COM22: Week 1

So even though there’s been a stuff up between Griffith and OUA, I’m still pretending I’m enrolled in COM22. Eventually, I have faith, that I will be enrolled! So thanks to the awesome Julia for helping me to work out what I’m supposed to be doing.

First week’s tasks seem uncomplicated. Read the reading, read the textbook, watch a video and answer the questions below onto the discussion board using harvard references.

Textbook: chapter 1.1 to 1.2.1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRBIVRwvUeE&feature=related

Question One

How do you personally define the term “new media”? What does it mean to you? Try to formulate a definition which you think applies to this unit.

Select and example of a technology, product or process which you think is a “new” media/medium. Describe why you feel it is a good example of new media. Discuss your ideas with your peers in the discussion board.

Question Two

Can you relate to Pazzini’s comparison between new media and it being an “unnoticed prosthesis”? (2005, p.158)

Think of your mobile phone or simliar new technology which you carry with you each day – is there a technology that you can’t live without? Can it be considered a ‘prosthesis’ or extension of your body or self?

Response One:

From my standpoint, “new media” can be defined as “forms of digitised participatory communication”. Whilst this definition may seem broad, it has become apparent that McQuail (2010) considers new media to encapsulate a very wide definition, yet containing specific things. I found this contradictory, as I did with several of his concepts in this piece, so felt that it was essential to highlight the core differences that showcase this media to be “new” as opposed to “traditional”. The digitisation of media has dramatically altered the communication landscape and culture (Shirky, 2002) and this is an important reason for the newness of this type of conversation. The participatory aspect also strongly differentiates new media from it’s older brother as all previous media communicated in a one-way approach. New media encourages active participation in a two-way and multi-channel format (Rheingold, 2007), creating a new audience that are both producers and consumers. It is these two specific variations which set “new media” apart from all others. There are a plethora of examples of new media, the first one to come to mind is Blogs. These are a good example of communication that is both digitised and participatory and exemplifies “new media”.

References

McQuail, D 2010, ‘New Media – New Theory?’, in McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 6th edn, Sage Publications Ltd, London, pp. 136-59.

Rheingold, H 2007, ‘Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement’, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, pp. 97-118.

Shirky, C 2002, ‘Weblogs and the mass amateurization of publishing’, Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet.

Response Two

Pazzini’s comparison of converged media with a prosthetic (2005, p.158) seems to be an accurate portrayal of our current society. As the Information Age changes our culture and expectations, technology is making it easier and easier for us to have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. And it is the access to knowledge that is making marked changes in how we live. Featherstone (2009, p. 18) says,

“Not only is information alive, but information-saturated
cultures are also seen as alive (Brouwer and Mulder, 2003; Featherstone
and Venn, 2006; Mulder, 2006; Spivak, 2006), and we see the emergence
of a new set of metaphors for social and cultural life.”

Each year, there are new devices released, specifically designed to be appealing as well as useful. These devices all give us further access to this information overload.

References

Pazzini, K-J 2005, ‘Media, Suggestion, Suspicion: On obstacles in handling new media in the context of art education – An approach unfolded by means of psychoanalytic devices’, in (e) pedagogy: visual knowledge building: rethinking art and new media in education, Peter Lang Pub Inc, pp. 157-80.

Featherstone, M, Kittler, F, Stiegler, B, Hayles, NK, Abe, K, Allison, A, Steinberg, M, Condry, I, Kim, H & Pettman, D 2009, ‘Special Issue on Ubiquitous Media’, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 26, pp. 1-22.

Assessable Question

On pages 12-14 of the textbook by Lister et al (2009) they outline in section 1.1.5 a range of distinguishing issues surrounding „new media‟. Read through their list, which aspects of these points do you think underpin current concers surrounding new media use in society? Can you give one or two examples of where these issues could be applied to in current public debates?

I see convergence as being a crucial issue in distinguishing new media from old media. There are now more mobile phones in Australia than people (Budde, 2011) and the number of electronic web-centric devices is growing. We now live in a society where we use a phone to take photos, we get email from our TV’s and we can order food online from our refrigerators. Whilst miniaturisation has made this possible, it is society that demands it (Fiske, 2010, p.116) as we want more access to everything immediately. This convergence is making information so readily available that it’s creating a life of its own. Featherstone et al (2009) state it clearly when they say,

“Not only is information alive, but information-saturated cultures are also seen as alive, …and we see the emergence of a new set of metaphors for social and cultural life.”

References

Budde, P 2011, Australia – Mobile Communications – Subscriber Statistics. Accessed 1 March 2012 from http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Australia-Mobile-Communications-Subscriber-Statistics.html

Featherstone, M, Kittler, F, Stiegler, B, Hayles, NK, Abe, K, Allison, A, Steinberg, M, Condry, I, Kim, H & Pettman, D 2009, ‘Special Issue on Ubiquitous Media’, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 26, pp. 1-22.

Fiske, J 2010, Understanding popular culture, Taylor & Francis.

 

 

 

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