Published on March 3, 2014
Professor: Michael Prieler, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org Office: Dasan Hall, 5th Floor (Room 507) Tel.: 033-248-1938 1
Books Used for this Course Miller, Vincent (2011). Understanding Digital Culture. Los Angeles: Sage. Siapera, Eugenia (2012). Understanding New Media. London: Sage. 2
BACKGROUND: TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM AND TECHNOLOGICAL ENABLEMENT 3 *
Background The internet has now become a major part of work, leisure, social and political life, for most people in advanced economic nations. The online sphere is no longer separate from the offline ‘real world’, but fully integrated into offline life. This integration has only been enhanced by the massive popularity of mobile phones, which allow almost constant contact to the world wide web, as well as to our friends, relatives, bosses and significant others. 4
Discussion How do you use the internet? What do you do in the internet? How do you use your mobile phone? 5
Background Technologies always led to anxiety about their consequences, and certainly the internet and mobile phones have led to both anxiety and optimism in their potential to shape the future. 6
Discussion Have you ever heard about anxieties and negative consequences or critique connected with the internet or mobile phones? 7
Background: Technology influences society Technological determinism Raymond Williams defined technological determinism as suggesting that new technologies set the conditions for social change and progress. 8
Discussion Can you give examples how new technologies lead to social change and progress? 9
Background: Technology influences Society EXAMPLES: Microwave, television, internet, mobile phones, etc. 10
Background: Technology influences society Technological determinism Time magazine produces a headline such as ‘How Twitter will change the way we live’ (Johnson, 2009), they are engaging in a form of technological determinism which suggest that, in the relationship between technology and culture, culture is the passive agent and technology the active one: culture and society ‘react’ to technological developments in a cause-and-effect manner. Implicit in this view is the vision of technology as something separate and independent of society. BUT IS THIS REALLY TRUE?? 11
Background: Society influences Technology Technological Enablement New technologies are looked for and developed with purposes and practices in mind. These purposes are intended to change things and influence society. In general, one can suggest new technologies are developed to: ● Fulfill a need or solve a problem. ● Bring about a certain condition in the future. ● Create a profit or some sort of personal gain. 12
WHAT IS NEW MEDIA AND DIGITAL MEDIA? 13 *
Discussion What is New Media? What is Old Media? 14
Discussion What is the difference between new media and old media? 15
Digital Media Revolution Mark Poster (1995) stated that new media was ‘active’, whereas old media was ‘passive’. Collapse of the distinction between consumers and producers, increased choice, and the ability to ‘answer back’ or produce their own media. 16
Digital Media Revolution 17
Different Terms, Similar Meanings Digital Media focus primarily on the technological element of the media. Prioritizes aspects that relate to the technology that made them possible. Online Media is a direct reference to the internet. The term online media prioritizes the element of connectivity, or the ways in which they connect with other media, mainly computers, but also more recently mobile telephones. New Media signifies a shift in media logic, which denotes a certain degree of novelty. Result of a convergence between the computation logic characteristic of the computers and the communicative logic characteristic of the media. 18
Outcomes of Digital Media Four main outcomes of the turn towards digital media (Lister et al. 2009): Media texts become de-linked from particular media. E.g., read books on the internet, watch television online or on mobiles, upload photographs on blogs. Media convergence! Information can be compressed and fit in very small spaces. 1 gigabyte contains about 4,500 books of 200 pages each; 1 terabyte - 4.5 million books! Access to data can be very fast. You can access any book in seconds, and also information within this book. Data can be manipulated in ways unimaginable in the analogue media age (e.g., Photoshop). 19
Technical Processes Digital All information is represented in 0-1 digital code. Numerical representation makes digital information programmable, alterable, and subject to algorithmic manipulation. Opposite to digital media is analogue media: words are encoded in a book by pressing metallic letters on paper, and once printed they cannot change. 20
Technical Processes Networked Digital media is more similar to the telephone than television broadcasting or cinema screening. Digital media tends to follow a more decentralized network architecture with many producers and consumers in a constant dialogue with each other, as opposed to a more pyramidal model of broadcast media in which an elite of producers sends out oneway communications to many receivers. This decentralization of media production means that, with many more producers and sources of information, there is a greatly enlarged element of choice when consuming digital media as compared to the broadcast media of the past. 21
Technical Processes Interactive Media’s potential ability to let the user influence the context, content, and form of the mediated communication. Hypertext/Hypermedia The system of links and databases, so that we can navigate from one bit of content or web page to another on the World Wide Web. The fact that the choice of paths is normally up to the reader means that hypertext by nature is a nonlinear form of text. 22
Technical Processes Automated Much of what we experience as media objects in digital culture are created out of databases by machines as opposed to being the result of human endeavor. The most prominent way in which this happens is through the increasing personalization of media. Commercial value is created through the ability to collect information in order to profile consumers and target them with advertising more effectively (e.g., Google, Amazon). 23
Technical Processes Databased A database is ‘a structured collection of data’. E.g., travelling by car and using satellite navigation system or database can be defined as ‘ Three components of a database: the storage element (hardware storage in the case of computers), the means to retrieve and filter data (software which can sort information on the basis of certain parameters), the means to turn that data into meaningful information (the user who creates meaning) (Paul, 2007). 24
Characteristics of New Media Context (or lack of it) Databases contribute to the lack of context within digital culture. Time and space are absent on YouTube: watch episodes of a favorite television program from childhood and watch the latest news events. Digital music sites and MP3 pulverize bands, albums, and genres into files of singles embedded into endlessly diverse playlists that almost unreasonable span musical genres and eras. Social networking profiles link friends from different periods of life, childhood, university, work, as well as family and brief acquaintances in a timeless and spaceless networked collection. 25
Characteristics of New Media Variability Most digital objects change over time. ‘Old media’ tends to be finite in that narratives and authored works tend to have a set composition or sequence of events (narrative). Rhizome Rhizome is a form of organization that is not based on a hierarchical structure, but a kind of horizontal network of relations. 26
Characteristics of New Media A transformation of the audience or consumer experience, from a static role of view to a role as active, mobile user or participant within the creation. 27
Characteristics of New Media Telepresence Presence is relatively unproblematic, we are where we ‘are’, and that seems quite obvious and simple. However, when mediated communication or long distance interaction is introduced into the equation, things begin to change. In this situation we gain the ability to simultaneously exist in two different environments at the same time: the physical environment in which our body is located and the conceptual or interactional ‘space’ we are represented with through the use of the medium (Steuer, 1992). 28
Immersive Experience Telepresence The telephone allow us, in real time, to be in two place at once. In contemporary culture, the increasing blending of presence and telepresence manifests itself in the current ambiguities regarding mobile phone conversation and texting when in the company of others, particularly at the dinner table. 29
Immersive Experience Telepresence Steuer (1992) suggested that technologically there are two things which determine the extent that telepresence is experienced: Vividness. the ability of a technology to produce a rich environment for the senses in terms of sensory depth and breadth. Sensory breadth (number of senses engaged in the medium - sight, sound, smell, haptic, taste). Sensory depth (quality of resolution, sound, visual). Interactivity. The degree in which the user of a medium can influence the form and content of their mediated environment. 30
Immersive Experience Virtuality Virtuality is ‘the nature of objects and activities which exist, but are not tangible or concrete’ (Shields, 2003). The virtual is real, but not actual – e.g., worlds in computer games. Simulation ‘Virtual reality or Virtual worlds’ are usually seen as simulation of ‘reality’, a kind of model of the real world. Representation An attempt to portray something ‘real’ in a truthful manner. Simulation is often portrayed as deceptive, something which takes us away from the real. 31
Minute Paper Most interesting? Least interesting? Most unclear? Most important? Others? 33
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