Posts by Johanna Blakley

Surveillance Entertainment

In some ways we love being watched – or at least we love the results. Not only are Nielsen ratings essential to the entertainment and advertising industries, they also make for entertaining content. Who hasn’t perused within the last week at least one list of the highest grossing movies, the… More

Technologies of Taste

Ever wondered what kind of magical juju lurks within ‘recommendation engines?’ Anyone with a Tivo knows just how wrong it can be about your preferences, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen into an if-you-like-this-then-you’ll-like-that click-hole, pleasurably stumbling across stuff that you can’t believe you hadn’t… More

Remember, Nobody Gets Fired For Not Doing a Film Deal

  Oh, what a difference a year makes. Last year, I attended the Finance Conference at the American Film Market and I heard suit after suit sound off about the beauty of having money, money everywhere! With all that easy money washing about everyone’s ankles, no one, even in their… More

Does Your Tivo Think You’re a Republican?

Henry Jenkins, the pre-eminent scholar of fandom, hit the nail on the head in a recent blog entry about surveys on entertainment and politics. The Lear Center has conducted two of these surveys with Zogby International and, while we found that entertainment tastes break along ideological lines, we also found… More

iSummit Remixed

I’ve just returned from Sapporo, Japan, where iCommons held their fourth annual iSummit, an occasion for a rowdy bunch of movers and shakers from education, technology, government, business, and the arts to share ideas about promoting a free, creative online culture. I’d been invited to give a talk on a… More

Trade Dress Mess

  A new record was set this summer when a federal jury ordered Payless ShoeSource to pay $304.6 million to Adidas for trademark infringement. It was the largest award in a trademark-infringement case in U.S. history, and now Payless has decided to settle a similar case with K-Swiss. Wait? Payless… More

Revelations in Media

It’s quite acceptable to dismiss ‘The Media’ these days as a craven, bottom-line driven industry that caters to the lowest common denominator. It is easy to find appalling examples of a lack of interest in the public interest, but I think it’s important not to forget the good work that… More

Style / Substance / Sex / City

  There have been countless articles recently bemoaning the lack of female characters in the summer movie slate. Even A-listers like Gwyneth and Cameron are slumming it in movies barely tailored to their star-power. It’s enough to make a grown-girl moviegoer cry. That’s why just about every person of the… More

Why Fashion Thrives & Music Dies

Fashion and music are inseparable industries, joined at the hip and usually happy to be so. Designers make fabulous clothes for musicians (and concert T’s for their fans); fans emulate their idols, and their idols, in turn, try to capture fresh new trends from the street. It’s a thriving ecosystem… More

Happiness Engines

If games are so good at motivating people, then why not make real life more like a game? Games are, after all, happiness engines. They have rules you can understand, opportunities for collaboration and feedback, and best of all, it’s actually possible to win. For most humans, this is not… More