Archive for the ‘New Media’ Category

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New media consumption – Part 4

In New Media on January 7, 2011 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Social networks, media, user profile, and user data are key elements of the social web in creating ties between objects and resources on the Internet. The challenges of providing relational content distribution to enhance media consumption are privacy and fragmentation. Privacy is major issue concerning sharing and tracking personal information for relational and contextual distribution of media. Fundamentally, users evaluate the risks and opportunity on social networks. Although, there are complex relations between opportunity and risk, online activities require critical judgment, trust, social values, and expectations all of which shape social networking privacy behavior (Livingstone, 2008, p.379). The risk of having personal information stored on the Internet verses the opportunity to have relational content distribution. The pressure for the latter option is the product of the information revolution, facilitated by the Internet. Currently, if content is pushed to a user that has a weak relation, it is considered spam, yet if content is pushed to the user that is highly relevant, this could constitute a breach of privacy. The full implications of profiling users and their activities have not yet been fully realised. Nevertheless, the public has little control over these activities that plague the online social networks.

 

More and more responsibility and onus on privacy is deflected to users. Although there is a tendency for users to be less concerned with privacy issues as relational media distribution has higher value than the perceived privacy risk. The volume of information requires more effective models of information retrieval. Successive and dictionary searchers are no longer effective methods of retrieval with the vast composition of media online. The adoption of the social web will support the distribution of niche, contextual information and media. Supporting this initiative presents unprecedented value to the consumer as it will enhance the attainment of “experience, attainment, and understanding” in the digital environment (Adams, 1997, pg.947). Ultimately, the social web leveraging personal information enables more proficient filtering, which is necessary for improved web services.

 

New media has a shorter lifecycle and rapid production. Accessibility to relevant content is high priority and will enhance a user’s experience.  Evens et al (2010) says media including digital television require new strategies that apply interactivity, and the long tail-based business model to tailor content specific to the user. The increased impact of niche content is consequently reducing the impact of blockbusters (mainstream) media. This is facilitated by the Internet and “by applying the long tail principle, the provision of digital niche content aims to suit all tastes, including minority interests” (p.1009).  Although there is more verity of media, the methods of distributing are still evolving. The recognition that tailed content across the long-tail can be facilitated by the social web has yet to be explored or applied entirely. A barrier to distributing media is the fragmentation of Internet resources. Media and data are fragmented over the web with very little unity in structure.  The massive migration of users to social networks leads people to believe that innovation in media distribution will come from these platforms. Utilizing the semantic web and metadata “descriptive” methodologies, will be the key to link personal profiles and network ties, facilitating the retrieval of relevant media.

Facebook has the third largest population in the world. The platform provides a standardised experience (network connections, and data structures) that will enhance the delivery of content, based on complex contextual reasoning using individual’s personal information and data. The 2010 partnership of Bing and Facebook could be revolutionary to the social web ideology, by reorganizing the distribution and consequently the consumption of new media.  Other social networks such as Linkedin can mirror this activity in the future to provide media that is more specific to their platform genre. For business professionals, leveraging their personal Linkedin profile to retrieve contextual industry and business media has profound value. Nevertheless, the professional networks continually scrutinize the privacy of sensitive information as these issues potentially have serious adverse financial and social impacts.

 

Articles

New Media Talk, Part 2 – Social Consumption

In New Media on November 25, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It is clear that the online social networks have a profound influence on the social and information retrieval activities. Content distributed on social network platforms is a unique model that challenges mainstream and traditional networks of communication.  Computer-mediated-communication (CMC) creates new methods of connectivity between individuals and groups. These networks have varied range between users, are centrally focused on individuals, and assign implicit online community roles. The social network facilitates the flow of information through direct and indirect ties and as a result defines how people acquire resources and information (Garton, 1997).  CMC plays a central role as an inter-mediator of information. Contemporary social networking platforms have rapidly grown because of their ability to effectively link individuals and groups of networks with one another –i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube. The efficiency of CMC enables users to be connected to a number of different networks defined by different relationships and different communication medium. These relationships or ties, identify new networks, thus CMC creates networks that aggregate shared resources and information (Craven & Wellman, 1973, p.g59). The increase of acquired users on social networking platforms fabricates more networks and groups of networks that therefore have increasingly prominent impacts on the acquisition of information and media content.

The ability to produce and reproduce content is also a factor that dramatically alters perceptions of new media. The format, the audience, and the volume through CMC channels are redefining media’s intention and application. The vast amount of content online is pressuring the efficiency of media distribution channels, substantiated by user expectations for the web to affiliate content with context. Social networks play a significant role in facilitating context. They do this by evaluating ties between people, groups, and pages. Social networks are described as entities in a network called ‘nodes’ and the connection between them called ‘ties’, representing a matrices that allows filtering content specific to an individual (Downes, 2005, p.416).  Haythornthwaite (2001) argues that there is a tendency for social networks to enhance the distribution of media but stronger ties within these networks remains centred on pre-existing local networks or affiliations; niche networks are often weaker ties in the network.  Conversely, Downes (2005) presents the studies of “six-degrees” network measurement (Milgram, 1967) revealing that there are only six steps in a network between every person in the United States (p.417). More so then ever, this network phenomenon is accurate but also applicable on a global scale using CMC networks ties which are both easy to create and effectively measurable.  Although this conclusion is justified, the effects of the “long tail”– many small elements of information that make up an equal or larger proportion of the Internet –require networks and ties to define relationships to niche content specific to the user. The accuracy of distributing niche content to specific individuals is highly valued during information retrieval process because of the volume of content that is available. Nevertheless, this retrieval process requires complex relational ties that leverage social network data.

Strong ties are of great relevance to social networks and the distribution of media on social networking platforms. Marsden and Campbell (1984) distinguish the combination of factors that distinguish ties in a network: frequency of contact, duration of association, intimacy of the tie, provision of reciprocal services, and kinship (p484).  Currently, this measurement of ties attempts to link the “social web” with content. Google, the biggest search engine on the web, bases its model on content-centric consumption. The shortfall of this model is that it neglects to meet the complex information retrieval process necessary to retrieve content in the long tail of the web. The social web on the other hand, adds user’s personal information as a variable in the search. The social web has supporters includes Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Facebook. Their partnership in October 2010 will enable Bing searchers to leverage Facebook profile ties to influence content retrieval; known as the user-centric model of content consumption (Oreskovic, 2010).

Browsing the web is not longer passive, user have participative roles on a websites; “individuals are now more apt to have their behaviours, likes, and dislikes automatically integrated in proprietarily databases” (Elmer, 2002, p.86).  The exploitation of this user data will significantly influence content that is distributed to the user and although the relational model is only in its early stages of implementation, the shear volume of activity that is recorded by social networking sites, generate opportunities to customise searchable content and media. The current social networking platforms are maturing rapidly as user acquisition is very high. Nevertheless, methods of transferring content are still primal as they are submissive in the online environment. Presently, social networks only marginally influence content distribution – i.e. Friend-of-a-Friend (FoaF), advertising, and recommendations.

Articles

New media talk – Part 1

In New Media on November 19, 2010 by nickejones Tagged: , , , , ,

Technology innovation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. They are complex systems that are incremental and in recent times, rapidity emerging. At this point in time, many IT developments are fragmented and there is very little unity or consolidation across domains. Playing a central role in defining technology in the future, more specifically web platform technology, is how content is managed and consumed. Social networking platforms are attempting to redefine the flow of media on the Internet by leveraging user’s profiles to competitively deliver content to the consumer (Levitz, 2006).

The online social networking revolution impacts society’s day-to-day activities. Redirecting social interactions to online has consequently altered our perceptions of media, as online social networks largely influence access to content, filtration of content, consumption of content, how it is formatted, and fundamentally where is it obtained. The information age is one that “embodies and symbolises the huge advance on our horizons of experience, attainment, and understanding” which collectively can deliver media from a networked source of information repository –i.e. the Internet (Adams, 1997, pg.947). The ability to enhance the process of retrieving and consuming information is complex but necessary. It requires networks of information to be leveraged. New media entails more than simply browsing content; users play participative roles in the content distribution. Passive browsing no longer exists, as profiling, metadata, crowd sourcing, and links are collectively mapped. Therefore, it is these participative activities that will drive distribution and production of relative content, reshaping the media industry forever.