Worldbuilding Past the Screen and Pages

Harry Potter is without a doubt one of the biggest fanbases in America today, which has inspired dozens of transmedia extensions for the books and movies including video games, toys, an amusement park, and an online wiki named, “Potterpedia”. This wiki contains all of the possible information about the Harry Potter universe including detailed descriptions of every major and minor character, the places listed, the spells, the wands, the creatures, the potions, and virtually everything about the universe that either the book, movie, or both do not address.

                Potterpedia aids in the Worldbuilding Capacity of the Harry Potter universe. In the wiki, all of the content is categorized specifically based on information about the Hogwarts students and faculty, their age, their habits, which books they appear in, and so on. The wiki also discusses things mentioned in other written sources based off of the Harry Potter universe, such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard, increasing one’s desire to learn more. It has clearly been said by Henry Jenkins, “we are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.” The span of up to seven book with additions of other books that expand the already existing universe is a brilliant tactic planned by the original author to stir up excitement from fans.

                People always like a page turner, or something that will keep them constantly excited about something over an extended period of time. So it should come to no surprise that J.K. Rowling’s book series along with Warner Bros.’ film adaptations maintained Cultural Attraction and Activation on a nation-wide scale. This is accomplished primarily through the story of a boy learning about the wizard world and facing against the evil wizard that killed his parents, only to discover many terrible truths about himself in the process. Since the readers/viewers also learn about these secrets along with the main character, it adds to the storytelling suspense and makes them want to turn to Potterpedia to try and guess what will happen in the next story.

                People always refer to Potterpedia for answers because they’re led to look there after reading up on Migratory Cues that were dispersed through the stories. Whether if they find out that Tom Riddle is Lord Voldemort, or that Sirius Black is Harry’s godfather, or that Harry Potter is a horcrux, they always refer to the other books, video games, interviews with J.K. Rowling, or Potterpedia in order to figure out what will happen next. Janet H. Murray sums this up by saying that, “contemporary stories, in high and low culture, keep reminding us of the storyteller and inviting us to second-guess the choices he or she has made.” In other words, the wiki adds to the page-turning obsession that makes readers even more anxious about each book and movie that comes out.

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part II

Works Cited:

  • Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Genesis Framework, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.
  • Murray, Janet H. “Chapter 2: Harbingers of the Holodeck.” Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: Free, A Division of Simon and Schuster, 1997. 27-64. Print.

Image Sources:

  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Digital image. Savvy Auntie. Savvy Auntie, n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
  • Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part II. Digital image. HD Wallpapers. HD Wallpapers, 14 June 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

New York Knicks

New York has always been known as the mecca of basketball in the world and there is no place that resembles it more than Madison Square Garden home of the New York Knicks. The Wikipedia article for the New York Knicks was first created in the year 2002 and has been edited over 4,300 times in the past twelve years in relation to the time between edits being less than .97 times a day means it can be considered a pretty popular Wikipedia page. However, that is not a surprise because, the Knicks are a large market professional sports franchise(Knicks) and as a pro franchise they natural get all their information from a primary source in this case the National Basketball Association. Many of the rosters, season outcomes, and day to day updates can be lead back to the NBA or the team itself as a credible source to be cited on the Wikipedia page making almost all of the information located on the page itself sufficient in correlation to Henry Jenkins theory of Collective Intel.

In Henry Jenkins article “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us about New Media Studies”, he defines the notion of collective intelligence as the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal”(Jenkins), which in turn is exactly what Wikipedia is. Wikipedia allows users to gather various information on a wide range of topics and share it with the rest of the world accurately to an extent. As anyone has the ability to edit any article regardless of credentials, age, etc… However, with a wiki page relating to a sports team such as the new York Knicks this is hardly an issue because, according to the statistical information the page is revised everyday on average meaning there will almost never be any major errors on the page as it is edited so frequently.

A lot of editing goes into the construction of a professional sports team like the New York Knicks however, This is can be a good source to learn about the team but only to an extent. Jenkins describes the notation that nobody knows everything but everyone knows something(Jenkins). Even though the wiki page for the New York Knicks holds a good amount of information on the team’s history this is not every single piece of history that the team has to offer. The article fails to realize just how much the Knicks organization actually means to basketball as a whole because although the NBA has record of all the statistical information about the Knicks there is still more to learn about the franchise that is not present in the wiki article on a more iconic level. However, the fact that this Wikipedia article is so popular and edited so much it can be regarding as a good source of collective intelligence for any user that has interest in learning more about the current team or its legendary history as an iconic basketball team.


Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES Confessions of an AcaFan. 26 June 2007. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.


“Sports Venues – Madison Square Garden.” Kidzworld. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014.

A History of “The History” of Breaking Benjamin

I chose to do this post on the post-alternative rock band known as Breaking Benjamin. They have been my favorite band since I heard their first album Saturate. They made their debut in 1998 but have gone through a variation of different performers in their first few years.

Their page wasn’t created until 2005, allowing seven years of information to get bottled up, and is currently being updated to this date. There are a total number of 6,399 edits on this page with about 8 recent “distinct authors” if that’s what you want to call them. It was quite peculiar when I went through a list of the recent edits that were made on the page. Many of the 6,399 edits were between users who were pretty much just undoing what the other had just posted. It almost creates a worry for the user regarding whether or not to trust the page with so many edits being corrected back and forth. The page will probably change while the user is on it trying to get information. If he refreshes his page about that topic, he’s going to have to change some of his information to consider it accurate. Henry Jenkins, author of the article “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About New Media Studies”, describes this particular website as a perfect example of Collective Intelligence. The article seems to have a decent amount of information about Breaking Benjamin’s discography and progress over the years but has merely 2 sentences about what musical style they are.

Henry Jenkins continues by stating “What holds a knowledge community together is not the possession of knowledge — which can be relatively static — but the social process of acquiring knowledge […] The Wikipedians bond by working together to fill gaps in their collective knowledge.” This is what allows the information to be considered collective intelligence. Various authors assisting in filling in the blanks that other editors have either overlooked or missed. This is also why Jenkins mentions how different people can feel so opposite about their edits on various pages. Jenkins states that “They are encouraged to take an inventory of what they know and what they can contribute […] On the other hand, participants are encouraged to see themselves as members of a knowledge community and to trust their collaborators to fill in information they don’t know and challenge their claims about the world.” Jenkin’s description of a sand castle being like the Wikipedia page also helped give me an idea of just what collective intelligence was, which is essentially allowing other people who you don’t know to help with the castle or the “collection of intelligence” without any prior credibility.  This page was a great example of collective intelligence on the music portion of the page and is hugely popular, as one can see by being viewed almost 50,000 times in as little as a month, but doesn’t allow much room for opinion, except if you’re posting your particular interpretations of the lyrics or band decisions.

Works Cited:

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (Part two)”. Web log post. Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 27 June 2007. Web. 13 February 2014.