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New Media Technologies: Communication Theories. COM 300 Kathy E. Gill 6 April 2005. Agenda. Recap Monday Characteristics of New Media Lab. Why Use a Technology?. Cognitive Needs – Desire (demand) for information, knowledge, understanding

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new media technologies communication theories

New Media Technologies: Communication Theories

COM 300

Kathy E. Gill

6 April 2005

agenda
Agenda
  • Recap Monday
  • Characteristics of New Media
  • Lab
why use a technology
Why Use a Technology?
  • Cognitive Needs – Desire (demand) for information, knowledge, understanding
  • Affective Needs – Aesthetic, pleasurable, and emotional experiences
  • Personal Integrative Needs – Inner-directed, deal with credibility, confidence, stability, and status
  • Social Integrative Needs – Outer-directed, strengthening relationships with family, friends, the world
  • Escapist Needs – Desire for tension release or diversion

- Katz, Gurevitch, and Haas

diffusion theory
Diffusion Theory
  • Rogers (1995) outlined four parts:
    • Innovation
    • Social system
    • Time
    • Communications channels
  • And five steps:
    • Knowledge
    • Persuasion
    • Decision (adopt or reject)
    • Implementation
    • Confirmation
characteristics of new media
Characteristics of New Media
  • Compare/contast with “old” media
  • Review Networks of Remediation
  • Examine McLuhan’s “medium is the message”
  • Review Manovich’s five points
new media characteristics
New Media Characteristics
  • A blend of characteristics from “old” media
    • Print
    • Radio
    • Film
    • TV
print characteristics
Print Characteristics
  • Abstract
  • Fixed
  • Linear
  • Primarily verbal
  • Reader controls pace
  • Transient audience
radio characteristics
Radio Characteristics
  • Dynamic
  • Linear
  • “Live” — happening in real time
  • Auditory
  • Creator controls pace
  • Transient audience
tv characteristics
TV Characteristics
  • Dynamic
  • Linear
  • “Live” — may be happening now
  • Primarily visual
  • Animated
  • Creator controls pace
  • Transient audience
film characteristics
Film Characteristics
  • Fixed
  • Linear
  • Primarily visual
  • Animated
  • Creator controls pace
  • Captive audience
new media
New Media
  • Typically nonlinear
  • Dynamic
  • “Live” (maybe)
  • Multi-media (visual, auditory)
  • Relies on hypertext
  • User controls pace and direction
  • Transient audience
one new technology
One new technology

Source: http://www.mala.bc.ca/~soules/CMC290/290wk5.htm

hypertext
Hypertext
  • Presents information as linked nodes
  • Breaks the linear narrative
    • Envisioned by Vannevar Bush (1945)
    • Coined by Ted Nelson
    • Apple : Hypercard
    • Online (software) Help systems
    • Tim Berners-Lee
networks of remediation 1 5
Networks of Remediation (1/5)
  • “A medium is that which remediates” … and it is measured “against” other media (like we just did)
  • New media in turn change the “older” media
    • TV … tickertape
    • Print … adopting web design conventions
networks of remediation 2 5
Networks of Remediation (2/5)
  • Economic success depends on supplanting a pre-existing medium
    • Conflict: newspaper websites v paper
    • Conflict: CDs v downloadable (sharable) songs
  • Hypermediacy
    • Survivor… The Apprentice… mediated or authentic?
networks of remediation 3 5
Networks of Remediation (3/5)
  • How do we separate technology from its social use? Can we?
    • Technological determinism : says technology causes social change … Social determinism is the converse
      • Corollary: “nature versus nurture” … “'technology-push” v “demand-pull”
    • Can new media technology offer us transparent democracy?
      • Howard Rheingold, John Perry Barrow
networks of remediation 4 5
Networks of Remediation (4/5)
  • Postman: “the uses made of technology are largely determined by the structure of the technology itself”
    • For example, arguably the underlying Net Tech is ‘old’ (TCP/IP) and yet adoption has proved to be a function of ‘ease of use’ (new software) and social necessity (network effects)
networks of remediation 5 5
Networks of Remediation (5/5)
  • “The Male Gaze”
    • Which economic sector was the first to be profitable online? (hint: the first letter is “p”)
    • Are webcams mediating today’s “strip tease” by providing a sense of immediacy and transparency? What about sites like “Wicked Weasel Bikinis” (Australian firm)?
mcluhan 1 4
McLuhan (1/4)
  • Believes media (technologies) affect cultural (social) change
    • Differentiates between a medium and its content
    • Same content (words) is a different message when delivered in print, face-to-face, or on television
mcluhan 2 4
McLuhan (2/4)
  • Historical Construct
    • Tribal Age (oral culture – intuitive)
    • Age of Literacy (invention of phonetic alphabet – emergence of logic)
    • Print Age (invention of printing press – linear thinking – science – individualism)
    • Electronic Age (ushered in with telegraph, poster child: TV – global village – decline of logic and linearity - image)
mcluhan 3 4
McLuhan (3/4)
  • Theorizes that a print culture created conformity and continuity
    • Think about America’s #1 export: culture/movies/logos
  • Western technology and remote geographies:
    • Al Jazerra – satellite technology to most of the Middle East; banned by several ME countries
mcluhan 4 4
McLuhan (4/4)
  • Compare our immediate knowledge of the 26 December Tsunami with the 1556 Chinese earthquake that killed 830,000
  • If, as he suggests, print created individualism and nationalism … what might networked communication create? Will familiarity breed contempt or collaboration?
manovich s five 1 6
Manovich’s Five (1/6)
  • Numerical Representation
  • Modularity
  • Automation
  • Variability
  • Transcoding
manovich s five 2 6
Manovich’s Five (2/6)
  • Numerical representation
    • “zero’s and one’s”
    • Vector graphics v Bitmaps
    • Analog v Digital
      • Early complaints about CD v LP
manovich s five 3 6
Manovich’s Five (3/6)
  • Modularity
    • The “whole” consists of many “objects”
      • Example from blog: Google Images
      • PPT and Excel
      • HTML page (javascript, JPGs, etc)
      • Individual blog posts
manovich s five 4 6
Manovich’s Five (4/6)
  • Automation
    • What computers do best!
    • From blog post: “Apple’s new OS X Tiger… and Automator”
    • Photoshop automation; running “Cron” jobs; database driven websites
    • RSS readers
    • Object management and search (Google)
manovich s five 5 6
Manovich’s Five (5/6)
  • Variability
    • Website customization possible by automation
    • Presenting data (shaping appearance) based on output device: monitor, PDA, cellphone
    • Scaling (zoom – Google Maps)
manovich s five 6 6
Manovich’s Five (6/6)
  • Transcoding
    • Two distinct layers: cultural layer and technology layer … the intersection is a field called Human-Computer Interaction
summary
Summary
  • We define (or frame) new media in comparison to old media
  • There is an intrinsic relationship between content and technology: both contribute to meaning
  • Churchill : “we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us”