Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New New Media, evolution and the active role of the user

The last of the four books is probably the most interesting, mainly because it discusses very current aspects of media, that we can all relate to. The title of the book is at first somewhat confusing. Why "New New Media" and not just plain "New Media"? It became clear from the very beginning that the author sets a distinction between the first forms of new media such as the Internet and the e-mail, which were significantly passive, and the new new media , which involve a great deal of active participation on the user's behalf.

The concept of remediation comes back once again, as these new new media were not created from scratch. They were developed from earlier forms of media by using them as their foundation, further building up on them, thus concluding to the current form of new media.
New new media is free. I had almost forgotten that, but there was a time when people used to pay to have their personal e-mail service. There was a time when having Internet access was not taken for granted but it was more of a luxury service. There was a time when you had to pay a considerable amount of money to use the majority of Internet services that we now freely take advantage of. We are now at the time where we do not need to pose the question "Do you have Internet at home?". This alone indicates the need for marking a new technological era, as the title of the book indicates.

Symbiosis is another characteristic of New New Media. They are all interconnected. They do not exist isolated and independently, much like a human society. They influence each other with their actions, and they have founded a global network of perpetual knowledge. Not only that but their instantaneousness constitutes them as an irreplaceable tool. Just think how quickly news is circulated throughout the world nowadays with the Internet. Just think how hard it is for current companies to protect their image due to that instantaneousness. Once the bad news goes out, it is a matter of hours until half the planet hears about it. It is simply vast. And this is where my last and most important point comes in.

New New Media gave the user a "voice". The former "dictatorial" form of media, a form where the user did not have any role in it, other than that of the spectator, gave way to its active face, where the user does not passively participate anymore, but they actually influence and create content. Blogs, which are the primary means for producing content on the Internet are a very representative example of that. New New Media has also introduced new ways of expression. From digital funerals in video games (like the one on Warcraft that we talked about in class), social networking with all its groundbreaking aspects, to videos on Youtube about anything you can imagine (from video job résumés, to funny videos about how to make a canary sing gospel). The options are infinite. Who would think that in 2011 anybody from any place in the world, would be able to set up their own Internet radio station for free? Who would expect that people would be able to post their thoughts, feelings and worries regarding certain events, on a digital network of people, thus making time and space boundaries disappear?

Is this necessarily good? Of course not. It is uncontrollable and right now it is being used in the worst way ever. As we live in a transitional period between the New Media and the New New Media, we have not yet adjusted to that new concept. It is a very characteristic example of how greedy and ferocious humans can get. It is like a nation that just got freed from a dictatorial regime. They always ask for more freedom, thinking that everything should belong to them, until they themselves end up enslaving others.


  1. The fact that something like these blogs, videos, etc. which can be something so wonderful has had the power to be so negative is disturbing to say the least. It seems as if everyone is looking for their voice and that people are interested in what they have to say. There's hardly any censoring in terms of what people can and can not say on their personal pages, sometimes even on public posts by prestigious companies and magazines. I think many people feel entitled to say what they believe needs to be said, without reprimand.

  2. Absolutely. And the worst part is that they do not even realize what a misuse of the medium this is. I like to think of it as the exact representation of the society we live in. All of that, is being implemented in the Internet as well. Freedom of speech everywhere. Do not censor anything, because they will call you racist, sexist, pervert, uneducated etc. Plus it has gotten so vast already that it can be hardly controlled.

  3. The power of anonymity is alluring to those online.This is the Boon and Bane cyber communications.

  4. I actually disagree, I think that the use of the internet and new media, even with the uncensored nature is a good thing. You can't say that we won't post one thing that someone says even if it is racist, sexist, etc. because it is up to the person who finds the information to be informed enough to make a proper decision about whether to agree or disagree with something that is said.

  5. Great point about remediation here. And I do think that on the whole, new media and new new media have favored openness, transparency, and democracy.

  6. I don't agree I think that internet and new new media is really helping people around the world. There are controls on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube. These mediums are checking but even if they didn't people need to know what is happening around the world. We live in a world of expression and we need to express and show what is going on around the world.