Convergence (Convergence )

Publisher: University of Luton, SAGE Publications


Convergence is an international refereed academic journal which was set up in 1995 to address the creative, social, political and pedagogical issues raised by the advent of new media technologies. As an international research journal, it provides a forum both for monitoring and exploring developments and for publishing vital research. Published quarterly and adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, Convergence has developed this area into an entirely new research field. Topics include: Video games; Cable and telecomms; Mobile media/content; Internet studies; Digital/new media art; Digital photography; VR; Control and censorship of the media; Copyright/intellectual property; New media policy; New media industries/institutions; New media history; New media in cross-cultural/international contexts; New media products; Digital TV; DVD; Digital music - recording, production, distribution, file formats/file sharing; Cinema; Gender and technology.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies website
  • Other titles
    Convergence (London, England: Online), Journal of research into new media technologies
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

SAGE Publications

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • On author website, repository and PubMed Central
    • On author's personal web site
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used
    • "as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet
    • If funding agency rules apply, authors may use SAGE open to comply
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Consumers have access to an increasingly wide variety of devices and modalities to communicate with others. The concept of enriched presence information helps users to harness such complexity by showing which device and modality is currently being preferred by their contacts. Operators can offer enriched presence information by utilizing recently developed converged communication standards like Rich Communication Suite–Enhanced (RCS-E). The present article tests the usefulness of enriched presence features for two prototype applications built upon RCS standards. A quasi-experiment shows that users become more positive about the usefulness of enriched presence information after trying out the two applications. Whilst findings suggest operators should introduce services that offer enriched presence information, our troublesome and lengthy prototyping process indicates that operators will not get the services to the market in time to hold off Internet players offering similar functionality.
    Convergence 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This article argues that the computer automation of perspective and rendering in Google Earth has far-reaching consequences for the relationships between representations of the earth, its ecology and cultural responses to climate change. Theorists Erwin Panofsky (1991) and William Ivins (1975) to Lev Manovich (1993) and Don Ihde (2009) have argued that the emergence of Renaissance perspective structured a new relationship between the image and the object: contributing to the initiation of industrialisation and science. Whilst Manovich describes the impacts of Renaissance perspective in terms of its effect upon scientific and industrial structures, Jean Louis Comolli has argued that its advent was both a cause and a consequence of a shift to a humanist social regime. This article argues that Google Earth and its corollaries now complicate the visual and discursive constitution of the cultural and ecological environment. The contemporary computer-generated ‘visual nominalism’ of Google Earth results in a photomapped representation of the earth that can elevate environmental awareness through visualised data sets at the same time as it reduces the earth to a product design–engineered object. As Comolli’s Machines of the Visible becomes Machinima of the Visible, this article asks whether public and scientific calls for a turn towards geoengineering can be viewed through a product design–engineered interface that reconstitutes the social machine as an engineer of the earth object itself.
    Convergence 02/2014; 20(1):85-107.
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    ABSTRACT: Internet use among young people in multicultural societies is differentiated according to socioeconomic and cultural factors, one of which is their ethnic background. This study is concerned with the unreported case of Cyprus – the last divided country in Europe, with most Greek Cypriots living in the south and most Turkish Cypriots living in the northern part of the island. The study explores two main questions: First, are online experiences of young people in Cyprus shaped by socioeconomic factors, such as gender, education, and income? Second, is ethnicity a defining factor regarding the kinds of activities young people undertake online? Analysis of data obtained by a representative sample survey of about 350 young adult Cypriots aged 18–24 in both communities suggests the existence of a ‘reverse digital divide’, as the more disadvantaged community engages more often in expression, association, and learning online. This finding provides support for the diversification hypothesis that suggests a compensatory or remedial use of the Internet by disadvantaged youths.
    Convergence 01/2014; 20(3):316-336.
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    ABSTRACT: This conversation started in Prague, the Czech Republic, during a panel moderated by Irena Reifová at the symposium ‘On Empowered and Impassioned Audiences in the Age of Media Convergence’. The event was organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University. The text contains a series of discussions. First, there is a conversation about the nature of the participatory democratic utopia and participatory culture and how groups take (or do not take) advantage of the affordances of new and emerging media. It also emphasizes the political nature and potential of popular culture and touches upon its connection to institutionalized politics. Three other key areas are mentioned: the role of different cultures of leadership, the significance of organizations in structuring participatory processes, and the need to enhance civic learning, providing more support for participatory cultures. This is combined with an interlocking discussion about the definition of participation and how it is tied up with power. It covers the differences between participation and interaction, engagement, interpretation, production, curation, and circulation. Finally, there is an underlying strand of discussion about the role of academia, focusing on the relationship between critical theory and cultural studies, the need to deconstruct our own frameworks and the question of which language to use to communicate academic research to the public.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):265-286.
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    ABSTRACT: Sports video games rank among the most successful products of the game industry. Yet, very little is known about the players of sports video games resulting in a blind spot for media and video game research. Little is known about how sports video game players fit their games into a larger sports-related context, and about how their video game play informs their media usage and general sports fandom. The following empirical online investigation is an answer to this research gap, providing one of the first large-scale data sets detailing who the sports video game players are. Through an online survey of 1718 participants, general demographics of sports video game players, their habits and activities were investigated in the early 2011. While, until now our knowledge about players of sports video games has been based on anecdotal evidence or extrapolated from wider surveys of game players, this study demonstrates that there are interesting and important differences demanding further study.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):345-363.
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    ABSTRACT: On November 27, 2011, a flash mob took place in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) train station in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, as a group of mostly young people performed a dance set to a Bollywood song. Soon, videos of the event appeared online sparking lively debates and media coverage. Here, I engage the ‘CST flash mob’ and its use of Bollywood dance to grapple with the democratic potential that lies at the intersection of live performance, popular culture, and new media. Situating the flash mob within Bollywood dance scholarship, I explore the global proliferation and online circulation of Bollywood flash mobs as fandom in performance. I am particularly interested in the implicit political dimensions of these performances and how these play out in local and new media contexts.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):311-317.
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    ABSTRACT: The debates on new communication patterns between journalists and their audiences have been coupled with the concept of interactivity, which has become one of the pillar terms in discussions on the future evolution of journalism. By exploring general understanding of interactivity between news editors and organisational circumstances where interactivity as a set of new communication practices is articulated in journalism, this study shifts the attention from the user perspective to occupational ideology, news production culture and the organisation of news production. The aim of this study is to explore to what extent such realities can be identified to Slovenian online news culture that has gone through many changes in recent years. By adopting two ethnographic methods – news website analysis and in-depth interviews with print and online editors – the article offers a case study of the new websites of three prominent Slovenian print media organisations: Delo, Dnevnik and Žurnal. Productivity, efficiency and profitability have pushed traditional journalistic values in Slovenian online media to the margins. When it comes to interactive modes of audience engagement, editors and journalists control online news production. As a consequence, despite various interactive features provided on news websites, news production culture develops with the aim of retaining control over information delivery rather than of creating a new space of dialogue and interactive communication.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):365-381.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Following the discussion of silences and absences in user participation, this short paper aims to analyze the limits of participation in defining and evaluating quality of user-generated content. It focuses on user reviews of the fan-made Czech subtitles for the HBO series Game of Thrones on the fan subtitling website It works from the discovery that many users tend not to `review' the subtitles by evaluating them, choosing instead to praise their author or remain in `silent gratitude'. Based mainly on qualitative analysis of user reviews, the case study identifies two main reasons for this lack of participation, mainly the dependency of the non-contributing users on the translator (who is called a `saviour') and his authority and merits in the community. His dominance in the discussion is bolstered by the fact that his work was approved by the local fandom of the show's source material. Based on the case study, I argue that while gratitude drives participation in creating content, it may also thwart attempts at critiquing the content.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):303-310.
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    ABSTRACT: The article aims to provide a more historically grounded approach to the relationship between communication and participation, by distinguishing different waves of media democratization. The article first discusses the concept of participation and some of its complexities, and then sketches a series of intense moments of participation in and through the media in (mainly the second half) the 20th and the 21st century. At the same time, care is taken not to organize a linear-historical narrative, keeping in mind that the history of the democratization of Western societies and their media spheres is characterized by a series of continuities and discontinuities, dead ends and sedimented practices. Despite these ever-present fluctuations, the article argues that we can still see that structures, cultural resources and subjective dispositions have over time been geared more towards participation and equality, also within the media sphere.
    Convergence 08/2013; 19(3):287-294.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper traces the development of children’s multiplatform commissioning at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in the context of the digitalisation of Australian television. Whilst recent scholarship has focussed on ‘post-broadcast’ or ‘second-shift’ industrial practices, designed to engage view(s)ers with proprietary media brands, less attention has been focussed on children’s and young adults’ television in a public service context. Further, although multiplatform projects in the United States and Britain have been the subject of considerable analysis, less work has attempted to contextualise cultural production in smaller media markets. The paper explores two recent multiplatform projects through textual analysis, empirical research (consisting of interviews with key industry personnel) and an investigation of recent policy documents. The authors argue that the ABC’s mixed diet of children’s programming, featuring an educative or social developmental agenda, is complemented by its appeals to audience ‘participation’, with the Corporation maintaining public service values alongside the need to expand audience reach and the legitimacy of its brand. It finds that the ABC’s historical platform infrastructure, across radio, television and online, have allowed it to move beyond a market failure model to exploit multiplatform synergies competitively in the distribution of Australian children’s content to audiences on-demand.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):201-221.
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    ABSTRACT: Although digital radio broadcasting has undergone significant development over the last quarter-century, no single protocol is poised to break out as a bona fide replacement for traditional analogue radio services. This article illuminates the history and status of radio’s digital transition in an effort to understand its stagnancy. The current state of affairs is due to a variety of factors, including a lack of regulatory engagement with the transition, political and economic shifts in the balance of power between the various broadcaster constituencies involved, and the recalcitrance of receiver manufacturers and listeners to adopt any digital radio broadcast technology. The questions raised by the technologically agnostic nature of radio’s digital malaise beg for deeper scrutiny by media scholars, especially those involved in broadcast research as well as technology and policy studies.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):177-199.
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    ABSTRACT: While the 20th-century media practice was marked by the focus of visual and audio screen cultures, the 21st-century media can be characterized by three key features: locative, mobile and social. With the transformation of mobile media from a communication tool into a multimodal device accompanied by global positioning systems (GPS), the significance of location-based services (LBS) has taken centre stage. Google maps, Facebook places and Foursquare are but a few of the locative media, a phenomenon creating new forms of co-presence that disrupt old binaries between online and off-line. In this transformation, a paradoxical relationship between identity, personalization and place occurs. On one hand, we see new ways for engaging with people, place and co-presence. On the other hand, we see the potential for corporations to create new levels of surveillance – a type of ‘überveillence’ – that put into question individual’s sense of privacy and identity. If ‘social networking sites don’t publicize community, they privatize it’ as Andrejevic notes, then second-generation locative media further challenge these distinctions. In this paradoxical struggle, we see that locative media highlight the pivotal role place has played in the evolution of mobile media practices. In each location, various factors such as sociocultural and technonational inform the types of media practices. One location experiencing a covert paradoxical struggle with locative media is South Korea. As one of the centres for technological innovation and tech-savvy youth, Seoul provides a fascinating case study for the tensions around localized notions of identity, privacy and sociality as it plays out through locative media.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):237-249.
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    ABSTRACT: Media sociologists and cultural globalization theorists have tended to overlook the contribution of translators to the circulation of media content in the era of digital culture. After critiquing the reasons for the invisibility of translation in the literature on global cultural transactions, this article moves on to examine the emergence of new amateur subtitling collectivities in today’s informational society, exploring the role that non-professional translators – specifically, networks of activist subtitlers – play within the participatory media industries. Using examples from a case study of Ansarclub, a Spanish group of engaged amateur translators, this article gauges the extent to which their participation, remediation and bricolage practices – the main components of digital culture (Deuze [2006] Participation, remediation, bricolage: considering principal components of a digital culture. The Information Society 22: 63–75) – fit in or divert from the cocreational dynamics underpinning other domains of the media marketplace. It is argued that the interventionist and ‘monitorial’ quality of activist subtitling lies at the heart of an emerging paradigm of civic engagement, with fluid transnational communities of interest acting as the building blocks of participatory translation.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):157-175.
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    ABSTRACT: The article explores the concept of new media idiocy – both a new kind of idiocy and an idiocy performed in new media networks. The paper argues that instead of being neglected, idiocy needs to be appreciated if we are to enquire into the current forms of techno-human subjectification. Idiocy, following Deleuze, is interpreted as distinct from stupidity (a base mode of thinking); it is a mode of living that explores the true through the false. In new media, idiocy acquires a performative character; it is crafted, practiced and re-enacted collectively. Many forms of aesthetic expression, and especially those produced and circulated through social networks, such as memes and viral videos, have such performance of idiocy at their core. Moreover, it is through such expressive creation and performance of the idiot that the new forms of subjectification take place. Network culture’s allowance for participatory creativity enables new media idiocy to establish new forms of visibility and availability in relation to digital networks. The process of becoming an individual or the formulation of political discontent are dynamically expressed and documented online as they happen. Such order of visibility problematizes the processes of subjectification and the emergence of the cultural as well as the political on the Internet. The article uses YouTube videos and subcultures of webpage production as its case studies.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):223-235.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: From a perspective of critical heritage studies and conservation, this article exemplifies how the vocabulary of limitations (Westin, 2012) can be put to work on a translation-in-process; the shift from analogue to digital books. This vocabulary is a continuation of the sociology of translation (Callon, 1986), where limitations of a given format are identified as actants enrolled by stakeholders in the translation process, and, as such, anchor the format to society. Approaching the format as an actant which disciplines socio-cultural expressions through its limitations, this study tries to shed light on how cultural values are either acquired, reinforced or negotiated away in the translation process, when content is brought from one format into another.
    Convergence 05/2013; 19(2):129-140.

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