Friday, February 19, 2010

But what about the message?

Hello Class,

Had some terrible insomnia last night and woke up early so I just finished reading Levinson’s book. Though I am not the biggest proponent of new new media, I really did enjoy this book. Many of the things such as Digg and Second Life I have never even heard of let alone know what they are. I do see where many of these tools could, in a perfect world, be put to really good use to keep people in contact and keep the spread of ideas flowing. The main question I have with the new new media is, does the message suffer at the hands of the technology? Granted the message will come across but it seems to me that so much more time than really needed is spent undoing the damage that troublemakers do. Administrators take massive amounts of time to stop and revise Wikipedia pages or freeze users revising capabilities, delete Facebook and Myspace accounts, and a myriad of other reparative or preventative actions. Even in blogging, the blogger has to takes pains to decide what kind of blog they will have, one-way posting, two-way posting, open access to all, or only to subscribers. The internet which was supposed to be free and open to the flow of information has just as many gatekeepers, including the users themselves. Sometimes it just seems as though the message gets lost to the physical technology and its application. This may seem like an oversimplified statement but when was the last time you had so much trouble having an in-person conversation? At what point does the technology of new new media begin to overtake the messages that it is supposed to convey. I’m not saying that it’s bad, but take the case of Twitter. Twitter is an advanced, complicated program that links people all over the world and has been front page of Time magazine…….and you can only post a thought that is 140 characters long…Why???....What is really the point???


  1. The point is instantaneos over-simplified feedback and information that people don't really have to think too much about.

    Now that we are such a technological integrated society, people are having down time on the internet, a point that was argued in Communication and Cyberspace. So you have a few minutes to kill between meetings, why not log onto Twitter for 2 minutes and be able to read 10 or 15 messages within that time frame.

    It's this mirco-blogging that society seems to love right now, and it makes sense because everyone has such minimal attention spans today, or is so busy that they don't have much more than 140 characters worth or time to say something. This in itself is a gross generalization, but there is truth to it and I am witness to it among my social and age group.

  2. Well said Jessica. You're saying what im thinking. Just wanted to see if anyone was going to bite and say it like it is. Thank you!!!

  3. Angela,

    As always I enjoyed reading your view on new media.

    "The Medium is the Message." The tool implemented for each given task is far more powerful and thought provoking that the actual message.

    I suppose this is more evident today than ever before, but McLuhan's phrase summarizes all that is to be said about communication.

    Margaret M. Roidi

  4. Of course, from the other point of view, you might ask what was the point of the telegraph (shades of Thoreau!), what is the point of a newspaper headline, what is the point of a book title, or what is the point of saying, hello, how are you, fine thank you, how are you?