MediaCommons is a digital scholarly publishing network focused on the field of media studies, which I’ve developed in conjunction with my co-coordinating editor, Avi Santo (Old Dominion University) and the Institute for the Future of the Book (New York University).
The development of MediaCommons has moved far more slowly than we’d like, given our complete lack of staff and budget, but we’ve produced one extremely successful ongoing feature, In Media Res, in which each weekday a scholar curates a media clip alongside some kind of commentary designed to foster discussion of media texts and forms that moves at a speed much closer to that of the media itself. We have also begun, via In Syndication, to aggregate the best media studies blogs from around the internet, hoping to develop MediaCommons into a portal through which members can access a wide range of scholarly writing in the field, in a wide range of registers.
This fall, we’ve launched a new major project, MediaCommons Press, through which we hope to begin publishing longer texts for open comment and review. In order to practice what I preach, both as director of MediaCommons Press and in Planned Obsolescence, I’ve used my own work as a sort of test bed for the project, but I’m in the process of developing a number of new projects that will be released in the coming months.
In the next few days, we should be releasing the new MediaCommons member profile system as well; I’ll update this post once it’s gone live. For the moment, however, one might imagine this system as a sort of Facebook for scholars, allowing the members of MediaCommons to connect and collaborate with one another. But the system also allows members to build extensive digital portfolios, gathering the work that they do within MediaCommons and across the internet into a coherent form that will allow other scholars to find and engage with that work.