Media Convergence And Information Society

Gopal Thakur*

The convergence of new communication technologies heralds a new era in communication of all kinds. But uncertainly and speculation still surround their potential and the nature of their impact. Will the new technology hold positive consequence for our society? 

The rise of digital communication in the late 20th century has made it possible for media organizations (or individuals) to deliver text, audio, and video material over the same wired, wireless, or fiber-optic connections. Today, we are surrounded by a multi-level convergent media world where all modes of communication and information are continually reforming to adapt to the enduring demands of technologies, “changing the way we create, consume, learn and interact with each other”. Convergence in this instance is defined as the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content, and communication networks that has arisen as the result of the evolution and popularization of the Internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space. As all facets of institutional activity and social life such as business, government, art, journalism, health, and education are increasingly being carried out in these digital media spaces across a growing network of information and new communication technology devices.

We are using new media in two senses here – one is focused specifically on digital and mobile technologies, the wave of emerging communication tools and practices that have emerged over the past few decades and the other is focused on the process by which any emerging media technology gets absorbed into the culture. It is intended as an introduction to the ways new and emerging communications technologies impact our culture. The convergence and new communication have allowed leading the global world of communication, facilitating the interconnection between people and institutions worldwide, and removing spatial and temporal barriers. It is the set of technologies that allow the acquisition, production, storage, processing, and communication, recording and presenting information in the form of voice, images and data contained in acoustic nature signals, optical or electromagnetic. It is the interaction that happens and transpires among people that results in essential tidbits of information employing the new technology of internet as the main channel of communication.

The biggest impact has come from convergence and new communication technologies: 1. Computers, 2. Mobile phones and mobile technology, 3. Web TV & Radio

In a study, the researcher found there are so many new communication elements, systems; relations, tools and technology have changed our society to information society.

Research Methodology

The study had the following objective: To explore the value of media convergence for the development of information society. In this study researcher used the new communication technologies and as a variable for the study the sample included the professionals from Delhi- NCR. The approach in this study is to show that the media convergence is playing the role of the backbone in the formation of new technological based society called information society. In fact, information society requires understanding about the convergence in a deeper perspective, things become definitely different in the new communication technology world. The methodology adopted is based on consulting. Most of the date used in this study is primary.

ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

This section provides the detailed analysis of new communication tools and technology as well as the elements.

1. MOBILE TECHNOLOGY:

It is the ability to use technology to wirelessly connect to and use centrally located information and/or application software through the application of small, portable, and wireless computing and communication devices. 

Examples of Mobile Technology:  1. Laptop, 2. Cell Phone, 3. PDA (Personal Data/Digital Assistance), 4. GPS (Global Positioning Systems), 5. IPOD (Intelligent Portable Occular Device).

Mobile Technology in SocietyAdvantages
1. Advantages
– Laptops
– Cell Phones
– PDA
– GPS Navigation
1. Laptops
– Information on-the-on
– Education
– Wireless Office
1. Disadvantages
– Security
– Cell Phones
1. Cell Phones
– Economical
– Safer Way to Travel
– Not Having to find a pay phone,
another way to communicate when
away from your land line

2. MOBILE COMMUNICATION:

A communication network which doesn’t depend on any physical connection between two communication entities and has flexibility to be mobile during communication. The current GSM and CDMA technologies offer Mobile Communication.

A mobile phone is a wireless electronic device used for telephone and multimedia communications. The term “mobile phone” does not typically refer to a cordless phone, which is ultimately still connected to a land line. Mobile phones are just another word for cell phones, and they receive their service from cell phone towers. A mobile phone may be used anywhere outdoors or indoors, and does not have a base unit that it must be returned to like a cordless phone.

 Common examples of wireless equipment in use today include:

  • Cellular phones — provide connectivity for portable and mobile applications, both personal and business
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) — allows drivers of cars and trucks, captains of boats and ships, and pilots of aircraft to ascertain their location anywhere on earth
  • Cordless computer peripherals — the cordless mouse is a common example; keyboards and printers can also be linked to a computer via wireless
  • Cordless telephone sets — these are limited-range devices, not to be confused with cell phones
  • Home-entertainment-system control boxes — the VCR control and the TV channel control are the most common examples; some hi-fi sound systems and FM broadcast receivers also use this technology.
  • Remote garage-door openers — one of the oldest wireless devices in common use by consumers; usually operates at radio frequencies.
  • Two-way radios — this includes amateur and citizens radio service, as well as business, marine, and military communications.
  • Baby monitors — these devices are simplified radio transmitter/receiver units with limited range.
  • Satellite television — allows viewers in almost any location to select from hundreds of channels.
  • Wireless LANs or local area networks — provide flexibility and reliability for business computer users.

Wireless Technology: More specialized and exotic examples of wireless communications and control include:

  • Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) — a digital mobile telephone system used in Europe and other parts of the world; the de facto wireless telephone standard in Europe. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA).
  • Code division multiple access (CDMA) is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. It refers to any of several protocols used in the so-called second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications.
  • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) — a packet-based wireless communication service that provides continuous connection to the internet for mobile phone and computer users.
  • Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) — a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for internet access.
  • i-Mode — the world’s first “smart phone” for Web browsing, first introduced in Japan; provides color and video over telephone sets.

3. Web TV:

It is original television content produced for broadcast via the World Wide Web.  Web TV system typically incorporates internet access, a Web browser, wired or wireless networking, a keyboard/keypad or mini-keyboard and a wireless control device such as a wireless mouse. While Web TV browsers might not offer as much functionality as a PC-based browser, it can be a low-cost alternative to a traditional Internet-connected computerized device. It also might be used to describe any computerized system that enables viewing of TV programming that is delivered via the Web. These different devices include PCs, mobile devices and internet-connected TVs.

4. Web Radio/Internet Radio:

It is an audio service transmitted via the internet. Many internet radio services are associated with a corresponding traditional radio station. Internet-only radio stations are independent of such associations. Internet radio services are usually accessible from anywhere in the world. Internet radio services offer news, sports, talk, and various genres of music-every format that is available on traditional radio stations.

5. E-Paper (Electronic Paper or Radio Paper):

It is a portable, reusable storage and display medium that looks like paper. Electronic paper was first developed in the 1970s by Nick Sheridon at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. The first electronic paper called Gyricon. Many electronic paper technologies can hold static text and images indefinitely without using electricity. Such as e-books, e-papers, e-magazine etc.

Implementing New Media

New media potentially allow wider range of   democratization of knowledge distribution. Such distribution of knowledge is very important for the development of information society which includes social capital and the corporate society. Media convergence certainly allows people to react, respond and anticipate, people are using knowledge from various resources to upgrade their information tank.

New communication technologies assist the democratization of knowledge production and supports dissemination of information, the internet and related modes of communication allow the aggregation and integration of extreme volumes of information contributed by users. Multiple sets of knowledge are being produced in this way from the various sections of the society and corporate world. As well, innovation has proceeded from an ‘open source’ approach to knowledge rather than via proprietary mechanisms. This study shows integrating research for the creation and growth of a new media initiative as the research indicate that the new media is a very important tool of development.

In this study the researcher tried to find out about the use of Media Convergence for the formation of information society and information distribution. The result is as follows:-

  1. Active participation: new communication technologies allow people to act, react and participate in the social development and for information blast.
  2. Action-based methods: activities and experiences of participants generate knowledge. New initiatives and activities can be viewed as a result of media convergence.
  3. Generating action: media convergence promotes new concepts for new initiatives, approach for solving problems, targeting particular kinds of users; and finding new resources or partners.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the new media and media convergence not only empowered ordinary citizens but also the youth and professionals in completely new ways by providing them access to more information and foster the development of information society through the creation of views and opinion of a larger public. The advances in new media and web technology make it easier for social capitals  like students, businessman, teachers and employees of corporate world to participate in the creation and management of content. It is useful to understand how a corporate communication strategy can leverage these trends. Overall, new media technologies certainly provide new thinking to the professionals and gives a way for the integration of society and formation of a new communication order  in the world.

References

  1. How Old Media Can Survive In a New Wolrd (Wall Street Journal)
  2. Leah A. Lievrouw, Sonia Livingstone: The Handbook of New Media, SAGE,2002
  3. Craige, Alan (1998): Adoption, Diffusion and Optimal Uses of Computer Technologies for Instruction in Higher Education, the University of Dayton
  4. Bijker, W.E. and J. Law (eds) (1992): Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Socio-technical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  5. Mackenzie, D. and J. Wajcman (eds) (1999): The Social Shaping of Technology (2nd edn). Buckingham and Philadelphia, PA. Open University Press.
  6. Atton, C. and Couldry, N. (2003): Introduction to Special Issue on Alternative Media. Media, Culture & Society. Vol. 25: 579-586
  7. Baym, N. K. (1998). The Emergence of On-Line Community. Cyber society 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. S. G. Jones. London, Sage Publications: 35-67.
  8. Coleman, S., & Gotze, J. (2001). Bowling Together: Online Public Engagement in Policy Deliberation. London: Hansard Society.

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