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New Media Technologies: Communication Theories
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  1. New Media Technologies: Communication Theories COM 300 Kathy E. Gill 9 January 2007

  2. Agenda • Review Reading Assignment • Questions Missing! • Where “grade” is posted • Communication Theories • “New Media” Discussion • Demo: Garage Band

  3. New media (1/2) • Term has been used since the 1970s by researchers conducting social, psychological, economic, political and cultural studies of information and communication technologies (ICTs)

  4. New media (2/2) • Some definitions focus on computer technology, others focus on interactivity • Differences: • Audiences not heterogeneous • Control shifts from communicator to audience • See “What Is New Media?”

  5. Communication • A process in which participants create and share information with one another in order to reach mutual understanding (Rogers, 1995).

  6. Mediated communication • What is it? • d. mediated. (adj) acting or brought about through an intervening agent; (v) to be in the middle • Why would we study it? • We live in an ever-increasingly mediated world

  7. Part one : medium • A go-between/intermediary in the communication binding the sender and receive • Considers symbolic and cognitive theories of the psychology of representation • Considers theories of meaning in signs and symbols (semiotics)

  8. Part two : mass media (1/2) • Mass communication characteristics: • Directed towards a large, heterogeneous audience • Messages are transmitted publicly, are transient in nature, and are timed to reach all simultaneously • Communicator works for an organization Charles Wright, 1959, from Communication Theories: Origins, Methods and Uses in the Mass Media, 1988, p7

  9. Part two : mass media (2/2) • Mass media communication traditionally encompasses these channels • Newspapers, magazines (print technologies) • TV, radio (electronic technologies) • Note: “news” v “ads”

  10. Channel • The physical/technical transmission as well as any device needed for encoding/decoding • May encompass advertising channels (direct mail) or news (TV) • One-to-many, one-way channel is typical

  11. Where Might New Media Go? • See “Front Pages From Around The World” • See “History of Blogs”

  12. So, what is new? • Technologically? • Socially? Your thoughts, based on readings? • Three BIG things:

  13. Concept of scarcity • Gone! • Bits can be shared; atoms cannot • Implications? • How does this relate to Bush’s musings about Memex? • Does it make it easier or harder to “remediate”? Why?

  14. Constraint of time • Gone! • Time-shifting (Tivo, podcasting, 24x7 tech support via the web … what else?) • How do you think that the speed in which we now communicate (e-mail, mobile phones, etc.) has affected our communication?

  15. Constraint of space • Geographical barriers: Gone! • Internet technology lets us “space shift” like we “time shift” – (almost) seamlessly • There are environmental benefits from the advancement of technology, specifically from computers. If in the future, all of academia (from grade school & beyond) required only computer-based work, what would your response be to the change? Why?

  16. End Point - Tuesday • We’ll pick up here on Thursday

  17. New channels • WWW • E-mail • Videoconferencing • MP3 • Electronic publishing • Mobile telephony What do they have in common?

  18. Computer Mediated Communication (1/2) • Desktop computers used as tools to influence human cognition and convey messages among people (focuses on the technology, older definition) • Any form of communication between two or more individuals who interact and/or influence each other using social software on separate computers linked by a network (focuses on the people)

  19. CMC (2/2) • CMC software has two categories: asynchronous and synchronous (Smith, 1994). http://www.edb.utexas.edu/csclstudent/kim/text/ASCmC.html

  20. Synchronous • Two or more group members have real-time (simultaneous) communication • Instant Messenging can be synchronous • Face-to-face meetings; video conference; other?

  21. Asynchronous • Allows group members to work individually and “alone” • Provides time/space flexibility • E-mail, BBs • Example: virtual teams

  22. Virtual Teams • Types • Temporary (no common history or future) • Permanent (common history and future) • Forms of Interaction • Face-to-face (meetings, formal or informal) • Electronically-mediated (phone, CMC, videoconference) • Context • Culture and geography may be similar or different

  23. CMC/Web Characteristics (1/2) • Hardware independent • Software independent • IM Not Here Yet, But Close (Google) • Open standards • Information sharing • “Give back” (contribute) to the community

  24. CMC/Web Characteristics (2/2) • A blend of characteristics from “old” media • Print • Radio • Film • TV

  25. Print Characteristics • Abstract • Captive audience • Fixed • Linear • Primarily verbal • Reader controls pace

  26. Radio Characteristics • Auditory • Creator controls pace • Dynamic • Linear • “Live” — happening in real time • Transient audience

  27. TV Characteristics • Animated • Creator controls pace • Dynamic • Linear • “Live” — may be happening now • Primarily visual • Transient audience

  28. Film Characteristics • Animated • Captive audience • Creator controls pace • Fixed • Linear • Primarily visual

  29. Web Characteristics • Dynamic • “Live” (maybe) • Multi-media (visual, auditory) • Transient audience • Typically nonlinear • User controls pace and direction

  30. Mass audience no longer • From broadcast to narrowcast • Time-shifting • Accelerates a move foreshadowed by niche publishing

  31. Summary • Mediated Communication is … • Two types are … • Three characteristics of new media and their impacts …

  32. Resources • Effects of Four CMC Channels on Trust • Glossary of Internet Terms • JCMC