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TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Week 2

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  1. 1. Marshall McLuhan 2 TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Andrew Clay
  2. 2. If ‘the medium is the message’, what kind of message is the internet?
  3. 3. Recap: Being Digital ‘The shift from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable’ (Negroponte, 1996, p.4)
  4. 4. Web 2.0 and being digital <ul><li>‘ The concept of Web 2.0 is centrally important to understanding new media in the 21 st century’ (Flew 2008, p.16) </li></ul>Web 2.0 video for a viral advert competion by Leo Bridle and Leo Powell
  5. 5. Small Pieces Loosely Joined (Weinberger, 2002) <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The Web isn’t primarily about replacing atoms with bits...the Web is binding not just pages but us human beings in new ways. We are the true “small pieces” of the Web, and we are loosely joining ourselves in ways that we are still inventing’. </li></ul>
  6. 6. CD Mixtape task
  7. 7. Radiohead In Rainbows : new music culture? New connections between music artists and fans Remix culture – officially sanctioned large-scale sampling – consumption becomes an act of production
  8. 8. Novel ways of distributing music Digital downloads become ‘ ordinary’ data with no obvious physical presence or aura Live performance experience and physical formats become special
  9. 10. Remix producer James Rutledge (aka Pedro) made a four hour remix of Radiohead’s track ‘Videotape’ only available on a single copy VHS tape. with video visuals by Philip M Lane and cover art by Jacob Blandy.
  10. 11. “ I initially had the idea of doing a long remix when I was listening to Videotape on a train journey,&quot; Rutledge explains. &quot;I kept repeating the track on my iPod and I remembered how I used to make tapes that had the same track recorded 10 times on one side of a D90 if I liked it a lot. I wondered what I would do if I was asked to remix the track, and came to the conclusion that I would extend it into endless ambience.&quot; The inspiration for the resulting remix was to be found within the source material. &quot;As I got more into the lyrical content of the track I thought of the VHS format as being perfect for the remix. Then the four-hour thing started to creep in. I just thought it was kind of funny and so extreme. Plus, there was a certain irony in making an undownloadable version of a track from an album that was originally only available as a download” (James Rutledge)
  11. 13. Web 2.0 Project Coursework <ul><li>See pages 8-15 of the module handbook </li></ul><ul><li>‘ You will develop a project on the theme of Web 2.0 using the insights of theory and the context of digital technology and new media with the hands-on analysis of the possibilities of Web 2.0 technologies. You will study Web 2.0 as a research project and use Web 2.0 as a practical project. You should choose appropriate web tools to communicate your research, views, and opinions, and compare them to more traditional forms of communication such as writing. The tools used should also demonstrate how you have engaged with the module content such as lectures, tutorials and computer labs’ (Module Handbook p.9) </li></ul>
  12. 14. Web 2.0 Essay Title <ul><li>‘ The concept of Web 2.0 is centrally important to understanding new media in the 21 st century’ (Terry Flew). Discuss with reference to specific examples of new media and Web 2.0 culture and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>See pages 15-20 of the module handbook </li></ul>
  13. 15. Web 2.0 and Participation Culture <ul><li>Read pages 32-43 of the module handbook </li></ul><ul><li>Think about it, make notes, write up your notes, share your ideas, comments (where?, how?) </li></ul>
  14. 16. What is Web 2.0? <ul><li>‘ Web 2.0 is a concept or idea that is applied to a renewed sense of how the Internet should be used as a platform. It emerged around 2003-2004 as a discussion about the way that computers and the World Wide Web should be used for successful business and to recognize some of the features of the Web as communication that were there from the beginning, but tended to get overlooked as the Web developed in its first years. Thus, Web 2.0 does not refer to a completely new upgraded technological version of the Web, but more to a conceptual division between an earlier version of the Internet (Web 1.0) that was seen to be failing, and a newer, improved way of using the strengths of the Web as a communication technology’ (Module Handbook p.9). </li></ul>
  15. 18. What is participation culture? <ul><li>‘ 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 consumers. The promises of this new media environment raise expectations of a freer flow of ideas and content. Inspired by those ideals, consumers are fighting for the right to participate more fully in their culture’ (Jenkins, 2006 p.18). </li></ul>
  16. 19. Web 2.0 Tools and Services <ul><li>There are many Web 2.0 tools and services such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs, electronic notebooks, social bookmarking, wikis </li></ul></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>‘ Google Notebook is an interactive scratch pad for any visited web pages, offering to collect web findings within the browser window. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing functions permit a user to make public notebooks visible to others, or to collaborate with a list of users (with or without making collaborative notebooks public)’ ( Wikipedia ) . </li></ul>
  18. 21. – social bookmarking
  19. 22. <ul><li>‘ Hyperlinking is the foundation of the web. As users add new content, and new sites, it is bound in to the structure of the web by other users discovering the content and linking to it. Much as synapses form in the brain, with associations becoming stronger through repetition or intensity, the web of connections grows organically as an output of the collective activity of all web users’ </li></ul><ul><li>(O’Reilly, 2005) </li></ul>
  20. 23. New media cultures: ‘being digital’ <ul><li>flash mobbing </li></ul><ul><li>blogging </li></ul><ul><li>geocaching </li></ul>
  21. 24. Flash mobbing
  22. 25. use yourself as a medium ‘ The recent phenomenon of flash mobs…emphasizes the power of the internet to form connected and highly invested interest communities that can move seemlessly from the virtual to the real world’. (Marshall, 2004, p.56)
  23. 26. Blogging ‘ the weblog is an elaborate presentation of the self…in forms that were once the preserve of the media industry’. (Marshall, 2004, p.56)
  24. 31. Lister (et al.) (2003) Ch. 1 ‘New Media and New Technologies’ (pp.9-44) <ul><li>‘ new media might be seen as a ‘set of interactions between new technological possibilities and established media forms’ (p.10) </li></ul>
  25. 32. <ul><li>‘ fields of technologically mediated production’: </li></ul><ul><li>Computer-mediated communication (CMC) (email, chat, forums, the web) </li></ul><ul><li>New ways of distributing and consuming media texts (interactivity, hypertext, web, CD-ROM, videogames) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual reality (VR) </li></ul><ul><li>A whole range of transformations and dislocations of established media (photography, animation, television, film, cinema) </li></ul>
  26. 33. Wiki technology <ul><li>mechanism for electronic publishing in collaborative contexts </li></ul><ul><li>‘ simple user-editable data storage’ (Emma Tonkin) </li></ul><ul><li>Content management system (CMS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>markup languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>non-specialist users create/edit text </li></ul></ul>
  27. 34. Wiki technology media non-commercial, collaborative audience as participants wiki websites technology user-editable Web pages servers, browsers, websites collaboration open source freedom democracy non-profit
  28. 35.
  29. 36. Wikipedia
  30. 38. ‘ In February 2007, Penguin Books and De Montfort University launched ―A Million Penguins, a collaborative novel open to anyone who wanted to help write it. The novel was to be created on MediaWiki, the same software as Wikipedia, with a similar ethos of collective authoring but the added spice of a risky experiment in the heartland of commercial publishing. ― “Can a community write a novel?” asked Penguin Digital Publisher Jeremy Ettinghausen. ―Let’s find out…” ’ (Mason and Thomas, 2008, p.1)
  31. 39. So – did a community write a novel ? <ul><li>‘ The final product itself, now frozen in time, is more akin to something produced by the wild, untrammelled creativity of the folk imagination. The contributors to ―A Million Penguins, like the ordinary folk of Bakhtin‘s carnivals, have produced something excessive. It is rude, chaotic, grotesque, sporadically brilliant, anti-authoritarian and, in places, devastatingly funny. As a cultural text it is unique, and it demonstrates the tremendous potential of this form to provide a stimulating social setting for writing, editing and publishing. The contributors may not have written one single novel but they did create something quite remarkable, an outstanding body of work that can be found both in the main sections as well as through the dramas and conversations lacing the ―backstage pages. And they had a damned good time while doing so’ (Mason and Thomas 2008 p.21). </li></ul>
  32. 40. Marshall McLuhan – Extensions of Man <ul><li>‘ In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message’ (McLuhan 1964, p.7) </li></ul>
  33. 41. <ul><li>[McLuhan] argued that media technologies should be thought of as spatial ‘extensions’ of human senses or of the body itself – the book as an extension of the eye; the radio as an extension of the ear… </li></ul>
  34. 42. <ul><li>‘ But McLuhan’s best-known elaboration of the time-space bridging properties of the media are to be found in his celebrated… pronouncement of the ‘global village’ in which ‘Electric circuitry’ has overthrown the regime of ‘time’ and ‘space’ and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men’. (Tomlinson 1999, p.154) </li></ul><ul><li>Television brings the public world into private spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile phones and ‘personal stereos’ (MP3 players) take the private world into the public </li></ul>
  35. 43. <ul><li>The evolution of media has decreased the significance of physical presence in the experience of people and events… </li></ul>
  36. 44. <ul><li>‘ Now, physically bounded spaces are less significant as information is able to flow through walls and rush across great distances. As a result, where one is has less and less to do with what one knows and experiences. Electronic media have altered the significance of time and space for social interaction’. (Tomlinson 1999, p.154) </li></ul>
  37. 45. <ul><li>‘ For the ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs’. (McLuhan 1964, p.8) </li></ul>
  38. 46. <ul><li>The internet user is the content? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ We might say that not only are prior media the content of the Internet, but so too is the human user who, unlike the consumer of other mass media, creates content online with almost every use…In the case of online writing, the process becomes even more streamlined, as users become the content in the lines of text they create’. </li></ul><ul><li>(Levinson, 1999, p.39) </li></ul>
  39. 47. <ul><li>The internet is the medium of media </li></ul><ul><li>The internet continues and extends the impact of electronic communication </li></ul><ul><li>Television brings us to the world, it looks at us, making us part of its content </li></ul><ul><li>The internet exposes and extends us further as we make ourselves its content </li></ul><ul><li>This is the message of the internet? </li></ul><ul><li>We spend time making media as part of a personalised global communication network </li></ul><ul><li>New alignment of what technology does to us – what we do with technology to ourselves </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of human-machine interaction </li></ul>
  40. 48. Electronically mediated communication (telephones, mobile phones, the internet) <ul><li>don’t study media in isolation, but study the social and cultural context of which the media is a part (Moores, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>time-space relations, interactions and sociabilities, meanings, and experiences </li></ul>
  41. 49. Bibliography Bolter, J. and Grusin, R. (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media , Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press. Flew, T. (2008) New Media: An Introduction (3 rd Edition) , South Melbourne, Oxford University Press. Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: when Old and New Media Collide , New York, New York University Press. Lacey, N. (1998) Image and Representation , Basingstoke, Macmillan. Leadbeater, C. (2008) We Think [WWW] Available at (Accessed 3 October 2008). Levinson, P. (1999) Digital McLuhan , London, Routledge. Lister, M. (et al.) (2003) New Media: A Critical Introduction , London and New York, Routledge. McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media , New York, Mentor. Marshall, P. D. (2004) New Media Cultures , London, Arnold. Mason, B. And Thomas, S. (2008) A Million Penguins Research Report [WWW] Available at (Accessed 9 October 2008). Mockler, T. (2004) The Medium is the Message [WWW] Available from[Accessed 7 th October 2004]. Moores, S. (2005) Media/Theory: Thinking About Media and Communications , London and New York, Routledge . Manovich, L. (2001) The Language of New Media , Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press. Negroponte, N. (1996) Being Digital , London, Coronet. O’Reilly, T. (2005) What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation [WWW] Available at http :// is_ web-20.html (Accessed 11 October 2006). Tomlinson, J. (1999) Globalisation and Culture, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Weinberger, D. (2002) Small Pieces Loosely Joined [WWW] Available at .