The Impact of the Network

While investigating the various topics within Network Media and Society I have become very interested in the subject as a whole. I have been able to learn a great deal about the different media forms both old and new, the developments in digital medias and the pros and cons to them existing in our society. Even though I found all topics interesting and engaging I found Media Convergence, Audience Participation and Online visibility to have a large impact on our everyday lives and have both positive and negative elements to their existence.

Just to recap, Media convergence is the combination of new media and old media within a single piece of media work and usually can be seen in the coming together of different media products/technology. The rapid development of a franchise like Star Wars is a classic example of Media Convergence – from a film series to merchandise to comics to novelizations to TV Shows to video games.

Audience participation is the communication between the media and its audience. It allows the audience to take part, communication and manipulate the media form to exist in a way that pleases the users. Examples of this would be the TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing which allows its audience to vote for their favourite contestants. YouTube is another form of audience participation as it is an online space that allows audiences to view other audience work.

Online visibility is the amount of information a person launches online about themselves. Their name, date of birth, whereabouts, likes and dislike etc. Social Media sites such as Facebook are very good at requesting to find out more personal information about the users.

These three topic in particular can interlink have had a massive impact on our everyday live and how society is forming. However, there are pros and cons to their existence and they can affect the users live in different ways.

Thanks to modern digital media forms such as the internet many of the topic in Network Media and society interlink with one another and devices such as smartphones and tablets allow audiences to constantly expose themselves to the topics within Network Media and Society.

Media convergence on one hand has allowed specific products and technologies to grow and develop. It helps to keep a concept alive and even allows it to evolve and branch out to create new concepts. It allows creators to better connect with their audiences though developments in technology. And has become another form of advertisement.

However, is media convergence another way of allowing media professionals to make more money off just one popular concept?

Me being a Star Wars fan have often used media convergence by looking at information within the story that was not given within. Without this product evolving into games, books and comics I would not have been able to find my answer. Also, if the movies did not evolve into online content I would not be able to learn be other concepts that branch from this idea.

Audience Participation has allowed users to be heard especially since the development of the internet. For me without audience participation I probably would not be able to find entertainment on sites YouTube or blog discussion. However, on TV shows that use voting I may not always agree with the decision made by the audience. Online audience participation has created a new way for people to communicate and socialise and allows audiences to be in control to a certain extent.

Online visibility has shown me the importance of my information. However, it puts me risk and benefits me also. Information being placed on social media can allow unwanted users to view my information. However, for other uses such as online shopping the distribution of my information allows me to easily meet the product I am buying.

When looking into Meetup, the online community, a user’s online visibility was kept restricted up to a certain level to avoid any unwanted communication. This keeps the users safe from one another. Meetups also contains audience participation as users can decide to join specific groups that fit their interests and speak to many others on how they feel. Meetup also contains media convergence to it can be used on a number of digital devices. This makes it easier to use for the audience.

I have really enjoyed learning about the topics with Network Media and Society and now can identify these elements and the pros and cons they have in our society.

How did you guys find it?


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