The Digital Age

The level of cooperation across media platforms recently has become quite astonishing.

Within around six or so years we have been able to link most types of information using the Web, not only by old media such as books, TV broadcasting and music becoming digital, but by these information formats becoming integrated through our hugely accelerated use of Twitter, Facebook and blogging of all types, and our use of new gadgets like the Ipad and Smartphone that enable us to have everything that interests us in one place (1).

And this isn’t all happening like it used to. Before the ‘age of convergence’ the culture that was most important to us was pushed underground by the emergence of commercial superpowers who dictated to us the most important trends and made sure that the staples of the media industry (TV broadcasting, magazines and books, radio and advertising on these mediums) were where the experience began and ended (2).

But the invention and expansion of the Web has changed the behaviour of the media industry. Analogue media is not ‘where it’s at’ anymore. And we are the reason why. Since the industry has steadily begun to allow the audience to progress from being con-sumers to pro-sumers (Mitew 2012) through its recognition of the importance of audience feedback on media platforms, the focus has gone from interactive production of media platforms to participatory (2). For instance, when one walks into a mobile phone shop now, we don’t ask for a mobile ‘phone’  (2), we, in reality, ask for a miniature media centre, that will allow the flow of the content that matters to us from this platform, to our laptops or computers, to our Ipads, to school, onto Facebook and Twitter… You name it, and the media revolution will have something to offer.

And the great thing about the development of media convergence and technological intelligence is that the dead ends that scared us, like the death of the book as we know it, or the displacement of broadcasting (2) and authentic news reporting, are no longer a danger. We may be finding traditional, analogue media content in different places in the move towards digitalisation, but it is most definitely (thank goodness) not disappearing.

Update: 14/03/12

Resources:

Mitew, T The Medium is the Message: Trajectories of Convergence, BCM112, Convergent Media Studies, University of Wollongong, delivered 5th of March 2012.

Jenkins, H  Convergence Culture, New York University Press, New York,

 

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