This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

The Open-Source Cult(ure) of Hatsune Miku

#sxsw #MikuCult

When the Web unites millions of users into large networks around creative and free new media practices, how does this "open source culture" challenge assumptions about the production of content and the use of online social platforms?Vocaloid is a music production software from Japan that synthesizes voices for songs. In 2007, Crypton Future Media released Hatsune Miku, a young, female version of Vocaloid. Thousands of musicians use the software and character to make innovative songs and videos, which are circulated on Nico Nico Douga & YouTube for free, and many receive millions of hits within weeks. Vocaloid has helped amateur musicians land professional contracts, produced live concerts with holographic singers, and made Miku into a global virtual idol.This talk looks at one case study of a peer-produced media franchise that exploded into a global phenomenon using social media and free distribution, and the issues and successes of networked creative production.


Alex Leavitt PhD Researcher USC Annenberg

Alex Leavitt is a Ph.D. researcher at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where he studies networked technologies, digital communication, and Internet culture. Alex's specialties revolve around alternative uses of new media, such as niche online communities, emergent "viral" behavior, and hyperpopular media ecosystems.

Previously, he worked with danah boyd at Microsoft Research and with Henry Jenkins at the Comparative Media Studies department at MIT.

Alex will be speaking at SXSW in the special Future15 sessions on Monday March 12 at 11:45am. More info here:

You can read more about Alex's research at and follow him on Twitter at @alexleavitt.

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