Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MAS 110 Short Essay

Discuss the Phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to either: Advertising and new media OR music video online.
As the information age progresses, the rate of technological development continues to increase dramatically.  This is illustrated in the introduction of digital media. ‘Digital media has brought about profound changes in nature and organization of contemporary mediated communication’.  (Dwyer’s (2010) Media Convergence, McGraw Hill. Berkshire pg 6, Mas 110 Unit Reader). The accessibility to new media and more specifically to mobile and online media, allows people to organise their daily activities in an organised manner whilst they are on the move.
‘New media has increased the versatility of human action’. (Dwyer.T (2010) Media Convergence, McGraw Hill. Berkshire pg 6, Mas 110 Unit Reader). The rise in applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Netflix as well as the introduction of new devices such as; Iphones, Ipads and Net-book have all made such a severe impact on the way we now use and interact with the media. (Future Agenda (2000), Seamless Media Consumption). Take a look at, the introduction of wireless networks for example. We are now able to jump on the internet whenever we would like, to access and browse through content as well as communicating with others concurrently. There is no need to carry around laptops as the introduction of the Iphone caters for multiple media consumption and use through virtual storage mechanisms such as Icloud. An example of new media is the ‘Nike and Ipod’ relationship. This is a system which enables individuals to engage in physical exercise, whilst monitoring time, pace, distance and calories burned. The system allows individuals to set a goal they would like to achieve, and to enhance the experience further, select a workout playlist which assists in motivating them.
The Nike Company has always felt it’s market share is influenced by their online habits. Nike even went further by connecting their products via an Iphone application to converge into new media.

Digital media convergence has allowed individuals to use one device to access multiple media platforms, as seen above.  
Global Shift to Online Adverstising
The advent of digital media convergence is leading us all to the web. Better video compression is allowing video streaming, and offering businesses a more attractive way to push their products. The value of online consumption is dramatically increasing. This can be shown in the following figures;
·         Over 75% of users use the internet to make travel reservations
·         Over 70% use it to pay bills online
  • Over 60% purchase event tickets online
  • And 73% of users had researched goods online before purchasing from a local store, ie the Nike and Ipod
  •  41% reported they look at goods in stores before buying online
(For the 2011 update of Online Shopping Statistics in Australia, 23rd of June 2010.)

 The Phenomenon of digital media convergence has had both a positive and negative impact on society. One particular culture that you can see the impact quite clearly is ‘teen culture’. Teens today are unique in the way they have an ‘open communication platform at their fingertips that allows them to connect on a global scale with people going through the same biological, physiological and social changes’. (Krotoski.A (2011) Youth Culture: teenager kicks in the digital age). Teenagers have the ability to connect as a group via social networks, computer games such as ‘COD’ and via sms, rather than in the playground.  Tidwell and Watther (2002), observed that ‘online interactions circulated by teens are generated with self-disclosure and fosters deeper personal questions than during face to face conversation’. The positive of this form of interaction is helpful for those who struggle to maintain face to face conversation, such as those who suffer Asperger’s. Online conversations enable individuals to converse in the comfort of their own home, which is a safe and secure environment. (Social networking provides opportunities for teenagers to develop social skills online, April 25, 2012).

 Teen culture is becoming so reliant on technology they are losing touch with reality. According to recent poles, on average teenagers spend a minimum of 31 hours online per week. (Teenagers 'spend an average of 31 hours online', The telegraph: 10th of February 2011).  Everything that is put up on the internet is out for the world to see. This includes; your personal details, your daily schedule and your interests. Teens can become so absorbed with this alternate reality, they lose the ability to be able to hold face to face conversation and relate to others on an emotional level.
The positives of digital media convergence are endless. As Carol Wohfield (2007) put it; ‘digital convergence is quickly becoming a reality. The once vast and unreachable world is now being condensed into the confines of the computer’. You look at the idea of the ‘Black Box Fallacy’ and how almost a decade ago the only way to listen to music was via a Beta tape, cassette or even a record player. Now, it’s as simple as pressing a button ‘play’ on your computer or ipod/iphone. The idea of the iphone has enabled individuals to cut back time and money e.g;
a.      There is no need to buy a gym membership as your new personal trainer is accessible via your Iphone and monitors your daily intake, through the press of a button.
b.      In an ipod/iphone you can set up a particular playlist which you select to fulfil your daily intake, without having to flick through your ‘records’ or ‘tapes’ to find the ‘right’ song or album.
So, where is convergence leading?  It is suggested that by 2020 ‘our pc’s, mobiles and tv’s will have merged and become integrated with a host of new devices that allows us to access a global library of information and data’. (Seamless Media Consumption: Future Agenda 2000). You never know devices for computing and telecommunication could be become so small and so well integrated with human biology that they become a part of the everyday experience.
Stephanie Edmonds 42857813
 Reference List:
·         Dwyer (2010) Media Convergence, Mcgraw Hill. Berkshire pg 6, MAS 110 unit reader.
·         Krotoski, Aleks (2011). Youth Culture: teenagers kick in the digital age.
·         Tidwell and Watther (2002) computer-mediated communication effects on disclosure, impression and interpersonal evaluations.
·         Tidwell and Watther (2002) Cyber Talk- getting to now your cyberspace, p. 322: cyber talk blogspot.
·         Future Agenda (2000) Seamless Media Consumption
 Recommended Reading List
·         Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture, New York, New York University Press, pp 1-24.
·         Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising and New Media, Oxon, Routledge, pp 24-45.

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