1 hour 45 mins session. Bex Lewis, Project Manage BB, seeking to encourage “bigger Bible conversations, online & offline”, background history mass comms, now seeking to engage digital theology… etc… Much of our life now composed of 1s & 0s … whether we like it or not…
(Technological determinism & affordances) 9 – 9.15
Having watched it in the previous session, how feel about it … wanting to engage, etc? We’re planning on having it up throughout rest of week – can also see on own devices (as people prob already have)… the experience of this at an e-learning conf… out of interest this pic gives your tweets more longevity than expected? (Accompany with a handout on how to do Twitter (given day before)
Something to think about over the break… Why might they want to/not want to tweet about church? Recognise the assumptions that you might be making about them? What might encourage ‘engagement’ that’s more than a like…
(Technological determinism & affordances) Historian – continuity and change … the only certainty is change.. 9.15 9.35
Emphasise – fears echo down the ages…
Let’s see a couple of images that have circulated recently…
People feel out of control, that things are moving too fast for them – the end is nigh and there’s nothing you can do about it … Newspapers headlines don’t help this … panic – trolls are taking over, everything’s changed, we’re out of control, we can’t manage everything that’s going on… We talk about, e.g. losing body contact/whites of eyes – but did you have that on the telephone – we’re all learning how to live in this world, but it’s not an unachievable goal… and the more that we focus on the negative/being defensive, the less we are looking out for the opportunities… As a historian = continuity and change are staples of time immemorial…
Socrates – worried that writing would move away from memory (how much is hysterical hype? Does it matter – makes the point we need here…)
Note that this is the understanding that most people will have of this – few will go beyond it – and it’s used as an establishing definition in a number of other books dealing with the subject … (Pete asked yesterday who uses Wikipedia any more…) Wikipedia = not inherently bad, but need to use it with criticality – as with all other sites.. The term is believed to have been coined by Thorstein Veblen (1857–1929), an American sociologist. – Karl Marx was a huge supporter of the idea…
Strict adherents to technological determinism do not believe the influence of technology differs based on how much a technology is or can be used. Instead of considering technology as part of a larger spectrum of human activity, technological determinism sees technology as the basis for all human activity… compare that to the book ‘Sex, Bombs and Burgers’ which claims that the largest number of technological developments in the last century of so have all been pushed by the sex industry, the military, or fast foods… when Tim & I talked = he also mentioned religion, but that’s probably going further back … as we saw with printing… Think of e.g. the VHS/Betamax … the Betamax = commonly believed to be the better technology, but clever marketing/economic discounts by Sony meant that VHS won the battle of the formats…
McLuhan’s famous mantra ‘the medium is the message’ pithily captures his thesis that the historical points at which a new medium (such as print or electronic) is adopted corresponds with significant shifts in both culture and distribution of power. Media revolution takes place when a new medium sweeps away the previous one but the content does not substantially change or is not more potent or significant than before. Hence the medium is more powerful as a force on perception and culture than the content. http://designerlythinking.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/what-would-marshall-mcluhan-make-of-twitter/ the technology SHAPES the way that we interact with things – it encourages us to develop particular activities – e.g. radio only requires audio, but TV requires audio-visual… and we start to use those more developed senses in other areas of our lives…
Makes things possible, but doesn’t make them inevitable… or does it?
Wonder how this works with other philosopher’s notion of a ‘worldview’ … and part of the reason CODEC exists, is we can challenge the idea that we are helpless in the arms of technology =- we have a worldview of faith = how does that challenge the notion that we are helpless… do we not make choices about when we press ‘send’!
People do like to stick to what they know .. How do we think around that? http://circainnovate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/quote-henry-ford.png
Livingstone - P27 “…the specific affordances and constraints of specific media may be shaped by a distinctive logic whose character is established historically and culturally through the development not only of practices and technologies but also of institutions of power and whose sphere of influence extends far beyond the specific mode of communication they control.” Print culture has particular associations – e.g. with institutions of learning, etc which mediates experiences of education/work Edward Gibson – psychologist - according to his theory, perception of the environment inevitably leads to some course of action. Affordances, or clues in the environment that indicate possibilities for action, are perceived in a direct, immediate way with no sensory processing. Examples include: buttons for pushing, knobs for turning, handles for pulling, levers for sliding, etc. Physical constraints, logical constraints (based on argument), but also cultural constraints (e.g. the ‘save’ icon looking like a floppy disk, although they haven’t been used for years… http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/affordances_and.html No fixed answers = to think about! Think also e.g. about how other factors (culture, economics, politics – may have limited what the TECHNOLOGY made possible) … Just 2 mins to discuss, then feed in briefly! E.g. thinking we make more flexible plans, cancel more … what happens when your battery runs out? Do you feel lost/relieved, etc.?
(Broadcasting, newspapers, music, cinema, publishing) – notion challenge idea of ‘new media’ – what does that define … every media has been ‘new’ at some point… 9.35 9.55
BBC = biggest broadcasting organization for radio & TV – first created in early 20th century … how is it adapting, changing, etc.. Vision of entertain, educate, & inform still underlying it, etc… does that still seem to hold centrally … Refer back to yesterday – Jacquie dealt with whether the BBC should be thrown out into ‘market’ http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/communications-society/programs-topic/digital-broadcasting-public-interest/broadcasting-
Aspen Institute in US – emphasising the ‘dangers’ of fragmentation of what we see … so many channels, and the BBC is seen as somewhere that this is held together!
Choice, Diversity and Broadcasting Institutions in the Digital Age (power structures similar to offline … still need to challenge that…, and remember also that Jacquie said yesterday that BBC created a sense of what it was to be British (as a British historian, I think there were other things beforehand that called people to war, etc. but for another day!) …
Recently seen some grumbles of discontent – e.g. the recent elections SO much coverage of Farage, etc.. …
… and only this weekend… when BBC posted a ‘story’ was so short, was seen as an insult. Be thinking about whether a good argument?
Grwoth of ‘second screen’ – I stopped TV for a while, now quite often watch live to participate in live convos… also allows conversation to continue asynchronously – this report somewhere has a graph re which require synchronous & which asynchronous!
Are we seeing more interactivity? Are we all getting more of a chance to engage in the conversation? Is anyone listening to us?
This programme built to ENCOURAGE people to participate … and is built into the show’s format… (advertising revenue!)
It is worth noting first that many such drivers predate second screen; many relate directly to the social nature of media consumption.
Has this changed what we focus on … (that joke – slightly beautiful people telling us about news stories we read about 7 hours ago on the internet…) … and newspapers (this was 2007) – started to talk about how they needed to deal with ‘feeding the beast’…
Go from 0.37 to 2:28
Allows niche news sources…
The Death and Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age challenges the conventional wisdom that the internet is &apos;killing&apos; the music industry. While technological innovations (primarily in the form of peer-to-peer file-sharing) have evolved to threaten the economic health of major transnational music companies, Rogers illustrates how those same companies have themselves formulated highly innovative response strategies to negate the harmful effects of the internet. In short, it documents how the radical transformative potential of the internet is being suppressed by legal and organisational innovations. Grounded in a social shaping perspective, The Death and Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age contends that the internet has not altered pre-existing power relations in the music industry where a small handful of very large corporations have long since established an oligopolistic dominance. Furthermore, the book contends that widespread acceptance of the idea that online piracy is rampant, and music largely &apos;free&apos; actually helps these major music companies in their quest to bolster their power. In doing this, the study serves to deflate much of the transformative hype and digital &apos;deliria&apos; that has accompanied the internet&apos;s evolution as a medium for mass communication. Rogers, J. The Death and Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age (2013)
Has been huge debate about Spotify recently (and many articles re the decline of the music industry … ) … artists withdrawing their material – seen as derisory amounts of money – Spotify defends itself as being cumulative…
Interesting range of sources…
Play first 60 seconds… see is generally an acceptance that have to work – but need a big enough audience to attract the ticket-buyers…
Rogers arguments that continues to adapt, evolve and in fact better than before – and in fact major companies are still in control – (similar arguments about e.g. the economy – necessity if the mother of invention).
We get things like this, supported by the artists .. All about popularity of the song, rather than about making money out of the ‘core product’ – just need to play a few seconds!!
Questions of piracy, etc… sure-fire blockbusters… “Cinema was, and still is, about the creative process, where storytellers have ideas and see stories in their heads, where actors give life to characters, and together they take the audience on a journey.” That was cinema then (first days), and that is cinema now… what HAS changed is that e.g. used to have to hire in thousands of horses to create a wild west chase – can now do it with a digital engineer…
Yes, it’s a school project, but from my experience of teaching cinema history for a semester, this is pretty spot on – the general gist is that 3D is not new – it’s not taken off (remember technological determinism) – if you’re interested – check it out .. From 1880s to recent …
Not convinced 3D has even taken off yet either – not seen one yet that I’ve thought was worth it for adding to the storyline … and this is my biggest problem!
Again, it’s possible to get a perfect digital copy, and if you see a number of e.g. Shrek films – they will say that technically it was possible, but it didn’t give them the feel that they wanted, and so the latest tech was rejected for a particular look… Note the quote we had re surefire blockbusters noted that too many films are making use of technology for technology’s sake (they mentioned Man of Steel – spoiling the narrative structure of the story. (http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/blockbusters/27405/10-big-problems-with-modern-day-blockbuster-cinema-needs-intro#ixzz34FaabN4R). He also mentions that the digital film-making process itself means that things are being pushed through much faster, without time to think about things… which believes means quality of films suffers.
2009 – a change from heavy handed stick, to more of a carrot…
In the same report, 41% people hadn’t gone for e-readers because they weren’t prepared to abandon ‘the paper experience’… (Pete’s done research in his time on the future of the book, etc…)
Specifically re Bible reading – lots of debate about what is special/not about paper bible reading experience (especially re underlining, passing on to others in the family) … but also lots of fans of YouVersion & other bible apps … they keep talking about community reading – was it really community (Tim this pm) .. but earlier this year they tried to make it happen – not sure of level of success!! But in all of this, why is there so much of an either/or… do not both have their place? Youversion has certainly given us new possibilities, but has also removed others… we need to come back to the question of WHY we are engaging with this stuff!
People being offered book contracts without any idea of title, knowing that it will sell… content almost immaterial..
Economic underlying all of this…
(inc the Arab Spring) 9.55 10.15
(inc Google Glass, Google, Amazon, Internet of Things) 10.35 10.50
So, why is it important to get to grips with the digital?
So ... More discussions… who’s going to kick us off?
The Digital Revolution? For #MediaLit14, with @drbexl & @tim_hutchings
THE DIGITALTHE DIGITAL
Dr Bex Lewis Research Fellow in Social Media &
Online Learning, CODEC, Durham University
Dr Tim Hutchings William Leech Research
Fellow, CODEC, Durham University
Image Credit: Stockfresh
• The Twitterfall
• Change Happens…
• Old Media and the Digital Age
• Is it a revolution?
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
An incredible new technology enables the
transmission of text on a worldwide base. It
rapidly reduces production and distribution
costs and for the first time allows large
numbers of people to access text and pictures
in their own homes.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
A moral panic may be
defined as an episode,
often triggered by
alarming media stories
and reinforced by
reactive laws and public
policy, of exaggerated or
concern, anxiety, fear, or
anger over a perceived
threat to social order.
Image Credit: Stockfresh
Right back to Socrates…
This discovery of yours will create
forgetfulness in the learners' souls,
because they will not use their
memories; they will trust to the external
written characters and not remember
of themselves…you give your disciples
not truth, but only the semblance of
truth; they will be hearers of many
things and will have learned nothing.
(Phaedrus, Benjamin Jowett trans.)
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Technological determinism is
a reductionist theory that
presumes that a society's
technology drives the
development of its social
structure and cultural values.
• The development of technology itself follows
a predictable, traceable, inevitable path
largely beyond cultural or political influence,
a continual journey of progress
• Technology in turn has inherent "effects"
on societies, rather than socially
conditioned or produced by society, where it
has organised itself to support and further
develop a new technology
The Medium is the Message
"the printing press, the computer, and
television are not therefore simply machines
which convey information. They are
metaphors through which we conceptualize
reality in one way or another. They will
classify the world for us, sequence it, frame
it, enlarge it, reduce it, argue a case for
what it is like. Through these media
metaphors, we do not see the world as it is.
We see it as our coding systems are. Such
is the power of the form of information.”
Neil Postman, Teaching as a Conserving Activity (1979), p. 39
Pew Report, 2012
quoting Jeff Jarvis, Journalist
“Before the press … information was passed
mouth-to-ear, scribe-to-scribe; it was
changed in the process; there was little
sense of ownership and authorship. In the
five-century-long Gutenberg era, text did set
how we see our world: serially with a neat
beginning and a defined end; permanent;
authored. Now, we are passing out of this
textual era and that may well affect how we
look at our world. That may appear to change
how we think. But it won't change our wires.”
Even though in practice, face-to-face
communication can, of course, be
angry, negligent, resistant, deceitful
and inflexible, somehow it remains
the ideal against which mediated
communication is judged as flawed.
Prof Sonia Livingstone, Children and the
Internet: Great Expectations and
Challenging Realities. 2009, p26
All technologies offer
CONSTRAINTS and change
What has been made possible with the
introduction of mobile phones?
How have mobile phones limited our activities?
How have our social practices/habits, etc.
changed since mobile phones?
Image Credit: The Worship Cloud
At its inception, first as a company, in 1922, the BBC broadcast only
on radio. Twenty years later, a television channel was added.
Today, it provides 8 distinct TV services, 10 national and dozens of
local radio stations and operates in a world of hundreds of
channels with thousands of content providers. It runs one of the
most visited websites in the world; the BBC’s international news
websites now record over 230 million page impressions a month.
The BBC World Service continues to maintain its position as the
world’s leading broadcaster, transmitting programmes in English
and 42 other languages to 146 million listeners per week. Digital TV
has reached more than two-thirds of homes, and by 2012 the whole
country will be receiving television in this way. And for millions, the
convergence of media is already a reality.
A Public Service for All: the BBC in the digital age (2006)
Citizenship and Community
The market, being by definition the mere
aggregation of individual decisions, takes no
account of community and of the complex
relations between citizenship, culture, and
community. In particular, the fragmentation
of audiences that pure market-driven
broadcasting may produce could
undermine both communities and cultures
by limiting our shared experiences.
The Price of Plurality (Report,
This in itself may appear strange as the internet ushers in a
world of choice and diversity such that the world of
analogue television could never have imagined. Even so,
as communities become more disconnected, the debate
over what makes a shared culture amidst diversity of
individual choice has become closely linked to the
issue of how public values will be reﬂected in
broadcasting in the future. As a result, plurality has
become the meeting point for a number of arguments about
the future of our broadcasting institutions – the BBC licence
fee, the public status of Channel 4, and the PSB status of
ITV and Five.
• user desire/need for shared rather than isolated TV
• a sense of connection with others/community
• social comparisons (validation)
• curiosity in seeking out others’ views
• getting more information
• getting access to content at a convenient time and place
• to influence/interact with content
• sense of acknowledgement from others
• interest in debate/discussion (social inclusion, fun,
24/7 News Culture
• Local TV newsrooms moved into the 24/7 mindset thirty years
ago, when videotape, microwave and satellite technology made it
possible to broadcast live or just-recorded video reports anytime,
and from just about any place. Technology changed the culture
and the content of TV news. Reporters could now “go live” from
a legislative debate or a police chase; they could alert
communities to a dangerous chemical spill or break news of a fatal
car crash even before the next-of-kin knew it had happened.
• Overnight ratings and viewer research told stations which
stories and coverage attracted viewers, and drove more “live,
local and late-breaking” reports. a diet of accidents, fires and
crime; of too many events and too few issues.Media critics at
newspapers lamented the resulting TV news menu:
Sure Fire Blockbusters?
Those days are all but gone. It was while on the press tour
for The Lone Ranger (budget: $200m+) that director Gore
Verbinski lamented the fact that the current Hollywood
system supports small movies (courtesy of studios'
marquee labels, such as Sony Classics) and massive
blockbusters. To warrant a wide release of anything in
between - a film that isn't a comedy - is increasingly tricky.
After all, to pay for distribution and sufficient
marketing to a get a film noticed is a heavy burden for
a studio. Marketing strategies thus tend to be big,
broad and wide, or slow builders. And where are you
supposed to position a mid-budget feature in the midst of
The Aesthetics of Cinema
Does the digital era spell the death of cinema as
we know it? Or is it merely heralding its rebirth?
Are we witnessing the emergence of something
entirely new? Cinema in the Digital Age
examines the fate of cinema in this new era,
paying special attention to the technologies that
are reshaping film and their cultural impact.
Examining Festen (1998), The Blair Witch
Project (1999), Timecode (2000), Russian Ark
(2002), The Ring (2002), among others, this
volume explores how these films are
haunted by their analogue past and suggests
that their signature element are their
deliberate imperfections, whether those take
the form of blurry or pixilated images, shakey
camera work, or other elements reminding
viewers of the human hand guiding the
camera. Weaving together a rich variety of
sources, Cinema in the Digital Age provides a
deeply humanistic look at the meaning of
cinematic images in the era of digital perfection.
…with 15 percent to 25 percent of book sales shifting to
digital format by 2015 the book industry is heading into
wholly new territory…
Whatever the sector, the emergence of new reading
devices suggests an interesting evolution in writing itself.
Creating long-term value will not come from simply
reformatting print content into digital words. Rather, the
greatest opportunity lies in experimenting with such new
formats as nonlinear, hybrid, interactive and social content,
electronic modes that add motion, sound and direct reader
interactions through technologies we will discuss below
What is the future for publishers?
Polly Courtney (Self-published)
1. Fragmented readership –
few books/sell big = doesn’t
2. Risk-averse: publishers
looking for sure-fire hits
3. Uses eBook sales data to
adapt price re: demand
published – who is
undertaking quality control?
Richard Charkin (Bloomsbury)
1. Slim, but ever-present
chance of success = exciting
2. Shift in kind of risk taken:
more books being published
than ever before.
3. Agreed, but thought the
product itself being
4. Even positive review in New
York Sunday Times = 200
sales. Word of mouth = key.
• What is your ‘lived experience’ of how
‘traditional’ media has changed?
• Any other media you want to mention?
• Are there consistent themes?
• Which of those aspects could be seen
to be negative?
• What do you see that is
positive/offering new opportunities?
• How does this knowledge affect your
“The fluidity and transience of online
environments poses challenges to
traditional authority structures, roles,
and tools. The result has been that the
internet is framed both as a threat to
certain established roles and
hierarchies and as a tool of
empowerment by others.”
– Heidi Campbell 2012
“The internet serves as a spiritual hub,
allowing practitioners to select from a vast
array of resources and experience in order
to assemble and personalize their religious
behavior and belief. This encourages a
convergent form of religious practice online,
a process that allows and even encourages
users to draw from traditional and new
- Heidi Campbell 2012
The proliferation of web sites calling themselves Catholic
creates a problem… it is confusing, to say the least, not
to distinguish eccentric doctrinal interpretations,
idiosyncratic devotional practices, and ideological
advocacy bearing a ‘Catholic' label from the authentic
positions of the Church… A system of voluntary
certification at the local and national levels under the
supervision of representatives of the Magisterium might
be helpful in regard to material of a specifically doctrinal
or catechetical nature. The idea is not to impose
censorship but to offer Internet users a reliable guide to
what expresses the authentic position of the Church.
- “The Church and Internet”, Vatican report, 2002
Event Publicity, 2010:
“There is a revolution sweeping across the globe, driven by the
massive growth of the internet and internet related
technologies. Known as the Digital Revolution it is on par with
other great global shifts such as the Agrarian Revolution and
the Industrial Revolution. And it is completely changing the
landscape of how we communicate, how we influence, how we
relate. This isn’t simply about coming to grips with a new
technology to assist us in our work, but requires of us a
fundamental shift in our processes, our structures and
approaches. If we don’t respond then as Eric Hoffer states, we
will find ourselves, ‘beautifully equipped to deal with a world
that no longer exists.’”
The electric technology is within the
gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind,
and mute about its encounter with
the Gutenberg technology, on and
through which the American way of
life was formed... Our conventional
response to all media, namely that
it is how they are used that
counts, is the numb stance of the
technological idiot. For the
"content" of a medium is like the
juicy piece of meat carried by the
burglar to distract the watchdog
of the mind.
Marshall McLuhan (again)