Oh hello, Internet!

This is my first blog post for Dr. Shelley Rodrigo’s ENGL 539 class, Writing in Digital Spaces.  In the interest of staying organized, I’m bolding the titles of each assignment and italicizing and bracketing the content options within the Reading, Thinking, and Reflecting Notes.

new media vs old media

New Media vs. Old Media - CC image from Flickr by dkalo

Reading, Thinking, and Reflecting Notes:

Content: [1] Key concepts with definitions and descriptions, plus [2] quotes with discussion.

Old Media vs. New Media – This topic has come up in almost all my communications and digital media classes so far, and I think it’s something that many people may need clarification on.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear dividing line between old and new media, but there are certain characteristics that can be judged in order to decide where they fall.

“Old media were analog; new media are digital.  Old media were sequential; new media are interactive.  Old media were static; new media are dynamic” (10, Austin and Doust).

My two favorite distinctions that were listed in the book were sequential vs. interactive and static vs. dynamic.

Content: [3] Connections to examples with discussion

Sequential vs. interactive is easiest to understand when we compare a novel (old media) to a website (new media).  The rules of reading dictate that you start at the beginning of a book, read each page in order, and then reach the end.  At that point your options are to stop reading, or start at the beginning (unless you’re reading a choose-your-own-adventure novel, which infringes on new media territory). When viewing a website, like CNN.com, you’re not faced with the same rules as a novel.  Users can skip around from page to page, clicking on banners, clicking the back button, clicking ads that take them to entirely different sites, etc.  The website experience does not have a set beginning or end, so the user is free to use it in a non-sequential order.

Static vs. dynamic is my other favorite, and also follows the novel vs. website example.  The novel, once printed, does not change.  Updated editions and versions may be released, but the copy of the book you hold in your hands will not look any different if the author decides to change all his/her ideals tomorrow.  The website, however, is constantly changing.  CNN.com would be a terrible website if the content developers didn’t update it frequently to reflect newer happenings.  It can be updated to show newer information, it can be updated to correct existing information, or it can just be changed for the sake of change.  The website represents new media because it can be altered for its audience at the drop of a hat.

Content: [4] Connections to experiences with discussion

My experience with the digital world has led me to the conclusion that American culture is changing alongside our technologies.  We have become an on-demand culture, expecting to have access to more knowledge than we could ever absorb (Google, Wikipedia), more media than we could ever watch or listen to (DVR, torrenting, YouTube), and more social connectivity than we could ever have the time to sort out (Facebook, Twitter, Google+).  All this information and connectivity is available instantly, with the right connection and tools.  We’ve come to expect that these infinite databases are our right, rather than a privilege, which is what makes the various threats of losing it (Y2K, SOPA), so frightening.

Reading Citations:

Austin, Tricia, and Richard Doust. New Media Design. London: Laurence King Pub., 2007. Print.

Intro assignment:

My ZooBurst book!

Personal class goals:

My goals in this class are to further my exploration of the opportunities afforded by the internet.  I’m already a digital native, and as such, I’d like to think I adapt easily to new technologies.  I want to continue to push myself and stay at the top of the curve.  I don’t think NMD changed my course goals much, but I do think it was interesting to get further into each specific profession and product of new media that was described within the book.  What it did help to expand for me was the depth of the process that goes into site design, especially in the creative development part.  You’re right that the language in the book helped to expand my mental vocabulary when considering new media.