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Back to the Future!

by on April 17, 2013

I often hear the older generation of people wishing to go back to a time when things were simpler. I can understand the frustration for most of them but the reality is with our constant innovation of new technologies you either learn and adapt or get left behind in a cloud of dust. Which is why we see more and more parents and/or grandparents creating accounts on Facebook; a few years behind the curve, but they are trying. Though it comes as an annoyance to most teens and young adults the fact is, if our parents don’t become accustomed to the online world then they would completely lose touch with our generation. I remember as a child I owned a Walkman, which quickly turned into a portable CD player, then an MP3 player, and now an iPod. Those changes happened rapidly, much like the Internet which has caused a lot of rapid changes in the entertainment and media industries, and there are more changes to come. Broad ranges of professions, as well as individuals, are impacted by these new ways to create, discover and entertain. The platforms and programs we use today, will be upgraded or replaced by new innovations before you know it.

xWIKI04.jpgWe are a curious people, always searching and trying to learn more about any given topic. The Internet has helped us tremendously because anything we want to know is basically just a click away. Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia is a prime example of an innovation which through the Internet has made a positive impact on the way people share and receive information. Often under much scrutiny for the way it collects the majority of its information, Wikipedia is a massive online information source that can be updated by anyone. Now the sixth most popular site in the world, Wikipedia remains uncensored. In his interview with Ted Greenwald of WIRED magazine Wales said, “I consider the free flow of information a human rights issue. We will never compromise with censorship in any jurisdiction anywhere in the world.”

twitter-nielsenWIRED also ran an article, “The Nielsen Family is Dead” to discuss how technology is changing the way we rank the most popular television shows. The Nielsen Corporation is still depending on the old system they had in place, which was based on a television set, and has been slow to adapt to the new trends and innovations such as DVR and Hulu, among other digital tools. With the creation of these new technologies people no longer have to be at home right when a TV show starts to watch it, now we can watch from anywhere at any time. By continuing to use these old television rating systems we now have inaccurate accounts of viewership. Today a widely popular show like Community receives a low Nielsen rating, yet they have a strong presence online with Twitter and other online communities where people leave comments and visibility is increased. Even actors and actresses from the shows are becoming active on social media sites to engage their audience in different ways. Though the industry hasn’t discovered the best way to measure these online analytics or how to determine our favorite programs they do know that the old system will no longer suffice and the ratings industry now knows that they need to monitor social media activity to see the real impact of TV shows and what the public actually thinks.

amanda-palmer-plays-an-intimate-outdoor-gig-02Twitter is a widely used social platform these days and just another example of how these new technologies can be resourceful. In her TED talk Amanda Palmer expresses her belief that music should be shared with many and free for all. Regularly engaging with her fans via Twitter, she would send tweets asking for favors and always found positive people willing to help. For her newest album she used Kickstarter to try to reach her goal of $100,000… but with the help of 25,000 fans she surpassed that goal and raised 1.2 million dollars. By letting people pay what they wanted for her album she connected with her audience and built a lasting foundation.

Most media have always relied on advertising to make money and, for the most part, will continue to do so. The articles in PBS MediaShift’s “Special Series: Online advertising, Evolved” discuss how the advertising world is adapting to the online platform and the various trends which may replace the dying banner ad. Many of the articles discussed native advertising, which is “advertising that folds more seamlessly into the content around it.” Native advertising shows promise but may also make it harder for the audience to distinguish between advertising and editorial content.

bench-adAdvertisers are now starting to understand that they need to create ads that are meaningful to the audience to grab their attention but still maintain quality, because people are more likely to focus their attention on an ad if it pertains to what they were already looking at. So it’s not enough to have banner ads anymore, now advertisers have to create specialized ads that both target a specific audience and match the content of the website as well.

With new innovations around every corner we should learn what we can while we can to survive in our rapidly changing technological world.

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From → Online Media

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