I'd say the focal point of the introduction is the concept that content has been divorced from its traditional medium. He talks a lot about convergence, which is a pretty loosely defined term that academics and buzzword men have been throwing around for a couple of decades at this point. The fact that no two sources are really agreeing on what it means is fairly telling - it doesn't mean anything, it's just a sort of zeitgeist catchall buzzword that is intended to evoke the ideas that Jenkins was trying to nail to the page:
- As in Weinberger, participation makes the definition of who produces the content a fuzzy one. Convergence in this sense describes the intersection, overlap, and in some cases replacement between and of user-generated culture and the supposed culture factories - the content distributors and producers.
- Multimedia convergence is another one he's trying to talk about, which is describing the phenomenon that no one medium controls the delivery of these traditional media - film is available on your computer, broadcast TV, your cable connection, your phone, the movie theater and on the new generation of set-top streaming internet devices. News comes from papers, television, podcasts, blogs as well as good old word of mouth. This bleed-through of content from one medium to the next is what Weinberger would probably point to as the disintegration of the traditional first and second orders of order.
- Another definition of convergence is related to the first one I brought up which is user participation through mediated channels with the content producers - as in the reality show examples of American Idol and Survivor - in one case the audience has virtually no power and is merely being given a token means of participation, and in the other, the audience is winning the intelligence arms race against the producers who are trying to preserve the element of surprise. I'm not sure that I've seen anything in Weinberger that directly compares with that, but he'd certainly be fascinated by the Survivor leaks community and their use of social media to coordinate large scale intel operations.