When we consider what is "New" and what is "Old" in regards to media, we have to criteria besides when the media was "born," so to say.
As the YouTube video we watched in class illustrates, all forms of media were "New" at one time, even the book. So, when we talk about "New" vs. "Old" media, we can't just look at a calendar and draw a line where "Old" ends and "New" begins. What we need to take note of is: How is the media distributed? and, What is the user experience?
As far as distribution, virtually all New Media is accessed over the internet. Whether through a phone line, cable, satellite, or wireless, the internet, or in a more broad sense, the network, is an integral part of New Media. The fact that blogs, wikis, social networks, etc. are interactive is what makes them "New". These formats allow users from all over the world to contribute and provide input on a level that has never before been seen in the history of humankind.
The "Old" way of consuming media was as such: You bought a book and you read it. Maybe you lent it to a friend, but that was the extent of the "user-interactivity". Nowadays, you can still buy that same book, but now, you can read blogs about it and add your own comments. You can start a Wikipedia page for the book (if one doesn't already exist) and have millions of people around the world contributing to the page. You can join a forum for people who particularly enjoyed the book, and you can share your thoughts and feelings about it with people across all cultures.
Never has the user experience been so all-encompassing and fulfilling as it is today. The beauty of the internet is that it provides a platform for all pursuits, from the most mass-appealing to the most obscure and specialized. This is what makes New Media truly New.
The Next New Thing
6 years ago