Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blogs vs wikis

I am totally a newbie in new media and feel like a dinosaur when it comes to using new technology. I have created this blog for the first time in my life and I doubt I would have done that if not this class. I am becoming more familiar with blogs now but wikis are still somewhat new to me so anything I write about them is based on what I read and heard. As far as I understand, blogs and wikis have much in common: they both provide for communication and collaboration. I see blogs as an online version of personal diaries with ability of getting an immediate feedback. A person makes posts to the blog about things and events that concern him or her and receives comments from readers. You can link blogs and comment on other’s blogs as well. The good thing about blogs is that beside text they allow for images, graphics and videos. A wiki is also a collaboration tool but in a slightly different format. As Margaret Locher says in her article “More on how to build your own wikipedia”, wikis are the best tools for project management and team building. Wikis allow a group of people working on the same project to create, edit and share documents online. Locher talks about using wikis in a workplace but they are well used in education by students working on class projects. I have done so many projects while in college and never used wikis. Now wonder why… We always used e-mail as a form of communication with each other and comparing to wikis it is so inefficient. Using e-mail you end up with multiple edited copies of the same document and sometimes it is hard to distinguish which is the most recent one. Also, not everyone checks e-mails on a regular basis, so you do not always get the up-to-date information. Blogs and wikis would not be possible without the Internet, a globalized network which is an example of convergence trend. We can do anything with Internet: watch television, listen to the radio, read newspapers online.
We live in the world of convergence when old media converge into new media and when multitude quickly becomes one. Think of cell phones which now allow for not only making phone calls and text messaging but also making and storing pictures, downloading and storing music and video. Copy machines are another example which combine the features of a copier, scanner, printer and fax in one. Convergence, media convergence in particular, affects our lives changing the way we behave and interact with each other.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Old media vs new media

I think that all that we call old media transformed into new media due to technological innovations and science. Old media has once been new media… Consider for example printed newspapers, most of which now went online and many journalists write their own blogs on current issues. Another example, books that transformed into e-books; with the help of e-book readers we can read books and publications in digital format. You can also find some books available online for free. Television and film are now considered the old media because we have Tivo and YouTube. These are just a few vivid examples of old media being transformed into new one. It is important to mention that not all new media have an old counterpart. Sometimes it is not that easy to distinguish between old and new media. How long does it take for new media to become old one? With our pace of life and technological advances- not so long. What we can say for sure is that all new media have common features, which help us distinguish between old and new at this point in time. The common characteristics include: digital computer technology (Internet-based), and the 5 C's we studied in class (communication, collaboration, community, creativity, and convergence).

Description of my project

The title of my project is Virtual Worlds: multiple perspectives. The purpose of the project is twofold: first, to introduce the world of virtual worlds, their types and common features; second, to analyze virtual worlds from technological, sociological, educational, and other perspectives. We will try to understand why people decide to lead virtual lives and explore the potential ways of using virtual worlds.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What is new media?

When people think of new media the things that come first to their mind are blogs, wikis, podcasts, twitter, facebook and other social networking sites, etc. Indeed, they are right. All of the things listed above comprise one concept, new media. As Clive Thompson in his article "Thompson on how YouTube changes the way we think" notes, it changes the way we think and probably behave. By “it” he refers to video, YouTube in particular, but it can be referred to any form of new media.
Some think that new media is replacing the old one. I personally think that it only enhances or transforms the old media. Consider the example that is described in the article “Publisher rethinks the daily: it’s free and printed and has blogs all over” by C. Miller. A Chicago-based start-up decides to publish a newspaper consisting entirely of blogs surrounded by local ads. Another example is using TV screens for watching staff from a laptop. I find it great to explore new ways of using what we call the old media.

New Start

Wow, I did it!!! I have created my own blog and this is my first post! I am totally a newbie in all that is related to blogs, wikis, social networking, etc. This is my first step into the world of new media...