Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Understanding New Media: Chapters 44-46

Chapter 44 discusses the power of blogs. There are even concerns that blogs may replace mainstream media. While this may or not be true, blog popularity is evident in the 104.6 million web blogs posted within the past 5 years. Blogging is a communal effort in that the information posted in the blog can be reciprocated via comments from the readers. Furthermore, blogs are beginning to be viewed as a medium for news and can even cover news that has not been released in mainstream news channels. Because of blogs, several inaccuracies featured on the news have been corrected. Blogs can make anyone a journalist, therefore bloggers can be described as "guerilla journalists" since their posts possess the same global reach as the Internet. Newspapers and broadcasters that were once monopolies of information are now being subdued by blogs.
In Chapter 45, the dominating nature of Google is discussed. What makes Google one of the most successful search engines is its page ranking features that filter out all the less valuable sites. In terms of their initiatives, Google aims to extend themselves to all realms of media. They've already embarked on this process by featuring Google Book Search, Google Finance, and other various services on their web site. A quote found on one of Google's websites I think encompasses the magnitude of which Google has power over information, "Google's mission is to organize the world's information". Google's mission is to be able to search all the information that is accessible online, aside from offering a service to the global public, is to create as much traffic to its sites as possible." Google wants to help its users find the information of they need regardless of the medium. Already, Google is starting to evolve into more than just a search engine, it has become a conglomeration of media and communications mediums while digitizing ones that were once non-electric.
Another revolutionary feature of the Internet and computer is video conferencing and web-based collaboration tools- a hybrid of the telephone and digital video. There are several advantages to this technology. The most obvious one is that the video conferencing dispels the barrier of distance. People can collaborate with others no matter the location. It also permits a more immersive and realistic communicating environment than just simply talking on the phone. Furthermore, video conferencing has proven to be a valuable business tool in a number of ways. Firstly, it accelerates the sales cycle. There is no need to waste time entertaining and business associates can proceed straight to the point. It is also a convenient for training and servicing. This digital technology also gives an employee the option of working from home (depending on the job), thus saving them from having to pay commuter fees. Over time, video conferencing has spawned a collective intelligence amongst humans. George Por defines collective intelligence as "the capacity of a human community to evolve toward higher order complexity thought, problem-solving and integration through collaboration and innovation."I find this true. It is part of human nature that we need other people in order to grow both socially and cognitively.

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