From Academic Commons – Blog:

The Institute for the Future of the Book with the support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC, they have just launched Media Commons project, a project in development with the intention of become a network in which scholars, students, and other interested members of the public can help to shift the focus of scholarship back to the circulation of discourse. This network will be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It will also be multi-nodal, providing access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production, including forms such as blogs, wikis, and journals, as well as digitally networked scholarly monographs. Larger-scale publishing projects will be developed with an editorial board that will also function as stewards of the larger network. will begin to develop in public.

The site consists of three simple parts:

1) A weblog where founding editors Avi Santo (Old Dominion University) and Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Pomona College) will think out loud and work with the emerging community to develop the full MediaCommons vision.

2) Proposals , a call for “papers”–scholarly projects that engagingly explore some aspect of media history, theory, or culture through an adventurous use of the broad palette of technologies provided by the digital network. These will be the first round of texts published by MediaCommons at the time of its launch.

3) In media Res–an experimental feature where each week a different scholar will present a short contemporary media clip accompanied by a 100-150 word commentary, alongside which a community discussion can take place. In Media Res is presented as just one of the many possible critical activities that MediaCommons could eventually host. With this feature, they are also making a stand on “fair use,” asserting the right to quote from the media for scholarly, critical and pedagogical purposes. Currently on the site, you’ll find videos curated by Henry Jenkins of MIT, Jason Mittell of Middlebury College and Horace Newcomb of the University of Georgia (and the founder of the Peabody Awards). An open invitation has been issued for more curators.

Out of this site, the real MediaCommons will eventually emerge. The launch is planned for 2007, as early as Spring and as late as Fall, depending on community response. Already there are some quite interesting conversations taking place within, including a fascinating exchange about YouTube’s potentially-stifling role in the emerging landscape of media criticism.