Information Media In The Era Of Web Data Glut: Mass Society is Being Overrun by Technology,Technique And Emerging Gizmos
We need to evaluate and interrogate the social, economic, and philosophical meaning of the effects and affects of Technology and Technique on the Web Data on Mass Media and Mass Society, i.e., the Web's transmitted content, and its form and means of transmission and how this in end, when disseminated by the media, and received by the masses, what are the effects and affects thereof. We need to re-examine our assumptions of what we understand about the Media and how we understand Information/Media and the effects and affects of technical gadget and their social use; what is it in using and understanding the new and emerging technologies that effects and affects us, so we can be able to help ourselves to see beyond the banal assertion that ours has become a 'mediarized' mass society, and maybe we can better understand that society and how it is 'affected' and 'effected' and does the same to us. Frederick Engels's law asserts that technique has passed the 'stages of quantity to quality' in its evolution within the midst of mass society. I tend to then phrase it as, 'We have had a reversal of technique's evolution having passed over several stages in as many decades from quality to quantity within the present new Internet technology era of the computer and the Internet and its enabling convergence for different technologies, that in the end it might be overwhelming us as a data-filled and spewing entity that keeps on adding billions of information per second and ever expanding like some viral nervous system-like variation. In the end, it is the mind being replaced by the Internet/Web, and we are surrendering our intellectual spontaneity and freedom to the Internet and socially converging emerging technologies with their technicized media. This Hub develops and works on these themes to basically understand how these new converging technical systems, i.e., Media and their techniques, effect and affect Mass media data and gadgets are consuming mass society of these media-information/technical gadgets and societies, have changed the Mass Media and Mass Society in ways unfathomable only a decade ago, and have been introduced in our mass society and collective consciences at amazing speed and breath-taking changes, that they have also become the norm, fostering a change by creating a dependency in us on them.
The denizens of the technological state of the present and future are having and going to have everything their hearts will ever desire, except, of course, their freedom. Admittedly, modern man, forced by technique to become in reality a non-creator and without residue the imaginary producer-consuming of the classical economists, shows disconcertingly little regard for his lost freedom; but, there are ominous signs that human spontaneity,which in the rational and ordered technical society has no expression except madness, is only too capable of outbreaks of irrational suicidal destructiveness. It would seem that the Technological society, like everything else, bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction. So that, it would seem to me that the reduction of everything from quality to quantity is partly a cause, and partly an effect, of the modern omnipresence of computing machines and cybernated information in the web and other technological gizmos and gadgets. These are being invented and reproduced very fast, and the technique is used as a pipeline or conduit , or highway. Most everyday conceptions of successful interpersonal and intrapersonal or media communication essentially depend upon "aim, point and shoot" transportation assumptions. But even while we try to cling to transportation metaphors like "the Information Superhighway," computers have changed us irretrievably. Producers do have audiences in mind, direct messages toward those audiences, and try to get their points across. Aim, Point and Shoot. Modernized culture overvalues packaging and commercialization, and has to create consumers for all its packaging and packages. If it is to be grasped in its full impact, modernization must be regarded as a process by which specific clusters of institutions and contents of consciousness are transmitted. Messages are deigned to span the gap from Sender to Receiver. The metaphor of this "accrossness," this "Directness" is revealing and could be illustrated simply:
A ----------------------------------- [message/package] ---------------------------- B
Access ... signifies the ability to do what everybody else can do and to make use of what everybody else can use; access means the liberty to take advantage of resources(Wurman, 1990, p.45) This model has come back to be used in the modern technological gadgets of Social Media for its directness.
The abundance lies not only in the manipulation of text on one's own computer and data storage, but also in the magical word which will replace libraries: access. As we will see in this hub, the nature of digital text is characterized by linkage in an essential way- Directness, which as we shall see has given birth to a new communication phenomenon on the Web through interconnectivity of the new and emerging technological gadgets and ways of communicating. The new media now fueled by an on-line culture are moving inevitably in the direction of a listening model. Immersion, co-authorship, interdependence, and interpretive responsibility are the keys to this new model. The Mind, it should not be forgotten, plays a role in all this and in the end , will have the most pivotal role as we immerse, interconnect, become interdependent on each other and interpret the old, new and emerging techniques and technology and media. We an simply start by looking at TV viewing habits in the following piece.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop T-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will spent 9 years glued to the tube.
I. FAMILY LIFE
Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
Numbers of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours 47 minutes
Percentage of Americans that regularly watch TV while eating dinner: 66
Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
Value of that time assuming an average wage of $5/hr: $1.5 trillion
Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4000
Number of minutes per week that parents spend meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,580
Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
Percentage of 4-6 years-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
Hours per year the average American youth spend in school: 900
Hours per year the average American youth watches TV: 1500
Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elemenary school: 8000
Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79
Number of 30econd TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
Percentage of survey participants (1993) who said that TV commercials aimed at children make them materialistic: 92
Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1
Total spending by 100 leading TV advertisers in 1993: $$15 billion
V. Percentage of local TV News broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7
Percentage of Americans who can name the Three Stooges 59
Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
The Statistics above were compiled by TV-Free America in Washington, DC.
Influence of TV
For decades, research and studies have demonstrated that heavy television-viewing may lead to serious health consequences. Now the American medical community which has long-voiced its concerns about the nation's epidemic of violence, TV addiction and the passive, sedentary nature of TV-watching, is taking on a more activist stance, demonstrated by its endorsement of National TV-Turnoff Week.
The average child will watch 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school. By age eighteen, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000. At a meeting held in Nashville, TN in July, Dr. John Nelson of the American Medical Association (an endorser of National TV-Turnoff Week), said if 2,888 out of 3,000 studies show that TV violence is a causal factor in real-life mayhem, "it's a pubic health problem." The American psychiatric Association addressed this problem in its endorsement of Nation TV-Turnoff Week, stating that, "we have had a long standing concern with the impact of television on behavior, especially among children."
Millions of Americans are so hooked on television that hey fit the criteria for substance abuse as defined in the official psychiatric manual, according to Rutgers University psychologist and TV-Free America board member Robert Kubey. Heavy TV viewers exhibit five dependency symptoms - two more than necessary to arrive at a clinical diagnosis of substance abuse. These include: 1) Using TV as a sedative; 2) Indiscriminate viewing; 3) feeling loss of control whilst viewing; 4) feeling angry with oneself for watching too much TV; 5) inability to stop watching; and 6) feeling miserable when kept from watching.
Violence and addiction are not the only TV-related health problems. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey released in October 1995 found 4.7 million children between the age of 6-17 (11% of this age group) to be severely overweight, more than twice the rate during the 1960s. The main culprits: inactivity(these same childrn average more than 2 hours of television-viewing a week) and a high-calorie diet. A 1991 study showed that there were and average of 200 junk food ads in four hours of children's Saturday morning cartoons.
According to William H. Deitz, pediatrician and prominent obesity expert at Tufts University School of Medicine, "The easiest way to reduce inactivity is to turn off the TV set. Almost anything else uses more energy than watching TV." Children are not the only Americans suffering from weight problems; one-third of American adults are overweight. According to an American Journal of Public Health study, an adult who watches three hours of TV a day is far more likely to be obese than an adult who watches less than one hour. Sometimes the problem is not too much weight; it's too little. Seventy-five percent of American women believe they are too fat, an image problem that often leads to bulimia or anorexia. Sound strange? Not when one takes into account that female models and actresses are twenty-three percent thinner than the average woman and thinner than ninety-five percent of the female population .(TV-Free America) These are some of the effects and affects of TV mass media technology and programming on both children and adults
Mass Society in the Technological Er a
It is a truism to state that contemporary society is becoming a mass society. The 'process of massification," 'the accession of the masses" have been thoroughly studied and understood. Less well understood, however, is the fact that the man of the present is not spontaneously adapted to the new form of society. Previous societies took their character to a very large degree from the men in them. Technical or economic conditions imposed certain sociological structures, and the form society took expressed the psychology of the individual. This is no longer true. The process of massification takes place not because man of today is nature mass man, but for technical reasons. Man becomes a mass man in the new framework imposed upon him because he is unable to remain for very long at variance with his milieu. The adaptation of men to a mass society is not yet an accomplished fact; and recent research in the field of psychoanalytic sociology has revealed the gap which exist between man and the collective society, a gap which is the cause of the disequilibrium. Every society has norms which represent a criterion of the normal. When these norms change their character, a disturbance of equilibrium ensues and, for the man who has not kept pace with the changes, neurosis. There is no doubt that the norms of our civilization have changed for reasons which are not "human"; men as a whole had no desire for the changes that occurred nor did they work toward them consciously. Indirect influences have operated on the norms of modern society; and these norms have been transformed without men knowing what was happening.(Ellul) The outcomes of modes of communication promulgated by the new emerging digital contraptions cannot be missed as one reads further into the hub as to how these function and how they effect and affect us as a mass society and our mass minds.
Mind Over Web Data
In the book the Secrets of The Ages, the reorganization and power of the Mind and its abilities has been stated as follows: "Now we know that this infinite Good is not more available to one than it is to all. We know that the only limit to it is our capacity to receive. If you had a problem with mathematics to work out, you would hardly gather together the necessary figures and leave them to arrange themselves in their proper sequence. You would know that while the method or solving every problem has been figured out, you have got to work it. The principles are there, but you have got to apply them.
The first essential is to understand the principle - how it works - how to use it. The second - and even more important - is to APPLY that understanding to the problem in hand. In the same way, the Principle of Infinite energy, Infinite Supply, is ever available. But that Energy, that Supply, is static. You've got to make it dynamic. You've got to apply your understanding in order to solve your problems of poverty , discord , disease. Science shows that it is possible to accomplish any good thing. But distrust of your ability to reach the goal desired often hold you back and failure is the inevitable result. Only by understanding that there is but one power - and that this power is Mind, not circumstances or environment - is it possible to bring your real abilities to the surface ad put them to work. Few deny that intelligence governs the universe. In matters not whether you call this intelligence Universal Mind or Providence or God or merely nature. All admit Its directing power. All admit that It is a force for good, for progress. Bur few realize that our own minds are a part of this Universal Mind in just the same way that the rays of the sun are part of the sun. If we work in harmony with It, we can draw upon Universal Mind for all power, all intelligence, in the same way that the sun's ray draw upon their source for the heat and light they bring the earth. It is not enough to know that you have this power. You must put it into practice - not once, or twice, but every hour and every day. Don't be discouraged if at first it doesn't always work. When you first studied arithmetic, your problems did not always work out correctly, did they? Yet you did not on that account doubt the principle of mathematics. You knew that the fault was in your methods, not it the principle. It is the same in this. The power is there. Correctly used, it can do anything." As stated above, the principles about the media and by the media are there, we've got to know them very well to apply them
Most of what we communicate has to do a lot with language and writing. What the mind thinks is transferred into verbal , written form, phonetic syllable and the auditory realms. It looks like the aims of expression and communication are so closely intertwined with each other in all forms of human behavior that normally it is impossible to speak about one without being forced at the same time to consider the other. In order to communicate thoughts and feelings there must be a conventional system of signs or symbols which, when used by some persons, are understood by other persons receiving them. Communication under normal circumstances requires the presence of two or more persons, the one(s) who emit(s) and the one(s) who receive(s) the communication. Therefore, the process of communication is composed of two parts, emission and reception. Our Minds can grasp these if we are to understand the large quote in the above cited paragraph. The purpose of this Hub is to show that the corporate media system, in conjunction with the broader trappings of a modern capitalist society, necessarily generate a depoliticized society, one where the vast majority of people logically put little time or interest into social or political affairs.(Carl Boggs) In the process, the Social networking processes. through the use of the internet and other miniature emerging technological gadgets, debunks the myth and fiction that the Internet will "set us free," but the Hub shows that the Internet, despite its virtues, is largely being incorporated into the dominant commercial media and communication systems, creating a mass consuming and technological/technique-based mass media society and reality.
In the 1990s a new argument emerged which suggested that we had no reason to be concerned about concentrated corporate and hypercommercialization of media and the notion that the Internet, or broadly speaking, digital communication networks will,will set us free. Every major new electronic media technology this century, from film, AM radio, shortwave radio, and facsimile broadcasting to FM radio, terrestrial television broadcasting, cable, Dish and satellite TV and broadcasting, has spawned similar utopian notions. The factor that distinguishes the Internet from previous new communication technologies is its all-encompassing nature. Computers are not just tools or even conduits, but create their own experiential listening environment that is increasingly naturalistic and pervasive in human life. Computer culture forces us to redefine what mediated communication means and we are barely coping as the computers steadily come over matter and mind.
The Internet As Communications on Steroids
As the technological society society's era expands, merges and converges ad infinitum, one wonders if whether we are witnessing the Mind over the Web or is it the Web all over the mind? One of the striking features of the Internet is that it is a public sector creation. At the same time, the internet has been developed by the private sector, with the guiding principle being that whoever makes the most money wins. With the shift of television to digital format, this has made it interchangeable with the Internet. Those firms that are now dominating the digital television have been for some time poised to play a major role they are now playing in the age of the Internet. In a way, the Internet is being maintained through a profit driven context. It is important to look and know how the dominant firms in the relevant sectors - telecommunications, computer software, computer hardware, media-are addressing the media operate and manipulate these entities. All are threatened by the Internet and they act defensively; and each also sees the Internet as a route to long-term growth. In conventional thinking, Convergence provides the basis for highly competitive markets, because firms can now invade formally irrelevant, and we have been witnessing a wave of unprecedented mergers and alliances of the largest media, telecommunication and computer firms in recent memory markets.
A brief history about the formations and origins of the Net would be in order at this juncture. It is important to note that the computer Net is an ever expanding new territory, and it is still growing faster than our ability to document or civilize it. Douglas Rushkoff offers an excellent and brief historical background on the founding and origins of the net in this excerpt below as follows:
"Intentionally developed as a decentralized web, the computer networks have already evolved into complex chaotic systems, capable of feedback and iteration on a scale still unfathomable by even their most enthusiastic participants. Computer networks are fractal in composition, with large networks of computers self-similarly reflecting smaller linked groups, which themselves reflect the inner workings of a single machine, which itself reflects the shape and structure of the software within it, the commands within the software, and the bytes of binary data within those commands. As feedback devices, computers provide unprecedented expressive capabilities to anyone who can get access to a terminal and a modem. A tiny laptop in Montana can as high a leverage point as a system than any other. As an opportunity for iteration, the computer and its networks - which actually work by cycling information in nearly infinite loops - have begun to frighten those whose power is based on limiting the public's ability to disseminate and amplify its observations and intentions. How this all came to be is significant. Tracking the development of the current Net reveals why it is so essentially chaotic; both the conscious plans of its constructors and what can be considered deeply "Natural causes" led to the formation of a new kind of wilderness - a network of 'roots' and 'vines' so vast that it has the potential to modify everything it contacts and utterly change the very landscape of the forest."
Rushkoff adds: "One way to trace the formation of the computer networks is to begin in 1964, when a cold war 'think tank' called the Rand Corporation was asked to come up with a way for the United States to maintain defense communication in the event of a nuclear war. The post-apocalyptic scenario they imagined was surprisingly similar to the postmodern world view of the slacker. Rand determined that the communications network must 'have no central authority and be designed from the beginning to operate while in tatters'.(Bruce Sterling) Like a grassroots counterculture, the defense industry's ARPANET was created by the mid-seventies to allow different people in separate locations to communicate with each other and even operate defense systems after a devastating nuclear attack. The strategy involved making each computer, or "node," in the network of equal value in creating and transmitting data. Rather than establishing a potentially vulnerable central command post from which orders trickled down to the remote locations, each of the thousand of locations in the system would automatically re-route through Dallas in order to reach Los Angeles, but the Dallas system were hit, the system would automatically re-route the message to other systems. Imagine a chain-linked fence. Even if you punch out a big hunk of fence, the rest is still interconnected enough to conduct electricity."
"Imitating a complex natural system like a coral reef, the ARPANET system depended on the immense interconnectedness of its parts. So it seems most hierarchically inclined, power-based segment of our culture - the military - developed the most Gaian-spirited complex ever created by human beings. This self-similar map of interconnected nodes is an automatically self-regulating organism. No one individual can control what information spreads where. As one of the fathers of the system, John Gilmore said in an often quoted remark: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." An attempt to block a communication at one node will simply prompt the network to find one of millions possible alternative routes. In a biosphere the more possible links and "phase locks" there are between members, the more opportunity nature has of regulating and neutralizing disturbances. Similarly, the dominant law on the computer net is a natural tendency toward self-determination through chaotic means."
Rushkoff explains further that: "By the time ARPANET was "ended" in 1989, no one seemed to notice that the organization did not exist anymore. It didn't matter: the powerful network it had initiated was her to stay. Many universities and commercial computer networks had already become nodes on the system, developed their own communications protocols, and had been sending each other electronic mail, conferencing, and archiving data. The network became known as the "Internet" - a meta-networking linking up other networks around the world. Scientist and other researchers used the network to share advances with each other, and corporations used it to send information from one site to another. Meanwhile computer hobbyists had launched their own, more grassroots-style set of networks. Two multibillion dollar industries - the computer manufacturers and telephone companies - had each developed its technologies separately. But as futurist Howard Rheingold suggests in his book Virtual Communities , the industries inadvertently gave private consumers access to those billions of dollars by selling them a tiny device to link the two technologies together: a computer modem. By hooking up her inexpensive personal computer through a modem to her family's $10-a-month telephone line, any kid can gain access to a global communications network, as well as every computer system linked to that network. The sum computing power of this tele-network of million of computers - and millions of computer users - is unimaginably greater than any single, affordable, constructible machine, or any organization of people."
Rushkoff finally clarifies: "The grassroots networks began as local, call-in nodes. One person would dedicate a computer and one or many phone lines to be a computer and one or many phone lines to be a bulletin board service, or BBS. Other users in his area could call into his BBS and leave messages for one another; post items of interest, or ask questions of the other users. The communications range from hackers sharing the latest stolen codes to people selling cars or discussing the story line of a Star Trek Movie. Eventually these private BBSs created their own meta-network called FIDONET so that people on one bulletin board could send electronic mail to their friends on other boards without the expense of making a long-distance call to a bulletin in another state. Now that FIDONET itself was linked to the Internet and almost everyone had access to everything. Today there are millions of users in the United States and billions more worldwide. To establish a node on the Net, all a person or company needs to do is get a computer with a modem and join either a private bulletin board, university system, or research institution's node for a small fee or sometimes nothing at all. Many users jack in through their computers at work, which are often linked to the Internet through the company's own node. Needless to say, the Internet is a social anarchy . There is no governing body for the system. Scientists share the network with hobbyists and hackers who share the system with writers, artists, researchers, corporations, and, of course, activists. The Internet is inherently threatening to anyone in a position of power because no one - at least, not yet - can regulate the tremendous flow of information. The real observations of millions of people, shared through the networks, create and undeniable high-resolution portrait of our current state of affairs. The way to influence the public opinion has historically been to feed people information from the top. A hundred million or billion eyes fixed on Dan Rather or even CNN made directing pubic attention easy. A hundred million or billion people speaking to one another through computer text and getting their information from researchers,observers, archived material, and just plain other people are impossible to control. They have a reality test. They also have a countercultural weapon. Rushkoff gave us the basic historical background of the coming of, evolving and spreading of the Internet. We will now look at the Internet today.
The New Digital Phase
When the twentieth century electronic media of radio, television, and recording tape adjusted these assumptions, and the changes at least still resembled ordinary presence. In other words, many messages became more accessible over distance or over time, but they retained certain cues of the voice, the human image, or both, that are normally associated with immediacy. Another way of saying this is that as media become more and more "immediate" and sophisticated they are experienced less and less like media. They seem almost to waft, to fade in and away, in a floating environment not experienced as machinelike, but as naturally involving. At the same time, most analysts implicitly assumed writing and reading were more or less non-immediate experiences, involving distant encoding. Reading and writing allow students to learn and even emulate literary or historical works on which the culture presumably depends. Therefore, these tasks were subject to more careful planning, they seemed to depend on "higher" mental functions, and also seemed more important to teach and learn. The were obvious differences of presence too. Writing therefore was considered a solitary act of creation and, except in an imaginative sense, as social as reading. In fact, a central myth of literature has always been inspired,by a tortured, or bemused author who sat alone creating new worlds on pages that, after they were transported, became potent enough to move isolated readers to joy, to tears, or to action.
Written and spoken modes offered their own advantages,of course. Speech, especially in face-to-face situations, provides more holistic clues to meaning, including a speaker's appearance, vocal tone, linear rationality. Newspapers have placed themselves at the nexus of vast networks of content, and have been able to single out complicated stories and nuances that broadcasters can only hint at. Still, in the midst of all this change, 'what never seemed to change' was that the point of origin, in effect, of news and entertainment - of information - and it was always 'out there'. Someone elsewhere had to decide that I needed to know what they wanted to say or write. Audiences, in a sense, were at the beck and call of message producers. In the process, they became consumers in the functional sense, in the service of communication entrepreneurs. However, "What never seemed to change " has changed. Whereas message receivers have been waiting on senders throughout the century, the basic vocabulary of communication's conventional wisdomhas been called into question by the new deferred digital presence of on-line networks. Floating messages function in way similar to how human speech is accessible to any listener within earshot. Whereas directed messages presuppose the sender's (pre-decided) purpose s, floating messages presuppose the listener's (potential) purposes. Reading in such an environment, it seems, takes on central characteristics of listening, with interesting consequences for presence and immediacy.
The Foundation Has Changed
The media industry has changed. The emergence of digital technologies has made it possible that more people are reached by the media and frequently than ever before. The new digital media technologies have had a dramatic impact on the traditional media Industry. This has left them wondering why is it with many people engaging with media these companies are struggling to make returns from. The foundation is not the road the printed publication travelled, or the sheet of paper that the content is printed, neither is the airwaves, neither is it the airwaves that carries a broadcast signal, it is not the content creator or even the brand - it is the mechanism that actually delivers the content to the eyes and ears . Digital technologies have changed the landscape, although the principle of the foundation has not changed, the players have. The foundation today is linked to organizations such as 'Google', 'Facebook', 'Youtube', 'Bebo', 'Skype' and 'Twitter' - they are now the mechanism that delivers content to the eyes and ears. These players have been brought about by our very increasing appetite to consume and share news and information. The change has been rapid as digital technologies remove the barriers associated to the traditional media. The format, location, distance and time are no longer considerations, the transfer of content and information can be instantaneous and to anywhere in the world. The issue with the foundation is it has never been hugely lucrative. Think of the newspapers girl or boy, they get just a few pennies for each paper delivered, the newspaper delivery firm even less per delivered unit. In the traditional world there was money associated with delivery. For the new foundation this has largely changed, and there is no money associated to distribution. If you take the list of the new players Google is in the anomaly in that it is the only one that has and is making real money. The others al have fabulous values attached to the organizations but have failed to show any real way to make a return(Indigo)
The way media is delivered, the way we consume media has changed. It was not that long ago the majority of content was created by professionals and published professionals, content was exclusive. Content is no longer exclusivey the domain of the professionals. Barriers have been removed. Professionals still create and publish, but so do the rest of us. The quality has dropped, the form has simply changed Content created and pushed our eyes and ears. A newspaper, magazine, television program, website, everything used to be pushed and we consumed. Content is no longer pushed, today it is increasingly pulled. Digital technologies have changed the rules. We consume increasing volume of content in flashes; Words come in 140 characters, broadcasts in one and half minute. Content used to be based on structure and format. Words came in paragraphs, broadcasts came in programs. Today snippets are the norm. Snippets are summaries; a headline, subject, content,tone, language, need or even creator. Snippets grab attention what is going on, something that has happened, a headline, a piece of information. They create interest and desire to pull more linked to headline; Snippets grab attention, or do not. Interest generated in a nano second, and we both engage and pull more or we walk away. Choose to walk we are informed, stay consume and we become more informed. Our ability, or desire, to consume rafts of content is diminishing. Summaries are often enough; succinct, message stark. Here there are riches to made, and a snippet is more than a headline - controlling the snippet is the new way of marketing and commercializing content. The created has changed. Consumers create content and comment on existing content. Sometimes this content or comment links or refers to content created by professionals or published by professionals, but often not. Consumers dominate in the content stakes, they are the lead in create and share. The balance of power has shifted. The creator has changed The desire and appetite for knowledge and information is not waning, content consumption is exponentially growing. Digital technologies are seeing to that. The challenge for professionals is to understand how to take advantage; how to create, package, promote their content. Publishers need to control snippets to drive revenue (Indigo)
Changing Content and Context
We are living an unnatural and unsustainable life in the BraveNewOrldOrder. We now live in a carefully constructed, artificial reality shaped by endless repetitions of memes, disinformation and propaganda inculcated through mass media indoctrination and bureaucratic institutional brainwashing. The subversion of our natural state of equilibrium is so complete, so encompassing, so pervasive ... that once you grasp the enormity of just ow many areas in your life have been affected, effected, conditioned, molded and steered, you can ONLY conclude that it has been done on purpose ... with deliberate intent. The social engineers that have shaped our society and our culture have a full, working knowledge of our human natures, our desires, our biological imperatives, and our instinctive proclivities ... and they have deliberately and deviously gone about subverting, distorting and controlling our need, wants and desires to create a script for which we unknowingly and unwittingly follow ... immersing ourselves into lives of artificial constructs that deliberately go against our natural state of equilibrium. If one feels like one is going crazy in a world gone mad, that is precisely ones cognitive dissonance of ones natural instincts clashing with the unnatural script you are trying to follow to achieve "success" and "happiness." This purposely instilled discombobulation was designed to leave you confused, tired, overworked, and in ill-health, unable to contemplate their these devious machinations that seek to subtly and covertly controlled. Put simply: to render you easily manipulated, our BraveNewWorldOrder's social engineers have deliberately scrambled our understanding our familial roles, dietary nutrition and health, understanding of finance and economics, and a proper understanding of education. They have created a society for which cultural inertia pushes us into dysfunctional familial relationships mediated by an Interloping State authority. They've created a society for which we ignore these manifestations of population control by focusing on a mass media constructed fantasy to keep us all distracted and mind-numbingly complacent and ignorant. They have created a society for which cultural inertial pushes us into bad dietary lifestyles, unhealthy addictions and a healthcare that profits from our misery and sickness(see Photo in the picture gallery) In other words, they treat us like the sheeple that we are. We've been herded, branded, fattened, sheered and eventually led to the slaughter...(Hawaiian Libertarian) Technology, Technique and emerging technological gadgets and Media have changed and altered our reality and understanding of our world today.
Social Media and Social Media Sites
Marianina Manning wrote the following excerpt about Social Media: "Consumer Generated Media (GCM) is the term that encompasses all social media content on the Internet authored by consumers. This content ranges from blogs, to social networks, consumer review sites, message boards and videos. Social networking and connecting with customers is all the buzz for example recently, Forrester Research did a webcast on Know your Customers' Social Technographics and Craft the Tight Social Marketing Strategy with Charlene Li from Forrester." She shared her insights on understanding ones target audience attitudes and behaviors towards social technologies(techniques )? These are great calls for marketers to learn more about getting their arms around social media, listening to the voice of the customer and engagement with consumers in social media. Some other stats, from Pew Internet and Jupiter research are offered Jeremiah, a fellow Web Analytics Association Social Media Committee Member, who is a Social Media strategist, below, gives outlines of how to approach positioning one's company in the wider Social Media Ecosystem. From Web Analytics perspective, how does one even begin to gauge the influence of these conversations on one's brand?(See Ladder-like Social Media Technographics Report in the Photo Gallery). Here are some stats worth comntemplating:
- One Blog is created every minute
- 27% (32M) read Blogs
- 22% (27M) post reviews/Comments
- 44% (53M) are Content Creators(running own Blogs,/sites, posting messages)
There are more than 1.5 billion comments per day, the collective voice of the consumer to influence brands and buying strategy has never been stronger and will continue to be strong. There have recently appeared in the market, applicators, such as visible Technologies TruCast, that 'can enable companies to monitor social media conversations' , gain valuable insights to manage their brands online on social media sites. For companies, these online conversations represent a new opportunity and challenge for brand monitoring, reputation management, word-of-mouth marketing and consumer engagement. This is pretty powerful stuff, the ability to segment one's potential customers by feeling and tone and message from the enormous pool of social media sites. I wonder how scalable this tool or any tool is, because eventually with the increased blogosphere appearing to be exponential ,how much data will their database with multi-tiered querying there is going to be, seems like there would be some pretty powerful information available on the Web Datasphere. Here is how this Data has be reset and presented:
Influence engagement Metrics and Advanced Analytics:
- Identifies the most influential consumers for a particular topic or issue
- Determines the sub-topics of conversations
- Interactive dashboard allows clients to determine specific sites and authors
- Wilding the most influence in conversations
What are they talking about (sentiment) scores:
For example, their intelligent sentiment technology evaluates the positive and negative sentiment and tone of conversation. Users establish sentiment criteria by scoring a sample of data, and TruCast automatically scores the rest. I'd like to put this the test. There are others such as Pythia which give trended social media for free, so even for SMEs there are tools which can help. I personally think the idea of engagement metrics within the context of the broader Social Media Ecosystem and putting it to use to be able to positively impact on managing one's company brand or one's life interests, and social media reputation management, it is something that we will all be doing in the not too distant future or is already here.
More Than Half the Population Use Social Networking Sites
Brad Reed wrote this piece in the Computerworld site: "More than half of all adult Internet Users in the United State either visit or maintain a profile on at least one social networking site, according to a study conducted by the Forrester Research. In its latest survey on social technologies, Forrester found that 51% of online U.S. adults utilize social Networking sites such as Facebook or Linkdin, a large increase from the 25% of users who reported using social networking." 'What makes social networking on the Internet so popular is the power it gives individuals to create, maintain and expand any number of networks to include family, close friends and people who share a similar interest, profession or hobby. The growing popularity of Facebook, for example, has encouraged corporate marketing teams to explore the opportunities to be had by having a corporate file. Using their employees contacts for sales and marketing, effectively creating a snowball effect as the corporate message is passed from one network to another. These sites give them a direct route to targeted groups of individuals with similar interests and, most important, it is free social engineering.'(David Kelleher)
Forrester conducted its survey online in May by questioning more than 4,7000 Web users between the ages of 18 and 88. The firm used data collected from the survey to classify Internet Users into six different type: "creators" who create and publish their own content such as Blogs, Videos or Music; "critics" who post reviews or comment on others' online forums or blogs; "collectors" who use RSS feeds; "joiners" who visit or maintain profiles on social networking sites; "spectators" who utilize podcasts, videos or Blogs, but who don't interact with others; and "inactives" who do none of the above. Forrester says that the growth of users who consume social media such as Podcasts,Videos and Blogs has grown almost dramatically as social networking Web site users. "The survey classified a full 73% of online U.S. adults as spectators, a big increase from the 48% that it classified as such in 2007. Additionally, the number of users who consume no social media has fallen from 44% in 2007 to 18% this year." Looking at age demographics, Forrester expects these trends to intensify in the coming years. "We now see that participation among those under 35 is nearly universal," writes Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff at the Forrester Interactive Marketing Blog. "Soon, if you're online, you'll almost certainly be consuming social technology applications now, you're officially behind."
The one group of social networking users that has not grown rapidly over the past three years, however, has been the creators who post their own content online. According to the survey, just 24% of American Web users are classified as creators, up fro 18% in 2007. Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran, who authored the report on the survey, says that creators have a certain temperament that many Internet users don't share, thus limiting their potential expansion. "It really comes down to whether you want to be a publisher or not," he explains. "it's going to be a smaller group than most of the rest.(Brad Reed)
Mass Media is Giving Way to Personal and Participatory Media
Mass Audience and Mass Media
The best technology in existence since around 1448 was a technology called "movable type" invented for commercial use by Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith from Mainz (although the Chinese had thought of it first). The idea was to cast individual letters (type) and then compose (move) these to make up printable pages. This promised to disrupt the mainstream media of the day, the work of Monks who were manually transcribing texts or carving entire pages into woodblocks fro printing. By 1455 Mr. Gutenberg, having received some sponsorship from a rich compatriot, Johannes Fust, was churning out bibles and soon also Papal indulgences.
In 2001, five and half centuries after Johan Gutenberg first bible, "Movable Type" was invented again. Ben and Mena Trott, high-school sweetheart who became husband and wife, had been laid off during the dotcom bust and found themselves in San francisco with ample spare time. Ms Trott began blogging - i.e., posting to her online journal, Dollarshort - about "stupid anecdotes from my childhood" For reasons that elude her, Dollashort became very popular, and the Trotts decided to build a better "blogging tool," which they called "Movable Type". Likening it to the printing press seemed like a natural thing because it was clearly revolutionary; it was not meant to be "arrogant or grandiose," says Ms Trott and nodding to her husband, who was extremely shy and rarely talked. Movable Type is now the software of choice for celebrity Bloggers. These two incarnations of movable type make convenient (and very approximate) historical book-ends. They bracket the era of mass media that is familiar to everybody today. The second Movable Type, however, also marks the beginning of a very gradual transition to a new era, which might be called the age of "Personal or Participatory Media". This culture is already familiar to teenagers and twenty-somethings, especially in rich countries. Most older people, if they are aware of the transition at all, find it puzzling. Calling it the "Internet Era" is not helpful. By way of infrastructure,full scale participatory media presume not so much the availability of the (decades-old) internet as of widespread, "Always-on", broadband access to it. So far, this exists only in south Korea, Hong Kong and Japan, whereas in America and other large media markets are several years behind. Even today's broadband infrastructure was built for the previous era, not the coming one. Almost everywhere, download speeds (from the internet to the user) are many times faster than upload speeds (from user to network). This is because the corporate giants that built these pipes assumed that the internet would simply be another distribution pipe for themselves or their partners in the Media Industry.(The Economist)
Exactly this, however, is starting to happen. Last November, the Pew Internet & american Life project found that 57% of American teenagers create content for the Internet - from text to pictures, music to video. In this new-media culture, says Paul Saffo, a director at the Institute for the Future in California, 'people no longer passively "consume" media (and thus advertising, its main revenue source) but actively participate in them, which usually means creating content, in whatever form and on whatever scale'. This does no have to mean that "people write their own newspaper", says Jeremy Zawodny, a prominent Blogger and software engineer at Yahoo! and Internet portal. "It could be as simple as rating the restaurants they went to or the movie they saw," or as sophisticated as shooting a home video." This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based o aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions. In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another or the audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing, or more often, collaborating with one another.
With participatory media, the boundaries between audiences and creators become blurred and often invisible. In the words of David Sifry, the founder of Technorati, a search engine for blogs, "one-to-many lectures (i.e., from media companies to their audiences) are transformed into ('conversations') among "the people formerly known as the audience". This changes the tone of public discussions. The mainstream media don't get how subversive it is to take institutions and turn them into 'conversations'. That is because institutions are closed, assume a hierarchy and have trouble admitting fallibility, whereas 'conversations' are open-ended, assume equality and eagerly concede fallibility. Today's media revolution, like others before it, has announced itself with a new and strange vocabulary. In the early twentieth century, Charles Prestwich Scott, the editor publisher and owner of the Manchester Guardian (and thus part of his era's mainstream media), was aghast at the word "television", which to him was "half Greek, half Latin: no good can come out of it." Mr. Scott's equivalents today confront even stranger neologisms. Merriam Webster, a publisher of dictionaries, had "Blog" as its word of the year in 2004, and the New Oxford American Dictionary picked "Podcast" in 2005. "Wikis", "Vlogs". "Metaverses" and "Folksonomies", all to be explained late in the survey, may be next.
Barry Diller, who fits the description of "Media Mogul" says that, "These words! The inability of the English language to express these new things is distressing." Mr, Diller has run two big Hollywood film studios and launched America's fourth broadcast television network, Fox Broadcasting. Mr. Diller concedes that all of the distribution methods get thrown up in the air. And how they land is, well, still up in the air. He has made a valiant effort to get his mind around the Internet, with mixed results, and is now the boss of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a conglomerate with about 60 online brands. Yet Mr. Diller is confident that 'participation' can never be a proper basis for the media industry. "Self publishing by someone of average talent is not very interesting," he says. "Talent is the new limited resource."
Jerry Michalski who advise companies on the uses of new Media tools, shot back: "What an ignoramus!" Look around and there's tons of great stuff from rank amateurs, and Diller is assuming that there's a finite amount of talent and that he can corner it. He's completely wrong. Nothing in the "Blogosphere" is poetry, not every audio "podcast" is a symphony, not every video "Vlog" would do well at Sundance, and not every entry on Wikipedia, the free and collaborative online Encyclopedia, is 100% correct. But exactly that can be said of about newspapers, radio, television and the Encyclopedia Britannica. What is new is that young people today, and most people in future, will be happy to decide for themselves what is credible or worthwhile and what is not. They will have plenty of help. Sometimes they will rely on human editors of they're choosing; at other time they will rely on collective intelligence in the from of new filtering and collaboration technologies that are now being developed. "The old media model was: there is one source of truth. The new media model is: there are multiple sources of truth, and we will sort it out," Says Joe Kraus, the founder of JotSpot, which makes software for Wikis.
The obvious benefit of this media revolution will be what Mr. Saffo of the Institute for the Future calls a "cambrian explosion of creativity: a flowering of expressive diversity on a large scale for the eponymous proliferation of biological species 530 million years ago. "We are entering an age of cultural richness and abundant choice that we've never seen before in history. Peer production is the most powerful industrial force of our time," says Chris Anderson, editor of Wired Magazine and author of a forthcoming book called "The Long Tail". Indeed, many people are in the traditional media are pessimistic about the rise of a "Participatory Culture," either because they believe it threatens the business model that they have grown used to, or because they feel it threatens public discourse, civility and democracy. (The Economist)
A Look at the Creation of Mass Population Control
Upon seizing power as German Chancellor in 1933, Adolph Hitler established a Rich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Joseph Goebbels. The Ministry's aim was to ensure that the Nazi message was successfully communicated through art, music, theater,films, books, radio, educational materials,and the press. Hitler's appointment of Goebbels, a demonically talented demagog who was slavishly devoted to the Fuhrer and his personal beliefs about the connections between political power and mass population control. Hitler expressed these in his personal political testament Mein Kampf: "Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people ... it works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea." I n his apprenticeship under Hitler, Goebbels brought the science of Mass Population Control to new heights with a totally comprehensive program of propaganda that permeated every layer of German society. In the 12 years the Nazis were in power, the German people's entire "diet" of information consisted of an unending stream of heavily censored and "engineered" radio broadcasts, public speeches, films, and even children's school books that enforced the Nazi singular political and racial ideology. Such a relentless and coordinated assault o the mind of an average person had an immensely powerful effect in shaping the thoughts, beliefs and opinions of the majority of the German people. And some people in the public relations spheres were strongly influenced by the Goebbels and Nazi's rise to power through the use of propaganda in controlling mass media and the mass of peoples.
Mass Media Redux (In Sum)
In the following excerpt, Alan Moore rolls out the history of mass media and their characteristics, their evolution and how they replaced and worked with one another.
Print was First of the Mass Media
Prior to Johan Gutenberg and his printing of the Bible, information was vigorously controlled by the church over a society described as a feudal society for the benefit of the church. This was the first mass media and it was a significant contributor to the demise of the feudal system and the hegemony of the church over large swathes of the Northern European populations. As printing spread and publishing developed, technological innovation created new marker structures. Soon publishers became the controlling institutions, wishing to exercise control and hence domination of that market space. The oldest of today's media giants such as TimeWarner and Rupert Murdoch, etc., trace their roots to the newspaper and print industries. Printing and publishing created a whole new raft of job descriptions the author/writer was the creative talent, with other professional writers including journalists columnists, screenplay writer, etc. For the newspapers and magazines, the job of editor was invented to mange the written content. Illustrators appeared for books and periodicals, and after the advent of the photograph in the 1850s, photojournalists and photographer illustrators also, were added into the creative skills of print and publishing. Advertising was born through the newspapers and magazines. Advertising revenues also hanged the business model of newspapers, and became the model thereafter on how every mass media made a sizable portion of its money. But importantly, because of the possibility of reuse, pubic libraries were born, where industrial man and woman could better expand their knowledge were they so inclined. With newspapers and magazines, from a commercial context, the role of information changed. Content became the necessary glue, for the reality important stuff - commercial messaging to a targeted audience. Today many free newspapers exist funded by advertising. Needles to say,like all industrial economies, barriers to entry for print publishers were high. The capital cost of setting up a publishing business were not insignificant and as publishers realized they could reach greater audiences with wider distribution, those capital costs increased. However, the considerable benefits were that whoever had the wilder distribution controlled the story, the news and the information. Until very recently,it was a few media proprietors, from around the world that were the arbiters of what we could or should know. A new media has introduced new industry, new professions, and new business models. Advertising has been enabled to support, even carry a media channel.
Recording was the 2nd of the Mass Media
Musical recordings from the 1800s introduced the first "new" mass media. What were first only music recordings on "clay" records eventually evolved to the vinyl recordings of the later half of the last century? The music industry added new recording methods from open reel audio tape in the 1960s to the C-cassette and music cartridges in the 1970s, the music CD in the 1980s and digital music stored as MP3 files from the late 1990s and the ringing tones now in the current decade. The music recordings alone is worth billions of Dollars worldwide today. Music was not the only recorded content. In the 1970s movies appeared on video cassettes and a second major content category for the recording industry was created. Movies started off as a rental business but then added video cassette sales and then the DVD sales and rentals. The movies sold and recorded on DVs today are worth about 20 Billion Dollar or nearly as much as Hollywood earns on the Box Office "cinema" income of first-run movies. Today, several other recordings categories exist including computer programs, video games, TV shows, etc. recordings as a new mass media channel was radically different from print, in that while anyone could read a book, magazine, or newspaper, for consuming a record or tape, CD, DVD, you needed to own a media player. this forced households to go buy the new home entertainment gadget, the record-player. And then later the cassette player, the CD player, the DVD play. Early recording were music concerts, longer symphonic orchestra music, which was what you would go to listen to if you went to the theater to listen to a concert. The recording industry then innovated and created shorter forms of music, inventing the pop song of about 3 minutes in length. This was not viable on the stage, 'we don't go listen to the London Symphony Orchestra play 3 minutes'. Musicians, because of the reach their music had, were able to branch into other media, most notably radio and the movies. It meant for the first time you did not have to be wealthy, to go to the opera, own your own instruments to be able to enjoy music. It was also like publishing a controlled economy and distribution system. Analogue recordings created a new industry, the music business, and slowly cannibalized music from print. Analogue recordings as a mass media and distribution model created a new spectrum of jobs; from studio and live recordings, to music management and touring bands - created for modern era by the Beatles and Jazz music and R&B(Motown), etc. A new mass media can cannibalize from the old, but also add new opportunities. A new media can create formats which were not viable before it. In addition, to creative and technical talent there can be performing talent in the media. Even with an expensive media player to be purchased by users, a media can flourish.
Cinema is 3rd of the Mass Media
In the 1910s cinema became the third evolution of the Mass Media. This introduced yet another very distinct form of enjoying mass media. Cinema thus became an audience media, mostly enjoyed in the movie theater with hundreds of other members of the public. Interestingly it was a communal experience, and still is. Technically, we now had a first truly visual media, with moving pictures. Movies told stories of the Wild West, brought us to the madness of war via Vietnam and Apocalypse Now , scared us to death via Jaws , and took us to new galaxies via Star Wars . Very popular cinema content format were invented in the first half of the las century for the cinema. These included "newsreels" shot about 5-10 minute new summaries in moving pictures - the precursor to today's TV news. Also, weekly "serials" were introduced, where the same hero would battle a series of villains one week, be left in a perilous situation to be continued next week. The cliff-hanger style of serial short movies which brought cinema audiences back every week for a further installments. Interestingly this format continues on TV soap operas and continuing story line TV series such as "The Shield," "The Sopranos," "Desperate Housewives," "Big Brother," "Pop Idol," "Star Trek Enterprise," , etc. Cinema was thought of threatening books as a viable media. The exact opposite happened. Good books spawned movies, and successful movies that were not based on books, were turned into printed books. Hollywood ruthlessly cannibalized the topmost talent and content from print and recordings and attempted to turn them into movie stars. Some succeeded like Ian Fleming's James Bond series of books or Elvis Presley's transition onto movies. Madonna and Prince are examples where cinema tried but failed in transferring a recording artist to the silver screen Comic books were turned into movies such as Superman, Batman, Spider Man, Darkman, The Hulk, etc., which in turn sold more comic books, but other titles such as Darkman have failed. While recording was a decade older as a mass media, cinema was able to overtake recordings in its importance due to its distribution model. A soon as cinema theaters started to make money, they sprung up everywhere and by the end of the 1930s there were dozens, even hundreds of cinemas theaters in major cities around the world. Recordings were still suffering from the high cost of individual players which did not reach most of the population until the 1960s. Like recordings, cinema also introduced new skills and new artists. The Hollywood star was born, with Charlie Chaplin the most recognized person on the planet in the 1930s. Even long after its peak influence in the 1950s, cinema still today holds a premier position among all media stars, as the ultimate indication of true celebrity. The most paid artists worldwide tend to be Box Office Hollywood stars, and most music artists, stage actors, TV celebrities, professional dancers, comedians, etc., hope to land a major movie role to boost their careers. Moving pictures are more compelling than written words of just sounds. People are willing to pay per view and to be constantly held in a state of disbelief. And it is a media that does not require the audience to go buy new equipment has the ability to bypass older media in adoption speed.
Radio is the 4th of the Mass Media
The 1920s brought us Radio and the 4th of the Mass Media. Radio was the first ubiquitous broadcast media, the first "streaming" media. This was the first time a media required the audience to make an appointment to join and listen. With books and newspapers, we could read at any time we wanted. With recordings we could replay the recording whenever we felt like it. With cinema we could select which night we could go and see the movie, as long as it was still playing. But with radio our show came once and was gone. If we were not there to hear it, we missed it. This meant the birth of broadcast schedule and appointment in the instance to listen. And introduced the need for new printed magazines and newspaper pages telling us what was on radio, on which channel, and at what time. Radio brought a new diversity of news, information, debate and music to the people. And, it brought a new channel for commercial communications. Radio was the engine that started to drive mass consumption, content became the glue for commercial communications. And that is an interesting and important point to consider. Radio brought us the Soap Opera as continuing story line radio plays that were sponsored by the Consumer detergents and soaps giant Proctor & Gamble and featuring their main brands such as Palmolive, Colgate and Pepsodent. Radio did something that never was possible, the rapid dissemination of breaking news an information, experienced live as it happened. It complimented the long-from more in-depth analysis of the newspaper and specialist magazine. Radio was funded either on an advertising model or by national license fees, or in some cases a mixture of the two. However, a strange symbiotic relationship developed, with music recordings and the Top 20 chart radio play format. Suddenly the music recording industry noticed that those songs that the radio DJ's played would become economically chart hits. Like each new media, new talent was needed and radio's new talent were the DJ's and announcers, newsreaders and other radio voices. New radio plays emerged and comedy hours and familiar radio voices became celebrities. Broadcast is tied to a schedule, even a cannibalistic new media typically will not kill off an older media, rather adjust it. Even if two mass media use similar content, the newer one will still spawn new professions and a new industry. It's possible for two media to form a symbiotic relationship.
TV was the 5th Mass Media
The 1950s brought us the mass introduction of television. TV combined the broadcast concept of radio and its business model with the visual and multimedia impact of cinema. Like radio and recordings, TV required the audience to purchase a consumption device, except in the 1950s and 1960s even the cheapest TV sets were easily ten times more expensive than record players or radios. But this enormous price barrier was no obstacle to TV. Television's economic and cultural impact was simply seismic: it was the first time mass media to physically and metaphorically replace the fireplace as the heart of the home. TV took a great deal from its older broadcast siblings, radio and cinema obviously, but also print. The economic model of radio was copied - including the business models of either TV license or advertising, or in some countries, both. Only much later with cable TV did subscription models appear and today even pay-per-view models are being introduced for TV. More than just a media, TV soon dominated all other media economies. By the 1970s TV attracted the largest audiences and become the engine room for driving mass consumption via TV advertising. For example, Morecombe and Wise , a British comedic duo got the highest recorded TV audience in Britain, with 26 million viewers, almost half of the UK population watching their Christmas special. The Superbowl in the United States is the annually most watched TV show gathering about 80-90 million viewers to the show. TV also changed previous media concepts. A good example is music. After TV innovated the music video(MTV), suddenly TV became the determining factor in a recording artist's chances of climbing the music charts. Radio, once the sole arbiter of the audiences taste in music was superseded. TV introduced again new skills. Both technical from TV studio, video, audio, editing, lighting, etc., staffs to the on-air-personalities from news anchors, game show presenters, talk show hosts, etc. More recently VJs(Video Jockeys on MTV and musical channels), and even Reality TV contestants in shows like the "American Idol" and "Big Brother," have become celebrities that TV audience aspire to become. From able to satellite and now digital TV, various multi-channel TV systems has given the TV audiences ever more choice. It has also caused severe fragmentation of the advertising audience. P&G Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Stengel says that in 1965, 80% of adults in the US could be reached with three-second spots. However in 2002, it required 117 advertisement to achieve the same result. Even a very expensive media player is not an obstacle to adoption if the format is right. A media can gain a dominant position without a unique technical benefit. A new media rival with an absolute advantage - such as TV over radio - still did not kill off the previous mass media.
The Internet is the 6th of the Mass Media - The First Interactive Media
The 1990s brought us the 6th Mass Media, the anarchic Internet. But, of all instances of a new media appearing onto the scene, the Internet was the first time that a new media could do everything that the earlier five Mass Media could do. Furthermore, the Internet added to unique benefits never possible on the previous five: Interactivity and Search. What the Internet has achieved single-handedly is to demonstrate that humans are a "We" species, a social and networking species. We have an innate need to connect and communicate. The networked and Interactive nature of the Internet suddenly enabled us humans to get back to what our DNA demands us to be via: the Blogs, Wikis, Citizen Journalism, Peer Production, Collective Intelligence, and del.icio.us. Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games such as "World of Craft," social networking like "My Space" and Cyworld. Or even "Habbo Hotel," a virtual children's playground which releases new variants every six weeks based n the feedback of its 8 million users worldwide. This enables a community-improved system with improvement cycles unheard-of in legacy media, capitalizing on the "wisdom of the crowds". Alan Moore likes to state that, "Nobody is as clever as everybody." He continues: "This radically changes the relationship between media content creation and media content consumption. Industrialization and the Mass Media have conveniently forgotten that we are a "We" species and really don't like being reminded of the fact that we want to be part of creation, of networks and communities. And that it is fundamental need of every society on this planet, no matter whether we live in the forest or in the cities. The sixth Mass Media demonstrates an audience can, and indeed demands the possibility for direct participation in media creation and consumption. We can think of the first five mass media as "cold" mass media,consumed passively. By contrast the Internet was the first "hot" mass media, which is allowing users to create, rate, participate in and propagate media content. Business Week explained of the relevance of Social Networking on its June 26, 2006, cover story: "This is the biggest change to business ... since the Industrial Revolution".
Today, readership of newspapers is pointing to terra firma, traditional TV viewing is in terminal decline, whilst Internet use continues to look to the blue sky of growth. Print, Radio and TV are also becoming media channels for increasingly older people. The ITU Digital Life Report for 2006 reveals that over 55 years olds spend 31.5 hours per week with traditional news media (print, radio and TV) and only 8 hours with modern digital mass media (mostly the Internet). Meanwhile young people, i.e., under 35 year olds, by contrast spend 25 hours with all the three major forms of legacy media and already 16 hours per week with interactive media. Young people spend 50% more time on the Internet as on TV, twice as much as on the Internet as on radio, and four times as much time on the web as in print media. "I search therefore I am," is the mantra of today's digital 'natives'. Search changes everything. A good example of how search is altering legacy media is with recorded music. Pitchforkmedia.com has emerged as one of the more important indie "must read." Music sites in any medium, with 125 unique visitors a day and only three full time employees. Bands that have struggled for years once picked up by Pitchforkmedia.com have often witnessed a rapid increase in sales and their music. Google's sponsored search words concept has radically altered advertising revenues on the web, and in 2006 more revenues were earned by search advertising than all other forms of advertising on the Internet. Like each of the previous mass media, the Internet has brought about new professions requiring new skills. Some of these are technical, like web designers,others are on the creative side such as blogger. Already today there are more Bloggers than all professional journalist in TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines combined. But also, most Bloggers are not paid for their work, the number of professional and semi-professional Bloggers are measured in the low tens of thousands out of the 72 million Blogsites today. If a mass media is an inherent threat media, threatening to cannibalize all legacy media, it also will rapidly alter each of the legacy media. Interactivity creates digital community and moves media from push to pull. A "hot" media is inherently preferred over any cold media and will cannibalize older media at unprecedented speeds. For all the huge changes enabled by the Internet so far, the changes ahead caused by the Internet are going to be greater than all changes we have seen up to now. The mobile phone, for example, will not kill off the Internet. Just like cinema and TV did not kill off books, radio did not kill off recordings and the Internet has not killed off newspapers, magazines, video games, etc., so too, mobile is the newest mass media, it is very different mass media, but it will not be the hangman of the internet. For all of the major Internet services, companies and media formats, their bright future is still ahead for them. Only that while the Internet has started its path towards the second billion users, the youngest media, Mobile,is already nearing its third billion users. Mobile, the 7th Mass Media is to Internet like TV is to radio.
Mobile, the 7th Mass Media is to Internet like TV is to Radio
Emerging Mobile Mass Media and its Changing Phases
Alan Moore has written extensively about "Mobile Phones as Mass media. This serves to update the concept of Mass Media today to get a better grasp of what is happening in present and upcoming Technological Revolution. Alan Moore informs us: "An evolving historic technological revolution is under way, which is creating new industries, new products, new services and, unmercifully redefining or even destroying others. Its more powerful, with greater reach and is growing faster than any other Media-Ecology. It is not as clear and coherent, with established well-known global brands, as the older Internet is today, with its Google's, Yahoo's, YouTube's and Second Life's . But the foundations are now being laid for the future corporate giants for the 7th mass media to emerge.
Differing from the Internet, mobile as the 7th mass media channel is similar to the five legacy mass media, economically viable with a stable business model fro day one. Yet, differing from the legacy mass media, all of which are witnessing a decline in their audiences and revenues, mobile, and like the Internet, is an interactive media enabling it to fully capitalize on Social Networking and digital communities. But more importantly, from a media audience point-of-view, there already are over twice as many Mobiles as TV sets. The only mass media that is carried upon the owner at all times, mobile is also the first mass media where nearly 100% accuracy is feasible on measuring the audience.(Alan Moore)
Mobile as the 7th mass media is as much superior to the Internet, as TV is to radio. Today at 2.7 billion mobile users, there are three times as many mobile phones as personal computers (and over a quarter of all Internet Access is already from mobile phones). There are nearly as twice as many mobile phones as TV sets. Twice as many people use messaging on a phone (SMS text messaging) as use e-mail on the web. but mobile was first a communication device. It emerged as the 7th media only by the year 2000. By far the youngest of the seven mass media, the mobile is also by far the least understood. The mobile is the first mass media that can do everything each of the six previous mass media can do. We can read content like newspapers(print, the first mass media), download music recordings (second mass media), watch movies (third mass media), listen to radio (fourth mass media), watch TV (fifth mass media). The phone can also copy all of the legacy PC-based Internet (sixth mass media) of today. All of the existing media can be delivered via the mobile. Therefore, the mobile is an inherent threat to mass media, capable of cannibalizing any of its predecessors. And it includes the new innovations of the Internet,Interactivity and Search, what was new on the web and not available on the five old media - both interactivity and search are fully existing on mobile today.
The web is semi-personal, but not really personal. Our phones, on the other hand, are truly personal. If we use the Nielsen rating on TV, on the mobile we know every single user. The mobile is the first always on new mass media; it is the youngest and least understood and also the most dangerous new mass media - one which will supersede the internet. With the mobile, one has the ability to sell service via the mobile, to deliver alerts of what is going on in other live media formats, like delivering via mobile alerts, when something is happening in the TV or Radio. The mobile is the ultimate alert and news media, faster by several order of magnitude over any other. The mobile is the firs always-carried mass media. The phone is with us literally within arm's reach, at all times. Seven out of ten people sleep with the phone within arm's reach, even at night. Also, the mobile is the first mass media with a built-in payment mechanism. It has a click-to-buy mechanism to buy any content, any service, any product, anytime, anywhere, by anyone. No credit cards nor Bank accounts. You can buy books, CDs, ringbacktones, video games, movie tickets, hotel reservations. Click-to-buy insurance,parking, fishing, license, speeding ticket. Anything you want and have to use the mobile, you just have to click-to-buy. This is the newest mass media, and will soon be the most powerful mass media on the planet. It has enormous implication to the current giant, TV, and to it revenue engine-advertising. It has a huge implication to the Internet,which will soon be overtaken in importance by mobile. Mobile to the Internet is like TV is to radio. The mobile is superior to the Internet.
The Trivial Twitter
Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams The public introduction began in March 2006 inside San Francisco podcasting company Odeo, says Mark Glasser. author of "Twitter Founders Thrive on Micro-Blogging Complaints". He then went to explain that "Odeo" was co-founded by Noah by Noah Glass . In the present time, "Twitter" had been initially used internally by Odeo's employees and became a product of Obvious at this time(PBS)
A short piece written by carlambruno in the Enlightenment of the Mass Media site states: "The Twitter is everywhere, it's on the news, on TV, on Facebook, advertised every where you look. Everywhere they know we will be looking, it's there. This blog is even an advertisement! Because I speak about it, you are curious as to what Twitter really is . The only difference is that I am not getting a big fat cheque for writing this. Murray White, author of "IM: Not Soon Coming Soon" states that in March 2009 Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury strip began to satirize Twitter, with the strip characters ironically highlighting the triviality of "tweets" and Roland defending the need to keep up with constant-update trend of else lose relevance. Super News, similarly, satirized Twitter as an addiction to 'constant self-affirmation'. So the "Twitter frenzy," states that during a March 2, 2009, episode of The Daily show, the host John stewart negatively portrayed members of congress who chose to "twitter" during President Obama's address to Congress(on February 24, 2009,) rather than pay attention to the content of the speech. The Daily Show Samantha Bee "satirized" media coverage of the service saying 'there's no surprise young people love it - according to reports of young people by middle aged people'. John Stewart described the service as a gimmick. Another episode of the Daily Show on February 26, 2009, during which host of NBC Nightly news, (a guest on the Daily Show and a journalist) derided "tweets" as 'only having subject matter which refers to the condition of the author in any given moment was interesting enough to publish in Twitter format'.
Andy Carvin, author of "Welcome to the Twitterverse" writes that on February 28, 2009, NPR's Weekend Edition featured a segment in which producer Andy Carvin tried to teach veteran news analyst Daniel Shorr how to use Twitter. Carvin continues by writing "what we are losing is editing," Schorr complained. "I grew up and nothing could be communicated to outside world that didn't go through an editor to make sure you had your facts right, spelling right and so on. Now, every person is his or her won publisher and/or her own editor or her own reporter ... This discipline that should go with being able to communication is gone." In response, Carvin gave two recent examples of breaking news stories that played out on Twitter: the attacks in Mumbai and the riots in Greece. According to Carvin, Twitter and Facebook users wanted witnessed accounts rather than hearsay. "A system of checks and balances kicks into high gear with people who are jut innately very skeptical - wanting to get to the heart of a matter," said Carvin, "and sometimes stories actually get debunked that way." This is another new-wave in the field of mass communications and media dissemination and consumption.
The Mass Mind and Technique
Certainly Technology, Technique have and are still expanding man's soul. being and reaches. The process of massification corresponds, moreover, to the disappearing of anything resembling a community. We may now ask what position were in today with respect to these factors insofar a technique is concerned. Let us put aside the problem of morality and concern ourselves with public opinion. It is completely orientated in favor of technique; only technical phenomena interest modern men. The machine has made itself master of the heart and brain both of the average man and of the mob. What excites the Crowd? Performance - whether performance in sports (the result of a sporting technique) or economic performance , in reality they are the same thing. Technique is the instrument of performance. What is important is to get higher and faster; the object of the performance means little. The act is sufficient unto itself. Modern man can think only in terms of figures, and the higher the figures, the greater him satisfaction. He looks for nothing beyond the marvelous escape mechanism that technique has allowed him, to offset the very repressions caused by the life technique forces him to lead. He is reduced, in the process, to a near utility. Even if he is not a worker on the assembly line, his share of the autonomy and individual initiative becomes smaller. He is constrained and repressed in thought and action by an omnivorous reality which is external to him and imposed upon him. He is no longer permitted to display any personal power. Then suddenly, he learns that the airplane his factory manufactures has flown 700 mile in an hour! All his repressed power soars into flight in that figure. Into that record speed he sublimates everything that was repressed in himself. He has gone a step further towards fusion with the mob, for it is the mob as a whole that is moved by performance that incarnate its will to power. Every modern man expresses his will to power in records he has not established himself.(Ellul)
We have known for some time that technique is of little value if it is not rendered tractable by man. Humanism, then, has been restored to its place of honor; to act contrary to the profundities of human nature is to act irrationally. This represents, for most part, a merely verbal and ideological humanism. There may have been some genuinely humanistic aspects in modern discoveries, but for the most part they have been primarily technical. A good method applied by an imbecile does not yield good results; and a technique used by a man full of rancor, disgust, or resentment, or by a man who detests it, will not be very efficient. Research, therefore, has taken two directions. It has concerned itself with making the interests of man and technique correspond, thus rendering technique flexible. It has also attempted to take human nature into account in order to keep man from being crushed by technique, thereby becoming an obstacle to technique. On both these counts there has been an unceasing effort to refine our Knowledge of human techniques in order in order to bridge the gap between man and technique. The claims of the human being have thus come to assert themselves to a greater and greater degree in the development of techniques; this is known as "humanizing the techniques." Man is not supposed to be merely a technical object, but a participant in a complicated movement. His fatigue, pleasures, nerves, an opinions are carefully taken into account. Attention is paid o his reactions to orders, his phobias and his earning. All this fills the uneasy with hope from the moment man is taken seriously. It seems to them that they are witnessing the creation of a Technical Humanism.
These techniques have tended to reconstitute the unity of the human being which had been shattered by the sudden and jarring action of technique. The grand design of human techniques is to make man the center of all techniques. He has been torn in every direction by the technical forces of the modern world and is no longer able of himself, at least on an individual level, to preserve his unity. But this lost unity can be restored by technique on the abstract level of science. There is no doubt that technique can counter technique; and abstractly man can thereby be restored to unity. A group of techniques is to be formed, therefore, centered on a concept of man and activated by the human techniques. The liberation of man, not only by technique in general, but specifically through the agency of human techniques, a liberation which proceeds as much from within man as from without. With the help of the human sciences, man will be freed from technocracy itself. Technique will combat slavery. According to Chombart de Lowe, research in this area must be completely disinterested and free from any preoccupation with immediate application. Techniques are in a position to offer man a saner and more balanced life and to free him from material constraints, whether these arise from nature or from actions of other men. The human being is freer when he is no longer in danger of famine and he has some leisure from labor. Technique is in great part the basis of this freedom In addition, the human techniques purify and free the inner man; this, for example, is the grand design of psychoanalysis. Man, freed and returned to himself, will be much better adapted to life and to the mastery of the difficulties with which the modern world confronts him.(Ellul) This is related to the technologies already discussed above.
To understand online culture, though, we must release our transportation and conduit assumptions because they are no longer functional. We move, again, to a listening mode. As effective listeners have known all along, to receive a message, you cannot be just a receptacle, instead, you reach out to meet the message - the idea, the meaning, the feeling - at least halfway. The listening itself is in motion taking action, traveling, connecting, accessing. Martin Buber has shown that humans' fundamental presence for each other cannot be psychologica l but is relational. The "between" where we meet is where we really live and are present for each other, not in our minds. Similarly, on-line communication is conducted in a digitized "between" region. While our culture has become more computer-saturated, we've noticed important clues that these newer forms of communication are experientially very similar to what we've previously understood as listening . Although many metaphors in these early stages of a new technology build upon the old directedness assumptions that are most easily recognized by written messages ("mail," "bulletin boards", etc.), increasingly the medium is morphing into re-oralized forms("chat room," "discussion groups", etc. We must recognize this as an implication of secondary orality, the developmental stage of human life that extends our former emphasis on literacy(Walter Ong) Indeed in e-mail and real-time on-line discussion groups, people typically refer to their experience in speaking/listening terms rather than as writing/reading ("I tell them it's like using the phone only cheaper ... I tell them they can talk to people all over the world if they want," I say it's a way to talk to people all over the country from your computer" - bulletin board veterans quoted by Metz, 1995), and most e-mail participants habitually e mulated speech more than prose, producing short, relatively spontaneous,colloquial, and often unedited messages primarily designed to evoke replies . In addition on-line enthusiasts supplement written messages with an array of symbols (often called "emoticons" or "smileys") designed to augment electronic messages with some of the nonverbal context on which listeners rely in face-to-face conversations.
The regulation of the internet may be unbureaucratic(at least to this point), but it is regulated nevertheless. Its informal regulation mimics how everyday talk is coordinated; that is, the internet's viability depends upon a humane, community-based or ensemble sense of how speakers and listeners can work together to guarantee the optimum quality and kind of use for the optimum number of persons. Internet protocol depends upon the assumption that large groups of people will not take unfair advantage of their opportunities to do just that, primarily because of implicit sanctions and emerging tradition. This, of course, is true more in the ideal than in how the ideal translates into practice, but most communication theorists are probably struck but how well, not how sloppily, the Internet works.
Assumptions of online communication recognize the listening needs of humans, not just their speaking and writing needs. As we interact with computer and computer enabled gadgets today, we are immersed in many of the same ways as we are when surrounded by sound. We treat "electric writing as if it were speech - spontaneously with immediacy and the assumption of present - and its reading therefore as if it were a new kind of listening."(Heim, 1987). What arises out the new media technology, is a reminder that receivers are not receptacles, and must "move toward" persons and messages rather than just waiting for them passively This movement is to a new space, a new distant and deferred presence , that is strangely both unfamiliar and familiar. This sense of presence is unfamiliar because the "old metaphors" seem oddly dissonant; it is also familiar, however, as it legitimizes what philosophers have shown to be the essence of communication. We are presently making-up catching-up...
This Hub was last updated on January 23, 2013
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