Design, code and caffeine

What is new media?

It does seem to me that there are still many technophobe/technophile arguments going on about this. There is nothing ‘new’ about writing content, however there is definitely something new about how far that content can travel.

It was not long ago that the traditional forms of media such as the television could only be picked up in the country that they were being transmitted. Now we have satellite TV reaching a huge audience, worldwide. It is connecting people in ways and giving us common topics to talk about.

Also, there is definitely something definitely different about what happens to that content before it gets to the public eye. We used to call that ‘editing’, and this word has definitely take on a new meaning:

‘edit this post’ – this is what you do when you make a mistake or don’t take enough time on a forum. It’s almost embarrassing to have a post with ‘edited by…’ attached to it.

‘this post has been edited by a moderator’ – This is even worse.

If you compare these meanings to the old meaning of edit, which is where one person secretly edits an others content to make it suitable for the publication, and you compare this to the shame involved in having a post edited by a moderator – you can definitely see a change.

Obviously there are many places where editing does not take place at all, for example chatrooms and online games…

And that leads me to another point; perhaps there are no ‘new’ games on the Internet – most RPGs are based on the traditional D&D rules, which were based on very simple rules of play from earlier games; however, this does not mean that the ‘medium’ has not changed.

People in WoW are connecting with others across europe/america that they would never have met before, they are picking up on each others linguistic styles, grammar, and other languages not just 1337 speak!

The *medium* has changed, 2,3,4-way communication can be had (the prime minister of the UK has his own youtube channel where the public can ask questions and get a personal response), Games are now ‘emergent’ (the outcome of a task is unknown it depends on the people involved and their roll in the game). Jesper Juul has discussed much on this subject and his book Half-Real tracks games from their beginnings through ‘virtual reality’.

Many people feel more connected, they feel that their stories ‘can’ be heard. They don’t have to mass produce and ship their personal diary around America, they can just write about their ‘escape from scientology‘ on

On the subject of Scientology, what about the political influence and changes which are apparent? If you look at internet meme groups like anonymous, their entire power lies in the safety of their anonymous global community – It may have started “for the lulz”, however, much work has been done to try to raise awareness (project chanology) about the cult-come-pyramid-scheme of Scientology and are trying to help the victims of this group. Anonymous Vs. Scientology is an eye-opener for those dubious about the power of digital media.

There are many more options open to us with new media – we can read the same news story on and on we can see the two countries newspapers different takes on a story.

The ‘medium’ changed because of the technology which drives it. The ‘media’ just got bigger, it got easier to participate in (for those on the power grid).

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Posted in New Media, The Web · September 22nd, 2008 · Comments (0)