Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chapter 11 - Cyber-Relations in the Digital Age

This has got to be one of the most interesting chapters for me to read thus far. It's funny how interested I am in social media and digital media because I'm really not that into it personally. I can't seem to keep up with more than networking site at a time and despite serving as webmaster for my sorority's website for an entire year, I still don't really know how to work HTML and other web site jargon. That said, I get excited to understand more about these types of media and the influence they have on society (and PR!).
One of the first terms the book recognizes is Web 2.0., stating in the last sentence of the section that "the reality of Web 2.0 comes down to this: It is all about you". To expand on this, when I saw this youtube video about web 2.0, made by Dr. Michael Wesch of Kansas State University, I absolutely loved it and the way it conveyed the unique relationship between the internet and its users. Here's Dr. Wesch's reaction to the explosion of hits his video received in just the first few days it was released (on youtube).
Another term this chapter talks about is convergence of media. This is another concept I find really interesting. Media converge more and more in the 21st century to form a more homogeneous channel, yet the messages sent on this channel are more and more diverse.
One of the more shocking things I read in this chapter is the "Social Ramifications" section. I never realized all of the consequences of social and digital media. I think the one consequence mentioned in this chapter that surprised me the most was the "mergers of media companies". I realized that several conglomerates owned a lot of the media companies; I learned about that in mass communication theory. The point that hit the hardest was the "loss of journalistic independence". I now better understand the potential loss for independent thought being published.

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