Posted by aleepierson
New media can be a difficult term to define. Let’s start with traditional, or old, media. Traditional media describes newspaper, magazines, television, and radio. These forms of media have survived many years and are still prevalent today—but there’s new media in town. With the recent upsurge in digital technology, we’ve also seen an upsurge in the different forms of media.
New media is readily available to anyone with a technological device (computer, smartphone, tablet) that supports Internet connection. This includes photos, videos, written stories and articles, infographics, and many more forms. Many forms of new media utilize a variety of the different ways they can display information.
In the beginning of class, we explored many different forms of new media. The Curious Case of the Caspian Sea’s Scars, an article from The New York Times, is an example of new media. It’s an article about the Caspian Sea’s underwater scars that uses a news story, a tweet, and several images. This article uses mixed media to form a story line. The one thing it doesn’t allow is reader feedback.
The Black Budget is an article from The Washington Post that also shows various forms of new media all in one news story. It uses infographics and interactive charts that users can play around with and feel involved along with a news story. At the end of the article, users can write comments and engage in interactive discussion about the article. Along with this, users can like, share, or reply to other users’ comments. This is a great example of new media because it shows how nonlinear new media is. There are several ways for users to engage with the article while educating themselves on whatever the subject matter is.
The last article I chose as an example, Planet Money Makes a Shirt, is an interactive story about the making of shirts that takes you through the whole process from start to finish. This article is nicely delivered to the audience, utilizing videos, text, images, charts, and an interactive user interface that makes it fun for the viewer.
New media is headed down a rapidly-changing path. As I was reviewing different sources researching new media, I stumbled upon a website that puts it perfectly: “The definition of new media changes daily, and will continue to do so. New media evolves and morphs continuously. What it will be tomorrow is virtually unpredictable for most of us, but we do know that it will continue to evolve in fast and furious ways” (Socha and Eber-Schmid). This article points out in the very beginning that new media is ever-changing. It is continuously evolving into something we probably can’t even imagine.
Growing up in the 90s, I remember a time when there were no cell phones—or at least they were few and far between. I remember when my dad got his first cell phone—I was probably about 10 years old and he got it for emergencies only. It was an analog flip phone with a small single-line screen that only read a number.
Let’s move forward a few years to the cell phones that first came out with games—simple games that utilized a few buttons and had an easy concept. Now think about the cell phones we have today. Analog cell phones, after going through several changes, morphed into smartphones that can act as personal assistants using voice activation. In a mere 10-20 years cell phones have evolved at an astronomical rate, so just imagine what they will do in the future. I never would have guessed technology would be where it is today even 10 years ago.
New media is headed down an exciting path. We now have smart cars and smart houses. Robots are in quick development and already being used for various tasks. Technology has quickly evolved changing the world around it. Individuals and organizations alike have to keep up to date with the changes in technology in order to not only succeed but also compete with everyone else out there. So many people depend on social media for news updates and event invitations and shopping and anything else you can think of.
Socha, Bailey and Barbara Eber-Schmid. What Is New Media? 2014. Web publication.