August 29th, 2010

Levy, Pierre. Cyberculture. Electronic Mediations, V. 4. Minneapolis, Minn.; London: University of Minnesota Press, 2001,

“Technology is responsible for neither our salvation nor our destruction. Always ambivalent, technologies project our emotions, intentions, and projects in to the material world. The instruments we have built provide us with power, but since we are collectively responsible, the decision on how to use them is in our hands“ (xv).

The new medium of communications that arose through the global interconnection of computers.

That set of technologies (material and intellectual), practices, attitudes, modes of thought, and values that developed along with the growth of cyberspace.”

While this US edition was published in 2001, this work was originally published in 1997 (in French). However, many of Levy’s theories seem to have substantial staying power in our current age. Read the rest of this entry »

Infinity Imagined

August 27th, 2010

“This digital age belongs to the graphic interface, and it is time for us to recognize the imaginative work that went into that creation, and prepare ourselves for the imaginative breakthroughs to come” (215).

Johnson, Steven A. Interface Culture. Basic Books, 1997.

Infinity Imagined
In the final chapter of this 1997 text, Johnson discusses many of the points on the new attention to interface design. He refers to Thomas Edison and the invention of the phonograph as an example of the fact that an inventor/producer can never fully foresee the way in which users will use the product. They may find a use other than the inventors intent, which could dominate the common application of the product. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence

August 25th, 2010

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press, 2008.

“Convergence doesn’t just involve commercially produced materials and services traveling along well-regulated and predictable circuits. … It also occurs when people take media into their own hands” (17).

I this way, it is both a top-down and bottom-up structure. “Corporate convergence coexists with grassroots convergence” (18). The iPhone is an excellent example. Apple put out the iPhone which merged the iPod, a telephone, and many other features common to cell phones, such as the camera, and various applications. The item was truly revolutionary. Once this was out, many developers began designing iPhone applications on their own time. However, seeing this trend, Apple regulated it and made it so 3rd part application needed to be approved by them.
[Someone feel free to comment if my account of this iPhone event are not quite accurate, here.]

Black Box Fallacy

August 23rd, 2010

“Media convergence impacts the way we consume media.” (14).

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press, 2008.

Black Box Fallacy
Jenkins coined the “Black Box Fallacy” in response to the common argument that “all media content is going to flow through a single black box into our living rooms (or, in the mobile scenario, through black boxes we carry around with us everywhere we go)” (14). He goes on to cite a 202 Cheskin Research report that states that whereas the prevailing thought was one convergence and everything merging into one device, the reality is that we are seeing more divergence with many devices. Jenkins even discusses his own living room entertainment that includes television, cable box, VCR, DVD player, digital recorder, sound system, game system, and a mass of video tapes. Read the rest of this entry »

OVC as a Medium

August 21st, 2010

“Old media are not being displaced. Rather, their functions and status are shifted by the introduction of new technologies” (14).

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press, 2008.

OVC as a Medium
As I’ve discussed in the passed, while my research on the online video conversation (OVC) focuses on students’ use of the communication tool Viddler in the classroom, the study and the topic have little to do with Viddler. It is merely a tool that offers certain features that are beneficial to the OVC; it does not create it. Even through the course of this research, various tools and technologies are beginning to offer such features as the ability to comment within the timeline of an online video. As Henry Jenkins states, “[H]istory teaches us that old media never die–and they don’t even necessarily fade away. What dies are simply the tools we use to access media content…” (13). Regardless of whether Viddler persists, the phenomenon that is the OVC is not dependent on it or any other tool; it refers more to a method and a medium through which we communicate. Read the rest of this entry »