From "Dawson's Creek" to "Dawson's Desktop": TV-Web Synergy in a Multimedia World
Unformatted Document Text:
From Dawson's Creek to "Dawson's Desktop":
TV-Web Synergy in a Multi-Media World
The bulk of this report examines television shows that feature teen characters, the shows
teens watch, and the people who create them. In this chapter, focus shifts to the developing
synergy between television and the World Wide Web. As recently as five years ago, this chapter
would have been unnecessary. In fact, there would have been very little to write. In today's
rapidly changing media landscape, however, it is becoming impossible to talk about teen
television without talking about the Web. From basic promotion to cross-media storytelling, teen
television programs and their companion Web sites sit at the forefront of TV-Web synergy.
The relationship between television and the Web is by no means simple or
straightforward, and speculation about the future of these media takes many forms. Frequently,
reports position these two media as competitors for consumers' time and advertisers' dollars with
the Web drawing viewers away from their TV sets. At the same time, some look to the Web to
fulfill the promise of digital convergence, combining all forms of media into one device. While
one author refers to TV and the Web as "twins separated at birth, now reunited" (Carton, 2001, p.
9), another author declares that when it comes to the Web and TV, "convergence has failed"
(Dvorak, 2003, p. 59).
In part, these conflicting views of TV and the Web reflect the rapid pace of change in
new media and technologies. These different predictions also stem from what various authors
mean when they use words like "convergence" and "synergy." Often, they are not talking about
the same phenomenon or even the same aspects of the Web and television. This chapter will
make a distinction between convergence and synergy and, to some extent, between the Web and
the Internet. With respect to teen television shows and their companion sites, emphasis will be on
This paper is a chapter in a published grant report.
From Dawson’s Creek