“Aha” Week 2 Readings

The theories described in this reading may still hold true as the most effective ways of researching and analyzing New Media trends (i.e. uses and gratification and diffusion of information. Some of the examples, and side notes in the article though, truly reflect the speed at which new media is changing and integrating into society. This article was not written that long ago as far as academic standards of time go, but in the field of new/digitalized media, it’s ancient.

Of course, this being an evolution class, I believe the purpose of the reading assignment was not to highlight new technological advances, but to point out (in conjunction with the Media Technology and Society reading) that even though it seems like “new” media has taken off with light speed in the past ten years or so, it’s really just the continuing the natural process of technology.

An important (aha) in Social Aspects is that “attitudes, statements, and behaviors of others are more important in media choice and evaluation than the inherent attributes recognized by the users.” Prior to telephones, faxes and especially email, people were limited in the way they could express their attitudes and opinions on different mediums — therefore making rapid advances based on customer demand (which in this theory is rooted in social attitudes) was impossible. Slower forms of communication equal slower response time by the industry. In the more recent years, new mediums are developed and implemented at a much quicker rate because of factors like “buzz” which develops via emails, IM’s, chat rooms etc. Today feedback on a new medium is virtually instantaneous and that is why it seems to be constantly changing only now in the recent past.


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