Digital convergence

In the media landscape, Convergence has brought together computing, communication and content. It can be considered a result of the increased popularity of the internet, as well as the widely available media content. We are able to view everything through multiple devices, from our phones, laptops or tablets – wherever we are. We can skype across the world, watch films, make internet phonecalls, listen to music and film videos in high definition quality, with ease on our smartphone. This makes our life much easier, more convenient and perhaps more enjoyable. Convergence allows us to communicate faster, to do things more efficiently and to be constantly engaging in several things at the same time. However, I do think, that the consequence of this is, that we are always dividing our attention. It’s almost as though we are having to learn again how to focus on one thing. It no longer comes natural to us, and moreover, is not something most of us want to do. Because its easy to get the feeling that your missing out on something.

Convergence has already hugely transformed and influenced the media industry, but this will increase to an extent, that we can’t possibly predict exactly. Will it mean, that only a few successful media organisations can survive in the future? Will social media platforms like facebook, twitter and instagram remain popular for many years? I think that Apps have contributed hugely to the success of digital convergence on mobile phones, but perhaps something even more convenient, will replace them in the future. Personally I feel that convergence makes it much easier to personalise the content that we want to see. This is great in many respects, but it places a lot of pressure on media companies to survive. A result of this could be that there will be fewer original formats, because content has to be shareable and receive as many ‘likes’ as possible.

Digital Convergence

media convergence

 

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Convergence is even economic

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Most of Media students relate convergence only to Media as it is the first step of a big change (and is what mostly we focus on) but there are economic effects related to it.

An interesting Media convergence output is its following development as companies tend to make profit, hopefully for them, and this is for sure a new lucrative field in which invest money. This is the reason why companies such as Facebook or Microsoft have bought Whatsapp or Swiftkey creating an economic convergence status.

These huge corporations are exploiting the massive data amount we produce every day and they are selling it to other companies. The most efficient way to collect sneakily this amount of information and preferences is through leisure and communication apps, as they are tools we use in our everyday life to communicate with our family and friends.

This phenomenon is a direct Media convergence result and companies swallow data (and, personally, privacy)  then trade them as this the Independent article clearly states.

Media convergence has had and still has positive effects as we are able to communicate cheaply and we have the chance to find information in a faster way, but can companies exploit it and sell what is one of the most important parts of life, our private sphere?

THE KARDASHIANS’ WORLD OF CONVERGENCE

Henry Jenkins says ‘we are entering an era where media will be everywhere, and we will use all kinds of media in relation to one another’. In addition to that John VPavlik says media convergence is the coming together of computing, telecommunication and media In a digital environment.  Both these statements correspond to the famous reality stars of the Kardashian family.

The Kardashians’ careers spiralled off from a reality show called ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’ which helped create their fame. However not only do they have their reality show, they now also have their own games and  individual apps that they upload videos of themselves on, from doing make up tutorials to talking about different social topics. From this you can argue that the family use   technological, economic and cultural convergence when it comes to using the different platforms of digital media. Such as being on various types of social media and having their own apps to  keep themselves relevant. Or expanding their name as a brand to bring more money in, and  allowing the audience to become the ‘user’ when It comes to their games. The question I leave for  you guys to answer is that would the Kardshian’s be as famous, relevant and rich if it wasn’t for the combination of both old and the new media?

 

Chronicles of convergence: The book, the film and the wardrobe

Cultural Convergence is a major part of the media industry commonly used over a number of platforms, including film and TV. The Chronicles of Narnia: the lion, the witch, the wardrobe is a classic example of cultural convergence. It first started as a book and then was developed into films, musicals, sound tracks on CDs  and now is promoted into the toy industry with various action figures tailored to children.

Not only has it spread to a number of different media platforms it has also spread through language, the novels have sold over a 100 million copies in 47 languages. The book has converted into a number of platforms, including a very own website dedicated to the book which includes ‘news and extras’ and even ‘events’ circulating Narnia. Other websites have been created focusing on Narnia, for example clothing and toy companies selling products referring to the books and the films.

Klaus Bruhn Jensen described convergence as “a historically open ended migration of communicative practices across diverse material technologies and social institutions”. The Chronicles of Narnia book has migrated to various other platforms and expanded their audience following by doing so.

This is a great example of cultural convergence and really shows how much convergence can have an effect on the business element of it. Cultural convergence of a book creates a huge line of income into the product and helps boost the audience to get more interactive and involved in the idea behind the product.

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Would someone please acknowledge me?

Social or organic convergence is defined as consumers’ multitasking strategies for navigating the new information environment. In simple words, we- users multitask by using different media at once to better adapt to this rapidly changing environment that we are living in today. Texting your friend while watching a movie and taking a snap of your cozy evening at home all at the same time, is this multitasking familiar to you? We are trying to stay up to date with what is going on around us, but also keeping everyone else informed with our lives. This is a reality of our generation as the result of the media convergence.

Although, we are out and about through socializing, which seems to be great, there are also some implications. The addiction to posting, tweeting, sharing is one of them.This video has helped me to look at our addiction from a different perspective. The problem seems to be in the attention that our generation is lacking. We are sharing the photos from parties, or the gifts that we receive to get some kind of response from the public, in the form of the likes or comments e.g “ you look beautiful!”. Such attention makes us feel a little better about ourselves. We start feeling like someone cares about us, so we continue sharing. Perhaps, we don’t get much attention from our close ones, therefore social networking helps to get what we are lacking. Would you agree that the lack of attention and desire to feel needed are the reasons to social media addiction ?

Harry Potter in the Muggle world!!

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If any of you are on social media you may find every once in a while something Harry potter related pop up on your new feed, such as an statement made by J.K Rowling or a GIF related to the film. The main reason for this is because harry potter is part of the cultural convergences category meaning that the audience find a way to keep the topic or product alive by creating their own material based on the original format.

Pottermania is the term used to describe the Harry Potter fans, but what does it mean to be apart of one of the biggest cultural convergences?

The reason for the harry potter franchise success is because of the fans that keep the fictional harry potter world alive. How? by creating fan-fiction (fan made book adaption of original the book), creating fan sites with forums so that they can communicate with other fellow Potter fans, conventions such as leaky con and role playing games.The list is endless. Another reason for the massive fandom is to make the fictional come alive as well as making sure that the fans have somewhere and something to express their passion and their faithfulness towards the franchise which they have as a generation been brought up by.

This is further developed and encouraged by company’s such as Universal studios, creating video games, stationary, trivia games such as monopoly and the Harry Potter world that looks exactly like the movie to further encourage the culture and of course to further create and sustain money for themselves.

Overall, The Harry Potter culture is all about making the fiction come alive as well as making sure it never dies out.

Additional information about the Potter generation

Television and Internet

As a foreign student, studying PR and Advertising, I found it a bit difficult when I first came to London, as I didn’t have television or Internet and I didn’t know which newspapers to buy, in order to keep up with the news. However, after a while I managed to get myself a Wi-Fi and learn more about the newspapers, but never signed up a television contract. Why? The answer is because I am watching television, but through my laptop, without paying a penny for it. Yes, for those of you who don’t have a TV yet, you can do that! I find this convergence of television and Internet, to be the most useful for me, as a foreign student, as I cannot afford to buy a TV and to pay for television. http://tvplayer.com/watch/ – this is the magical place I watch the news every morning before going to university, or in case I miss something (like the Andrew Marr show, which according to our tutor, every self-respectful PR student should watch!!!) I just go here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0080bbs. I hope this information was helpful for all of you who feel as lost, as I did!