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Chapter 1

CMNS 253W Chapter 1: - Introduction to New Media Notes


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMNS 253W
Professor
Frederik Lesage
Chapter
1

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Chapter 1 - Introduction to New Media
New media is an outcome of the digitization of content
oEnabled convergence - the process by which media technologies,
industries, and services merge
Social, cultural, political, and economic factors important to mitigate and
lter impact of technological change
oAlso critical to geographical location of new media activities
(particularly with the shift to a global knowledge economy)
New media - not just the latest developments
oEverything old was once new
Can technologies act as factors in wider social change while being already
embedded in a social context?
New media has been dened by the three Cs:
oComputing and information technology
oCommunications networks
oContent and digitized media (arising from convergence)
Convergence
All aspects of life are increasingly conducted in an interactive media
environment across a variety of devices
Convergence from three di'erent perspectives - technology, services, and
industries)
Morphing of devices - becoming multi-purpose
New media can be thought of as digital media
oDigital media - forms of media content that combine and integrate
data, text, sound, and images of all kinds, are stored in digital formats,
and are increasingly distributed through networks
Characteristics of digital media:
Manipulable - digital info is easily changeable and
adaptable at all stages of creation, storage, delivery, and use
Networkable - digital info can be shared and exchanged
between large numbers of users simultaneously across distance
Dense - large amounts of data can be stored in small
physical spaces or on network servers
Compressible - the amount of capacity digital info takes
up on any network can be decreased by compression
Impartial - digital info carried across networks is
indi'erent to how it is represented, who owns or creates it, or
how it is issued
Any approach to thinking about new media needs to take into account three
elements:
oArtifacts or devices that enable and extend our ability to communicate
oCommunication activities and practices we engage in to develop and
use these devices
oSocial arrangements and organizations that form around these devices
and practices
Not linear - dynamic links
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New media are interactive in a way previous media were not usually thought
to be
Ability of interactive media to involve participants and blend these as never
before
oThis blend makes new media distinctive from previous media forms -
also why power of new media is not a matter of newness or specic
technologies
Internet History
Internet refers to:
oA technical infrastructure of computers and other digital devices
permanently connected through high-speed telecommunication networks
oThe forms of content, communication, and information sharing that
occur through these networks
Internet is dened as "the electronic network of networks that links people
and information through computers and other digital devices allowing person-
to-person communication and information retrieval"
Key point about history of the internet - it is both a history of common
networking protocols for the transfer of digital information and a history of
systems for the publication, organization, and distribution of this info
Cold War led to USA developing an integrated communications network
Packet switching - important development in the 1960s from ARPA
(Advanced Research Projects Agency) which allowed long messages to be
broken down into smaller "packets"; messages could then be rerouted in case
of blockage at one router; messages would come to receiver some time after
they were sent
1972 - First email was sent using ARPANET
Another breakthrough - researchers in various LANs (local area networks) to
communicate through the connection of these LANs in WANs (wide area
networks)
1990s - development of the Web
1992 - Marc Andreesen of National Center for Supercomputer Applications
(NCSA) developed Mosaic, a rst popular web browser
oThis started the ball rolling for other companies to create public web
browsers
oAbility to access browsers popularized the Internet
Features of the web important to this popularization:
Displayed colourful pictures, music, and audio, data and
text; introduced multimedia to internet
Based on hypertext (allows for the linking of information)
principals
Web associated with development of HTTP (common
hypertext transfer protocol) and HTML (hypertext markup
language)
Because of this, more people would become both
consumers AND producers of content on the web
Internet
was
a computer network (like a highway), but became a place
Cataloguing and searching
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