The phrase “new and emerging media” has been rattling around in my brain for over a week now, all thanks to my stellar graduate school program and the course I’m currently taking! I have made great efforts to understand the symbolism of it. What does it look like? What are new and emerging media? Are they really new and emerging, or are they just adapting and evolving from day to day? Before understanding what these media look like, let’s just take a breather, and understand the world in which they live.
I look around during a typical day, and see those around me enveloped in a digital world – my location is irrelevant. Almost everywhere I go, I see someone, using some sort of digital device, to engage in this digital marketplace (hence my blog name). The evidence is pretty astounding, but I doubt many would dispute it. Go with me for a second…
Picture a marketplace. A crowd of various people, mixing and mingling in a space that is lively, thriving, and vibrant. It is booming with conversation, each individual bringing his or her own perspective to the group of those gathered. Everyone is interacting and engaging with others, all the while perusing the assortment of products available. Sure, the products at any marketplace draw these people together – whether fruits and veggies, fish, fine crafts, artisan goods, art and photography, etc. What’s more powerful, though, is the experience that these people endure. Discussing, sharing, purchasing, tasting, witnessing, and learning. Each person has a unique function at that marketplace.
What happens when we view this special, creative, and adventurous experience and compare it to our digital world? Can it be compared? Of course it can!
Our digital world is made up of an enormous variety of media – platforms for social networking, career networking, information gathering, information sharing, bookmarking, writing, photography, videography, music… There are digital means for nearly every kind of engagement. It is truly a marketplace, and a vibrant one at that.
Though we tend to call them “emerging” or “new” media, I think a better way to think about these media is to consider their purpose. They are created to engage, and engage to the fullest. Each has a slightly different function, but they are all of the same essence: to augment the potential for interactivity. Virtual mixing and mingling.
The digital marketplace is thriving, growing exponentially, and evolving every minute of the day. People are learning and communicating, marketing and engaging, in ways that people years ago would have only dreamed of. The good news is, we don’t have to wait for the market to open every Sunday to purchase some products or take part in the experience. The digital marketplace is all around us, available at nearly every fingertip, at any moment. How incredible is it that we get to witness this? Is this a positive or negative concept? Stay tuned!