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.
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