For those of you who might be reading from outside the DIGC330 crew, Peripheral media is just as it sounds: media, or media content that is related to or situated on the edge or periphery of the main focus. In terms of media and media culture, the pertains to media sources and content that is a little left of centre stage.
Russo and Watkins (2005) argue that shifts in entertainment and cultural tourism continue to impact upon cultural sectors. Global access to mass broadcast media; cyberspace, mobile technologies, the web, increasingly play significant roles in the consumption of cultural media. While these technologically based media continue to proliferate’ experiences which resemble museums present challenges to the ways in which audiences conceptualize their experiences. So, if broadcast media and internet giants are considered mainstream then a site like Tumblr, could be considered peripheral media. It’s a technology based media sources that allows thousands of bloggers to come together on the platform to discuss, write, create, share and curate bits of media and culture, sort of like an interactive museum. In this way, Tumblr uses “immersion in technology in an abstracted way by using mediated realities as a mechanism for drawing audiences into their knowledge base” (Russo & Watkins, 2005.
Tumblr for me represents a curation and appropriation of elements of popular culture, ranging from GIFS of Kim Kardashian crying to reimagining Game of Thrones characters as Disney movie characters. Bloggers are able to take ideas/images/themes/music/twitter posts most any part of mainstream media culture, and make them their own in one way or another, whether this be in the form of a crude meme made with MS Paint or a detailed artwork drawn by hand and digitally enhanced. As you can probably imagine, Pokémon fan fiction is huge on Tumblr for this reason. Bloggers are able to share and create a certain type of Pokémon fan culture that I have not found anywhere else. While Pokemon itself can be considered a mainstream cultural phenomenon, the fan fiction and art generated on Tumblr can be considered peripheral, as much of this curation and creation happens on the edge of mainstream Pokemon media.
Peripheral media sources give different voices to stories that may not be told in mainstream arenas. Tumblr as a peripheral media source allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of global issues and cultural elements as well more immersive experience in topics like Pokemon.
Russo, A., & Watkins, J. (2005). Digital Cultural Communication: Enabling new media and co-creation in Asia. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT[Online], 1(4). Available: http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewarticle.php?id=107.