Tag Archive: New Media

This article discusses the need for critical thinking into the perceived “newness” of ‘new media.’ Lister notes that consumers are blinded by the “shiny dazzle” (44) of the ways that ‘new media’ are presented for them and may fail to evaluate the media based on the history of media, newness, and how people have responded to technological change in the past. Lister proceeds to break up the main ideas of the chapter, very clearly showing the various ways to think critically about new media. To introduce the discussion, ­ Lister makes a note that media theorists tend not to debate over their arguments, yet take polar ends on their commentaries on the degrees of newness of media. In order to judge ‘newness’ on a value scale, one must understand that to judge the new one must be able to put into context the old or the historical dimension of the media artifact.

When examining media from this evaluative standpoint, such as digital television and interactivity as Lister does, one can see that these are examples of ‘old’ medias in ‘new’ times (Mackay and O’Sullivan).  On the other hand, radical media such as MMPOG’s tend to lie on the ‘new’ end of the axis of new/old media. For another example, Bolter and Grusin’s idea of remediation gives as a requirement to new media a structural occurrence in the natural evolution of  older media.

Week 4 Reading Summary

This weeks reading is about not the characteristics of New Media but about what makes them new or what goes into, “considering their newness” as Lister says. There are several ways to examine the newness of new media. First off you need to know the history before you can determine if anything is new. If you want to determine something as new you need to know what already exists or existed. Also something may appear to be new on the surface but a closer look reveals it to be otherwise. The point of the critical thinking is to not take things for granted and it can be done by simply asking how a product came to be? Looking at the history to reveal the significance of the present technology. TV is made an example of to further the idea of knowing the history. Digital TV can be argued to not be a new medium but a new way of delivering the contents of the TV medium. You used to watch it on the television and now we watch it on phones, computers, tablets, etc., but it is still the same television. On the other hand the technology to convey television has changes drastically such as programming, consumption, and modes of use.

The case study, What is new about interactivity,  talks about its history starting as far back as 1940. Interactivity has been thought of in numerous ways. First off it was used with the idea of interactive databases which would free people to learn all kinds of information. Next we have interactive linked to consumerism, where consumers now have a voice and active choices because of marketing personal computers and connecting them to ideas of consumer choice. You can pick the magazine you want, and the news website, and you have a choice in what you consume. The next idea concerning interactivity is about the death of the author. Since everyone can add, delete, or edit some information on the internet anyone can become an author. This leads to the user creating their own pathways and journey to gather knowledge across the internet. The author is no longer writing that journey of knowledge, the user is discovering it for themselves. Next was the graphical interface which allows people to more easily communicate and interact with the computers, instead of simply feeding the computer data and waiting for it to analyze the data. Sophistication led to boxes and menus and eventually the GUI we are used to today. Interactivity is rich in history and also in diversity of that history making it a perfect study for the idea of the new and what it is.

Week 3 – Baym/Manovich Summaries

In Baym’s article, he speaks of 7 principles to which new media can be compared to one another, which consist of interactivity, temporal structure, social cues, storage, replicability, reach, and mobility.  With interactivity, Baym talks about how we interact with one another via these forms of new media through interaction, such as IM, blogging, or text messaging, and how we tend to lose the social cues that normally we’d be accustomed to via “body to body” communication.  Things such as body posture, eye contact, and emotional cues may be lost in such a form of media, though we gain the benefit of instantaneous communication on a broad scale.  Also, with messaging someone, there is a time-delay from when a person receives a message, to when they actually respond, or see the message, which may lead to frustration from time to time.  New Media to Baym must also be able to be replicable, and extend one person’s voice to reach many, such as posting in a blog or sending a mass email.  Mobility is also a key concept, in that a person is able to now go anywhere at any time and usually be able to get a signal to the internet, and increase connectivity to their peers.  Distance is no longer an issue for communication.


Manovich on the other hand takes a more computational approach.  His principles include Numerical Representation, Modularity, Automation, Variability, and Transcoding.  The idea of Numerical Representation is that new media is programmable in the sense that it can be described mathematically and is subject to algorithmic manipulation, or in other words, changed digitally, much like a photo can be altered for contrast or color.  Modularity covers the concept that new media normally retains its original structure, though it may be part of a bigger picture, much like a Fractal image.  For example, a video mash-up has many individual clips that are assembled into a bigger project.  Automation covers the idea of media being able to automatically perform some function, much like photoshop’s removal of glare, or a videogame’s AI reacting to player movement and behavior.  Variability is the idea that there are a potentially limitless amount of changes that can be done to a type of media, such as enlarging a photo, changing the size or color of a photo, therefore allowing multiple instances of the same photo, yet customized in a different way.  This plays off the idea of Modularity.  Transcoding is the idea that computers essentially have two layers that are representative of media, the computational layer, which is machine code, binary, and the listing of the type of file being read, and the cultural layer, which is the format in which humans can understand what we are doing (i.e. seeing a full image rather than the pixel color represented in binary).  In Manovich’s opinion, transcoding is most substantial component of the computerization of media, in that media is now programmable.

Social Media Activism

Here is a video talks about new media social activism from Youtube


The wall stree example

Social media group of the activism.


The static of activism’s movment and network graph.



This youtube video of a letterpress application shows the developmental process of how an old school process turns into a new school process. In the beginning of the video is shows the person walking around the type shop in order to find all of the materials needed to make one pass on the letter press. On the contrary the end of the video shows the person holding a letter press application on a digital display platform, not physically moving any where to get the necessary materials. Granite you will never get the same results from letter press vs. a digital version but the concept of taking the letter press process and turning in into a new form is a significant of remixing a media. The letter press is used to represent messages, this new digital form allows for more exploration within the actually letter press process. The interaction from the physical press to the digital press also shows a huge significance of remixing a media source.

This new media device launches old technology into a futurist perspective. It could utilize a variety of existing technologies such as photos, videos, user personified interfaces. It has the potential to have social media to be constantly updating in your plain of view. As a user you could be constantly plugged into a myriad of different technologies and media every second of the day if you so choose.

This brings up the point of what new media for this device specifically could come into play. I envision a huge leap in the augmented reality market. The ability to see and interact with things virtually in your environment would be a lot easier than having to physically engage with either a device or the object itself. This will either have great appeal or it won’t. The learning curve behind this would initially be very steep because you would need to learn to train your mind to multitask and focus on multiple things at once.  However the pay-off is the ability to have a purely visual non-tactile way of connecting with your environment.

Be on the look out though because according to this tech article the technology may not be as far fetched as it seems.


Reading Summary Pages 45 – 59

Steve Templeton
Reading Summary Pages 45 – 59
The beginning of the section I have been tasked with reporting on takes a lot of time talking about how new some of these media types are. The newness is not always so new for example digital TV is not a new thing just a new way to get TV content. The fact that many new forms of media are present points to a recycling of old media. Newspapers are still a viable form of media but they are slowly become digital only print.
The idea of refashioning old media as new is an important concept that should be talked about more as this is clearly just repackaging old ideals in a new digital market.
Interaction and control of new media seems to be at the forefront. Being able to interact with others, create posts that others can see and comment on are all ways to increase interact. Other ways include physical interaction with a device which points to HCI components.
Ubiquitous computing is talked about in relation to A.I design. I think the idea os ubiquitous computing is very important to new designs I find that A.I. is a separate topic.

History seems to point to new media just being developed by old media. New media requires a look at history to better understand the concepts and how the new media type came about. There is a large section on Weibel and this stages of new media. Weibel’s theory seems to point that media evolves over time and changes to having less and less physical presence.
Most of the history section the general feeling is that new media is just old media with a new face to show off. Newspapers are still printed just on a website. Netflix allows us the ability to consume media in a new way but doesn’t really make that media different. Many concepts about new media are really based or originate in the past and over time have shaped what we see today.

In this section, Lister  suggests both two different  positions of theologists, Marshall McLuhan and Raymond Williams. According to the reading, while McLuhan was wholly concerned with identifying the major cultural effects that he saw enw technological forms (in history and in his present) bringing about, Williams sought to show that there is nothing in a particular technology which guarantees the cultural or social outcomes it will have (Williams 1983: 130). Long story short, McLuhan believe technological determinism exists, while Williams does not. Williams’s arguments against McLuhan became touchstones for  media studies’ rejection of any kind of technological determinism (Lister 78).

According to Lister, McLuhan only knew computers in the form of the mainframe computers of his day, yet they formed part of his bigger concept of the ‘electric environment’. By the 1990s, McLuhan has found influential followers because he thought about technology in new and different ways, so his ideas had come to seem not only potent but extraordinarily prescient.

While Williams’ ideas about technology within the humanist frame has won in the debate, McLuhan’s ideas about technology is now being respected more.

I chose to focus on Manovich’s concepts for my application example, and I chose the 3 I feel most relevant to modern new media.  I have a few examples of media which I feel exemplify the readings.




Numerical Representation

I chose to show numerical representation by showing a low quality vs. a high quality song from Youtube.  The Low quality song uses much less bits to record the song than does the high quality rip







I would lastly like to focus on the idea of transcoding.  Transcoding how various forms of media become “cross-platform”  i.e. they work on various operating systems.  I chose the example of Angry Birds, which originally released on iOS, but has since been ported to Android, the web in the form of a flash game, and now onto desktops, both PC and Mac.