CMM16 – Week One

CMM16 – New Communication Technologies. It’s a first year unit that seems to focus on (wait for it!) convergence and digitalisation. Well, I’ve certainly done a lot of units with THAT as a focus!

Week one we needed to introduce ourselves (√ ) and write two posts on the discussion board (√ )(√ ). We also needed to read our study guide (√ ) and a reading by Barr (√ ).  Don’t you think checkmarks make all the difference?

The study guide didn’t really say anything of value (it is week one, after all)  although the following may prove useful:

  • “Communication is any process that …makes information known to other people” p.5
  • Intersubjectivity is where the listener interprets the message and changes it as they send it along (aka Chinese Whispers) p.6
  • Intertextuality is that no message is ever complete because it gains its meaning from all the other messages that the receiver has previously undertaken. p.6
  • “Technology is the scientific study of mechanical arts and their application to the world.” p.8
  • “Anything that aids an individual’s or a society’s ability to communicate can be called a communiation technology.” p. 9

The Barr reading – trevor Barr, 2000. Forces for change: communications as a catalyst’ pp 20-39 – was a long winded out of date article that talks about Telecom (yes, that’s what Telstra used to be called), the new pay television service called Foxtel, and the enormous new merger that has formed One.Tel (a company I used to be a consumer of until they went broke by 2002). His 19 page waffle was all about how we live in a world with convergence and digitisation and yadda yadda yadda and oh my google why do I have to read this stuff? It’s old. It’s unhelpful. It doesn’t add at all to my learning experience.

Finally, the db posts.

In response to another student’s post, I wrote:

Whilst I do believe that society has yet to find effective ways to treat the ethical issues of social networks, I do tend to disagree with the concept that “the negatives far outweight the positives”.

Wellman, Haase, Witte and Hampton (2001) show that social networks allow you to maintain communication that often falls by the wayside and also to create new and lasting friendships despite our time-poor lifestyle. I am able to remain in contact with people I normally wouldn’t – in the analogue world, everytime they move I would need to update my address book, be able to find my address book, be certain that was their correct address, write them a letter, find an envelope and a stamp, find a postbox, mail it and wait to see if it’s return-to-sender. This is prohibitive in today’s hectic world and this friendship would not last. But via social networks, I am able to spend 30 seconds emailing, tweeting, messaging or commenting and letting them know I’m still interested in their lives, what they are up to, and in maintaining a friendship.

For me, the positives of these now-strong connections far outweigh the very small percentage of people who suffer, as Suler (2004, p. 321, 323) calls it, “online toxic disinhibition”.


Suler, J 2004, ‘The online disinhibition effect‘, CyberPsychology & Behavior, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 321-6.

Wellman, B, Haase, AQ, Witte, J & Hampton, K 2001, ‘Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital?’, American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 436-55.

Then as an individual post explaining the differences to communication during my lifetime, I wrote the following (and yes, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to use my favourite quote from Rosen):

When I was growing up, we didn’t have a television until I turned 10. It seemed like a whole new world. Now in my 40s, I’ve discovered that the majority of people my age are not technologically savvy and I see this as having an advantage over my peers. This makes me, according to Dickerson and Gentry (1983 p.226-227) to be considered an early adopter.

The biggest effect of convergence and digitisation that I’ve seen is in how media has switched from broadcast to interactive and how this has impacted on media. As Rosen (2006) wrote, “The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, less predictable. You should welcome that, media people. But whether you do or not we want you to know we’re here.”

Dickerson, MD & Gentry, JW 1983, ‘Characteristics of adopters and non-adopters of home computers’, Journal of Consumer Research, pp. 225-35.

Rosen, J 2006, ‘The people formerly known as the audience’, PressThink: Ghost of Democracy in the Media, vol. 27.

2 thoughts on “CMM16 – Week One

  1. Hi December! Who’s group are you in? I am in Alintas. How are you finding this weeks task. I really struggled but punched it out anyway. I love how involved you are with your education. I wish I could get to half the depth you do!

    • Hi Sarah! Yes I’m in alintha’s group also! I haven’t had a chance to look at it this week, I’ve been really busy! I’m sure I’m going to struggle though as I really dislike convergence subjects!

      As for being involved, hahaha, if I don’t write it all down as I learn it… Well, let’s just say I have a memory like a sieve, so this makes sure I can come back and refresh myself! If I don’t keep myself organised, it just doesn’t get done so this blog helps me with that. 🙂

      Hope to see you on the boards!

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