This is a simple 4-worded question that manages to perplex the entire academia in the area of media studies.
Is it the hardware or the soft ware that is New?
Is it the internet or the online-innovations that go on within it that are New?
When we say New Media, what do we really mean?
The was a time when the ‘in-thing’ medium was Print. Posters, newspapers, magazines with pictures were the hype of the society.
And then ‘new media’ happened – it was the talking box -Radio.
Even though I wasn’t born then, I can imagine how that felt like the end of the world.
“No other innovation can beat this” they must have thought. Alas, suddenly came black & white television, shortly after, the coloured version.
Note that all these new media qualify as ‘New Media’ – pardon the pun.
Finally, there came the internet (and the ever-changing world of mobile technology). However, this is the only time we are all uniting with one voice to ordain this innovation the esteemed position of NEW MEDIA.
Anne Helmond (see New Media Research Blog – Blogs iLove) commenting on a blog opined that, what is NEW today may not be NEW tomorrow, hence New Media is a difficult term to define.
Another prominent scholar, Terry Flew, mentions digitization, convergence, interactivity and networking as keys to understanding new media. I percieve this to mean that the software and culture that emanates from use of these new technologies, is what we should term as the NEW in new media.
New Media in itself has introduced other areas of research that are adjuncts to it, such as: fandom, children’s use of the internet, nature of online communities, new media as a social-shaping technology, regulation of digital content, new media and the economics of information etc.
Perhaps we can better make sense of New Media by understanding it within each of these areas.
On TEESDIARY, the rest of 2010 would be spent exploring New Media in its entirety – and I reckon it won’t be enough, ‘cos everyday, things change.