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More Than The Medium: . The Unique Role of Content in User Perception of Interactivity. Jim Gleason Visiting Instructor, Eastern Kentucky University PhD Candidate in Communication, University of Kentucky . What exactly is Interactivity? How does it relate to The Book? .

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More than the medium

More Than The Medium:

The Unique Role of Content in User Perception of Interactivity

Jim Gleason

Visiting Instructor, Eastern Kentucky University

PhD Candidate in Communication, University of Kentucky


Where shall we begin

What exactly is Interactivity?

How does it relate to The Book?

Where shall we begin?

2007, James P. Gleason


Interactivity

Interactivity

  • The term is used casually:

    • e-commerce to iPhones

    • Google to Second Life.

  • New technologies and continued convergence makes it hard to define.

2007, James P. Gleason


Interactivity the book

Interactivity & The Book

  • Mass Communication medium

  • Will become computer-mediated

    • Access, navigation and storage

  • New unique opportunities for content richness

  • Directly influences quality of communication outcomes.

2007, James P. Gleason


Previous models of interactivity

Previous models of interactivity

  • Technology-driven models:

    • Too great an emphasis on the features and functions at play.

    • Rafaeli, 1988; Heeter, 1989; Neumann, 1991; Steuer, 1995

  • User-centered models:

    • Too focused on user perception exclusively.

    • Focus on communication process rather than outcome.

    • Laurel, 1986; Ha & James, 1998; Massey & Levy, 1999

2007, James P. Gleason


Issues with current literature

Issues with current literature

  • Variety of condition states & conflicting models

  • Interpersonal view is too narrow

    • Face-to-face – the gold standard

    • No discussion of content’s role

  • Online publishing / broadcasting and new digital media

  • Imprecise use of “interactivity” terminology

2007, James P. Gleason


Interaction

“Interaction”

  • The communication process characterized by mutual or reciprocal action, influence or message exchange.

    • The act or process of interacting—the process of communicating itself.

2007, James P. Gleason


Interactive

“Interactive”

  • Technological channel features or content elements that facilitate an active communication transaction.

    • These elements act upon or with other features to obtain data or commands

    • In response they give immediate results or updated information.

2007, James P. Gleason


Interactivity1

“Interactivity”

  • The perception of a positive outcome state resulting from the integration of individual receiver characteristics, substantive (interactive) technological features, and reactive content during mutual and reciprocal message exchanges.

2007, James P. Gleason


A new model is needed

A new model is needed

  • Involve multiple dimensions

  • Embrace the Mass Communication perspective

  • Recognize content as a key contributing dimension

  • Position Interactivity as an outcome state

2007, James P. Gleason


More than the medium

2007, James P. Gleason


Key points of the rmd model

Key points of the RMD Model

  • All predictive dimensions mutually contribute to influence user perception of interactivity.

  • As an outcome state, perceived interactivity depends on their combined influence.

  • Content plays a separate and unique role.

2007, James P. Gleason


Technological features

Technological features

  • Features or functions of the medium &/or device that are contextually substantive to the quality of the communication experience

    • Yes – Using online forms

    • No – Changing the screensaver

2007, James P. Gleason


Relevant user experiences

Relevant user experiences

  • Perceived by the receiver to enhance the communication experience by creating the opportunity for potential increases in perceived interactivity.

2007, James P. Gleason


Two contributing sub dimensions

Two contributing sub-dimensions

  • Context -- the physical and virtual environment that shapes a user’s readiness and receptivity to act within the interaction communication event.

  • User perception -- His or her own readiness and receptivity to act within the interaction communication event.

2007, James P. Gleason


Content

Content

  • Influences user perception in a manner independent of the particular technology or medium used to communicate these messages.

  • Examples:

    • American Idol

    • Interactive PDF documents

2007, James P. Gleason


More than the medium

2007, James P. Gleason


Content dimension elements

Content dimension elements

  • Control

  • Directionality

  • Opportunity

  • Relevance

  • Navigation

  • Purpose

2007, James P. Gleason


Why does it matter

Why does it matter?

  • The Book is both medium and content.

  • Technology convergence will bring new opportunities for increased content richness.

  • Navigation and intertextuality will play increasingly important roles.

  • An understanding of the Interactivity construct is critical to the future of the Book.

2007, James P. Gleason


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • The RMD Model of Interactivity

    • new framework through which to understand the dimensions that mutually influence the conditions under which interactivity is perceived by the user.

    • Its comprehensive and inclusive scope offers broad applicability in multiple forms of computer-mediated communication – including The Book.

2007, James P. Gleason


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