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Presentation by Professor Susan C. Herring at Texas A&M University, March 10, 2009, "New analytical lenses for new media". Sponsored by the TAMU Digital Humanities program.

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  • Please forgive my unorthodox posture; I was in a car accident several years ago and have to remain in a reclining position at all times or else I have pain. I hope you can all see me clearly, and I’ll try to speak up.
  • A&M.Talk

    1. 1. New Analytical Lenses for New Media Susan C. Herring School of Library and Information Science Indiana University, Bloomington Texas A&M University, March 10, 2009
    2. 2. My perspective <ul><li>Background in linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Researching and tracking developments in computer-mediated communication (CMC) since 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Developing methods for Web analysis since 2002 </li></ul>
    3. 3. What’s new in new media? <ul><li>Media convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Prosumers </li></ul><ul><li>“ Web 2.0” </li></ul><ul><li>What of computer-mediated communication? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Convergent media <ul><li>The integration of multiple media in a single platform or product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old (mass, offline) media + new (interpersonal, online/mobile) media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple applications in a single medium </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. An example of media convergence phone email web iPod text messaging camera stocks maps time weather
    6. 6. Prosumerism <ul><li>Prosumer: a type of consumer who is involved in the design and manufacture of products </li></ul><ul><li>Prosumption: the creation of products and services by the same people who will ultimately use them, sometimes without the interference or assistance of companies, organizations, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples : indy media; user-generated online content </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Web 2.0 <ul><li>Changing trends in/new uses of/ web technology and web design </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes refers to sites themselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., blogs, wikis, social network sites, media-sharing sites </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. O’Reilly (2005) <ul><li>Web 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Personal websites </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Britannica online </li></ul><ul><li>Content management systems </li></ul><ul><li>Page views </li></ul><ul><li>Stickiness </li></ul><ul><li>Directories (taxonomies) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Cost per click </li></ul><ul><li>Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging (folksonomies) </li></ul>
    9. 15. Twitter public timeline
    10. 16. Criticism of Web 2.0 <ul><ul><li>Marketing buzzword? Meme? Revolution? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the Web qualitatively different in recent years? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do the applications grouped under Web 2.0 form a coherent set? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., e-Bay, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, citeUlike, dodgeball.com </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tim Berners-Lee says “no” </li></ul></ul>
    11. 17. An alternative perspective <ul><ul><li>Prosumption (=user-generated content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media convergence (=social media = communication) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Convergent media CMC (CMCMC) </li></ul></ul>
    12. 18. Convergent Media CMC (CMCMC) <ul><li>Text-based computer-mediated communication that takes place in convergent media formats in which it is typically secondary, by design, to other information or entertainment-related activities </li></ul>(Herring et al., 2009; Zelenkauskaite & Herring, 2009)
    13. 19. Examples of Convergent Media CMC <ul><li>Offline->Online Online-Online Online->Offline </li></ul>And more … iTV SMS MOG chat Facebook wallposts Reader comments on online news Mobile blogging (Twitter, Dodgeball) messages Flickr/ YouTube comments Comments on wiki discussion pages
    14. 20. Why focus on CMCMC? <ul><li>Convergent media + CMC are ubiquitous </li></ul><ul><li>Convergent media are the future of CMC </li></ul><ul><li>Yet CMCMC has been almost entirely overlooked! </li></ul>
    15. 27. Other CMCMC phenomena <ul><ul><li>Multiplayer Online Game (MOG) chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text messaging to interactive television (iTV SMS) </li></ul></ul>
    16. 28. BZFlag chat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =NEuEyq_qL90&feature=related
    17. 30. Italian iTV SMS
    18. 31. SMS text: Lele, I hope you’ll feel terrible for what you’ve done to me. Inbox, send this, it is important
    19. 32. Web 2.0 and CMCMC Web 2.0 CMCMC e.g., social bookmarking sites e.g., MOG chat, iTV SMS Web 2.0 sites with CMCMC e.g., YouTube, wikis, eBay, SNS, Twitter
    20. 33. Web 2.0 and CMCMC as analytical lenses <ul><li>Each brings certain phenomena into focus </li></ul><ul><li>Each leaves certain phenomena on the periphery or outside its range </li></ul><ul><li>Each has advantages and disadvantages </li></ul>
    21. 34. Web 2.0 as a lens <ul><li>Focal phenomena: User-created content, user control of content; collaborative processes; folksonomies </li></ul><ul><li>Peripheral phenomena: Social interaction, communication </li></ul><ul><li>Excluded phenomena: Non-Web media; sites where only user-generated content is CMC </li></ul>
    22. 35. CMCMC as a lens <ul><li>Focal phenomena: Communication, conversation, social interaction; media coactivity (multitasking) </li></ul><ul><li>Peripheral phenomena: Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Excluded phenomena: Non-interactive content </li></ul>
    23. 36. Web 2.0: Advantages and limitations <ul><li>Advantages : Sheds light on user-generated content, triggers important debates about content ownership, quality, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations : Definition is vague; hard to boil down what characterizes all sites and enables predictions about others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All “new” websites with interactive features = Web 2.0? </li></ul></ul>
    24. 37. CMCMC: Advantages and limitations <ul><li>Advantages : Focuses on social chat as “content”, which tends to get left out in discussions of Web 2.0. Reveals actual user activity; sheds light on communication as a basic mechanism for collaboration. Perspective includes more than just the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations : Only focuses on part of what is taking place on CMCMC/Web 2.0 sites </li></ul>
    25. 38. Potential implications of CMCMC <ul><li>For media coactivity and how human attention moves among media content items </li></ul><ul><li>For discourse processing </li></ul><ul><li>For sociological theories of unintended consequences and user structuration of technologies </li></ul><ul><li>For understanding human motivations for using new media (e.g., sociability, interaction) </li></ul><ul><li>For convergent media interface design </li></ul>
    26. 39. Summary <ul><li>Web 2.0 is not the only way to conceptualize new online media trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporates biases; has blind spots </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CMCMC is an alternative lens, not a replacement for Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Other lenses are possible and needed! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call for catholicism in approach </li></ul></ul>
    27. 40. Desiderata for future research <ul><li>Meaningful definitional criteria for Web 2.0 (and Web 3.0, etc.), beyond “newness” </li></ul><ul><li>Integrative approaches to CMCMC that take primary media content into account as well as CMC </li></ul><ul><li>Theorizing about concepts such as prosumption and convergence that provide explanations and generate predictions about new media that can be tested against new phenomena (cf. Henry Jenkins) </li></ul>
    28. 41. <ul><li>Convergence is both a top-down corporate-driven process and a bottom-up consumer-driven process. Media companies are learning how to accelerate the flow of media content across delivery channels to expand revenue opportunities, broaden markets and reinforce viewer commitments. Consumers are learning how to use these different media technologies to bring the flow of media more fully under their control and to interact with other users. </li></ul><ul><li>-- Henry Jenkins (2004, p. 37) </li></ul><ul><li>“ [D]ifferent kinds of convergences -- technological, economic, aesthetic, organic, and global – [ ] are redefining our media environment.” </li></ul>
    29. 42. Multi-lensed model Cultural aspects Social/interactional aspects Economic aspects Converged media Aesthetic/design aspects Global aspects Technical aspects Converged media
    30. 43. Questions? Comments?