End of week 2: what have we learned so far?

1. “New New Media” wasn’t particularly well received as a useful term. I wrote most of the following in response to one of Kyle Locket’s posts, but I have made a few changes.

I do think Levinson went with New New Media as an attention grabber, but the term won’t catch on. I think the distinction between broadcast media (one to many), social media (many to many), and perhaps mobile media (which will likely be social, but different) could hold up as useful categories, but just not very catchy. New media will eventually have to go away, but it came a long as a useful term for the web, video games, digital art, virtual reality, and ubiquitous computing (all very different than old broadcast media), and it caught on before the “new media” became so obviously social, as it did with MySpace, Facebook, and even YouTube.

So that’s my contribution:

  • broadcast media: network television, network radio, hollywood / studio film; national cinemas.
  • new media: the web (when it was home pages and blogs), video games, digital art, virtual reality, but even film as it became video and posted on the web, radio as it became podcasts and more personal.
  • social media: Myspace, Friendster (anybody?), Facebook, Google +, Twitter.  New media producers (video makes, podcasters, digital artists, e-book writers, even video game designers) use social media to promote their products and interact with fans. The line between new media and social media is a thin one, but I think we all more or less sensed a distinction.
  • mobile media: Web 2.0 (social media) and web 3.0 weren’t any more loved than new new media, but from what I know about Augmented Reality apps like Layar, when AR is accessed through Smart Phone Browsers, we won’t actually be on the web any more, we will  access data that is layered over the environment we will also be looking at. Check out wikipedia’s entry or this video, and perhaps the whole article if you are interested, by John Tinnell. That “browsing” experience will be different; I think we will want a new name for it.  But not new new new media.

2. We probably didn’t spend enough time on the actual characteristics of the new new media (or whatever we want to call it).  Alyda Hulstrard, however, had a great post with the characteristics listed.

Levinson stated the following characteristics as being the requirements of his “new new media:”

  • The consumer is a producer
  • The producer is almost always a non-professional
  • The main purpose of producing new new media is not to make money
  • New new media is always free
  • The medium varies in both length and media platforms (ex: sort tweets vs. long blog posts)
  • Various forms of new new media are interconnected and might compete with and/or complement each other

3. Blogging enhanced creativity, writing, idea intake and output; a space to write and think. It has retrieved the personal journal most obviously, but also some OCD tendencies. It can reverse into information overload, personal opinions everywhere, facts seldom found which means that and it can obsolesce the so called real work of school or journalism or other more formal types of writing.  We will keep working with the tetrad as a tool for analysis; in weeks 3 and 4 you can put tetrads of tools side by side.

4. We learned that the Obama election of 2008 paved the way for using social media effectively in politics, which means not just using tools but connecting people, raising money, and getting votes.  We have seen, thanks to Jason, the current use of Twitter in Presidential campaigns, and we have seen thanks to Kelsey, that the @mentionmachine is a tool for tracking mentions and impact.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how much interest y’all showed in the role of social media in politics, and I count on many of you following that topic for the next 10 month.  Maybe some of you will end up using skills used in this class on the campaign trail later this year.  These posts give us a good transition into Twitter.

The one question I didn’t ask you to think about, but will now,  is “what role should a blog play in a non-profit agency?” or to be more precise and leading for the second half of the course, what role could / should a blog play in networked non profit, or even small business, or “organization” broadly defined?  Please keep that question in mind as you start to Tweet, and keep it in mind as we explore YouTube, wikis, and virtual realities.

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