It’s rather amazing to read the bit-by-bi…

Week 3 – It’s rather amazing to read the bit-by-bit innovations regarding the ultimate development of the telephone and how both one-upsmanship, collaboration, and exploratory integration of existing discoveries on the part of the tech-savvy “illuminati” of that day moved things forward. The propellant of transmitting sound electrically seemed to stem from the raw concept that speech is vibration – what can be oscillated naturally could be reproduced electrically.

It seems science of the day regarded the possibility as mythical – Bell was working against both the challenge of telephony but also industry-wide downlooking. Also interesting is the notion that Bell’s patent was based off of an undeveloped model : a gamble off of the guarantee that superior technology would inevitably be produced along those lines later. Is the race for technological innovation still following the same trends today? The race to control the industry between National Bell, Edison, Western Union followed invention faster than I ever realized…with that the quickness through which the telephone sufficed as an entertainment and news ‘broadcast’ medium, i.e. the technology allowed user to message reception for special events. Once released, the exploratory stage of the market plays a powerful motivator in the direction technology is to proceed.

‘Supervening necessity’ comes across as a recognized industrial, social, or consumer need for an alterier application of a technology other than was originally intended. The Internet itself suffices as a prime example of this, originating as a military communications and file access network, later broadened and augmented to the average user’s whims. The concept alludes that technological success (in terms of widespread integration and use) is beholden to the needs of the market far more than the wants of the inventor.

U&G
The concept of uses and gratifications sounds very much derived from the microeconomist’s standpoint: if you can predict the habits of ISP users and understand what they respond to, you can tailor your branding to their needs. U&G explains motivations and continued use and is thus very useful for tech developers seeking long term consumership, brand loyalty, etc. Because of the multitude of user interests and uses for the Internet itself, methodology as such is an absolute necessity. ISP users who log onto cnn.com every day may not necessarily visit ebay.com. The variancies of the Internet’s audience, as a digital forum, necessitate U&G if you are to enter the market via the medium. In regards to U&G for our research projects, I have a difficult time imagining how it might relate to my topic of ICTs for Development, considering my area of focus is the most barren areas of the digital divide and do not approach the Internet in nearly the same capacity (if they approach it at all). But in the areas where supporting Internet infrastructures do exist and it claims some part of daily life, it may hold true in these areas as well.

Luke

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