A few years back, Will Richardson punched up a screen shot of Fan Fiction as an illustration of how passionate people are creating and sharing stories based on the works of published writers. He was saying that everyone (with a computer or mobile phone) has immediate, low cost and simple access to create content in ways that a decade earlier didn’t exist.
I’d like to show you a site that I think illustrates where we are at today – though the work of three awesome young people.
It’s called Mockingjay a fansite based around Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I experienced the anticipation from hundreds of fans, waiting in the line for the final installment – Tweeting and updating their Facebook status’ “Got It!” – as it book went on sale.
It is a site that should be pushed in front of every ‘yeah but’ HSC English teacher in my view.
The community is run by Kimmy (17) @kimmymary, JD (19) @jdhopper and Becka (19) @beckag. It’s been around for a while, and I seriously doubt it was ever a prescribed class text or a class assignment.
“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”
It expertly demonstrates how young people can create a critical community, converging several streams of media around a shared passion (Mockingjay has a Facebook audience of over 8000). Their podcasts are expertly produced, the site design, beautifully executed. They even consider accessibility (something edu-podcasters often don’t) with each podcast being transcribed. There is always something new to read, something to do, and their passion promotes new creativity and ideas in the gambet of media that Will was talking about just a few years ago.
Mockingjay demonstrates how the multi-tasking generation understands social media convergence. I would love to see what they would do with a virtual world — maybe I’ll ask them.