Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Media Complexity - Communication Theories: Opportunity and Impact

AG. Eka Wenats Wuryanta, M.Si


Now this happening is incredibly exciting revolution, astonishing and at the same time challenging for human. Revolution is interesting because this revolution brought changes to the pattern and structure of the human communication process. This revolution is also astonishing because of the revolution of information technology to grow and develop human. It finally can go beyond space and time barrier. Revolution is also challenging because this revolution also brings the influence of "unhealthy" to people who stutter and greedy to the pattern- patterns of technical convenience offered by this revolution.

Revolution is in progress and experienced by mankind. The revolution is called the communications revolution. This communications revolution to follow in the footsteps of previous revolutions, the agricultural revolution (the revolution toward a paradigm nomadic life settled), the French revolution (the revolution of political social paradigm) and the industrial revolution (the revolution mechanics and dynamics of industrial capitalism.) [Rogers, 1986; Naisbitt, 2001; Straubhaar, 2002]. Communications revolution is growing in an assumption that communication becomes a vital element in human life (Rogers, 1986; Naisbitt, 2001; Straubhaar, 2009).

The cycle of production, consumption and distribution of information faster and are owned by the system experienced a new global society, supported by the strength and expansion of the economy, global information systems and networks supported by the latest technology.

By measuring the development of communication from the influence of pre-verbal, oral traditions, writing, printing, mass media, and ultimately how telecommunication and informatics system can be seen that the slow motion process of the communication culture in the process initially, but then accelerated rapidly and massively in the recent era (Asa Briggs, 2002).

Technology in the development of current production, consumption and distribution of information plays an important role. Urgency of massification roles in the process of information technology when the technology is helping to change patterns of communication that is limited by space and time into a pattern of information communication without boundaries. Thus, the technology is basically good. So it is not surprising that there is a change from traditional media into new media. In the end, the new media in the context of changing technology and globalization is such a complex. Globalization is one factor important in the communication media and technology industries.

Perceptions and Perspectives of Technology in New Media

Anthony Giddens has said that modernity is characterized by advances in technology have become an inevitable condition (Giddens, 2001). Humans as subjects can and have the ability to create technology, but at a certain point people can no longer control the technological progress. Technology as a dynamic entity can’t be controlled, including when the entrance of technology to encourage the development of information systems community.

The first perception that perhaps we should consider is the perception of understanding the meaning of technology itself. That is, technology would be viewed as a whole of human activity. This means that when we look at technology as just-made goods so that understanding is a superficial understanding. Technology at least has the interrelated aspects, namely the technical aspects (including knowledge, technical skills, work pattern follows all the activities), organizational aspects (including economic activity and industrial, professional activity, users and consumers; where technology is seen as a dynamic system), and cultural aspects (including the purpose of technology, value - the code of ethics and creativity) [Pacey, 1983].
Key feature of technology is that technology always contains two important factors, namely efficiency and a clear purpose. Efficiency involves the conception that shows the best comparison between job with the results obtained.

Technology as a human activity aimed at a clear meaning of human activity was carried out to meet needs, solve problems, or to overcome certain difficulties. But even so, still acknowledged that technology is an extension of the human hand (McLuhan, 1996; Naisbitt, 2001). Technology is basically an offer of value, namely that human work even more helped by the presence of technology. It could be argued that the technology at some point a human effort to shape the world according to the perception and understanding. Thus, technology is part of human culture. Culture technique is more a cultural system that made "second nature" after the neighborhood where the man was thrown.

The second perception may have to be further examined is the position of technology in human culture. Agreed adage is that technology is the whole of human activity which aims to simplify people's lives. The definition of technology is actually a point that can be claimed that the technology can be regarded as a culture. Technology is seen as a good overall value aspect, organizational and material objects, it can be said technology is culture-or it can be said again-culture is technology. But on the other hand, we can also say that technology is one part of the culture. Indeed, this brings its own problems, about how we should interpret the technology.

The third perception is some belief that accompanies the technology as a system and praxis. Technology as a system of values and praxis of work that follow are in the process of progress or a constellation of human progress. Dynamic efficiency and specific objectives inevitably presupposes progress in technological systems (Pacey, 13-34). Industrial efficiency and technology resulting in mechanization, automation, mass production and consumption, distribution expansion and stabilization of natural resources used for the development of the technology itself.

The level of progress or technological development is expected to further facilitate the work of man. That is, belief in technological progress increasingly placed human beings as lovers the technology without the need to question again how the results of the technology.

Although technology is always working to provide the best, efficient, cheaper, easier to man, still, the technology has not been able to answer the mystery in the whole process of discovery.. Level of sophistication of technology and human needs also require a level of expertise (Pacey, 35-57). A demand that the technology is so sophisticated is the human ability not just wears it but at the same time make or reproduce the technology itself.

Communication Technology and New Media Industry

In the previous section, we have seen some conceptual framework and assumptions that need to be agreed in advance before we enter into issues of communication technologies. Some of the above assumptions and perceptions are also applied in communication technology. Technology in industrial societies enables the media to hold and turn into media concentration that can accommodate and compress a large amount of information and then distributed in bulk or individually are simultaneously and rapidly (Rogers, 1986:2-6.) Communications technology is indispensable to the process of industrialization. The whole reason the economy in the industry get a tool to further strengthen the economic position of technologies (Albaran, 1996).

On the one hand, technology makes economic foundation of a new, more mature and massive. The nature of the industry is increasingly confirmed by the technology is the nature of production, distribution and consumption to achieve a profit. Modern industry is managed with modern management, the organization that is more complex, larger capital. Included in media industrialization (Dahlan, 2000). But on the other hand, industrialization, industrialization in this case the media also influenced the development of new communications technologies.
New economic development triggered by the industrial revolution that changed the pattern of the human economy. We want to understand it in the new industrial society. At least the roles of technology and communication have a big influence in shaping the new economy and reconstructing buildings there now. The key word is CHANGE.

New economy centered on about our ability to organize, manage future competition, the ability to create new products and services, the ability to change the business into a new form that is more rapid as well as forms to be replaced. In the language of economic structures that are commonly used is that the technology utilized to further maximize the goods, services, commodities and capital.

The relation between technology and economic dynamics of this new structure resulted in some significant changes for the community. A new provision of the new technology is a technology industry that requires more than just intelligence, agility, and speed. It should be a redefinition of values in the new economy, where the cost of the technology used can be minimized.
The following will present some considerations that need to be understood in a more profound process of reflection on the socio-economic life that thrive in contemporary society, especially the new economic pattern that is affected by communication technology.

First, the new economy based on basic, practical knowledge and mastery of professionalism in Information Technology gives confirmation that the economy based on knowledge. The knowledge here is also intended with the ability, skills of workers. The contents of knowledge in production and services are growing significantly as consumers of ideas.

Second, the digitization. Changes in technology from analog to digital technology allows the communication contains information that dense, rich of all kinds together; with information technology, information can be combined, converted and presented with a variety of forms.

Third, virtualization. Change of goods, materials or anything physical into the virtual reality. This means also alter metabolism of social and economic realities, the type and nature of economic institutions - social life itself. In the organizational level, there is a change of the institution into an institution that is more present and functional in cyberspace.

Fourth, molecularization. This means that new economic entities to form a new economic unit the smaller and independent. With information technology, organizational systems and economic institutions transformed the reality that no longer pay attention to the size and limitations of time-place. Small units of the economy is able to become an independent basis of economic activity and global nature.

Fifth, the integration network. New economy is an economy based on network technology. The link in the network enables networking in various levels, local - regional - national - metropolitan - national - global.

Sixth, from the absence of an intermediary in a new economic system. This means that the new economy did not need agents, brokers, sellers. In fact it often happens that retailers or media institutions precisely in the middle of producers and consumers. Technology is now moving in the context of a multilevel design calculations in a more integrated model in the network.
Seventh, convergence. Convergence is the keyword new economy. That is, there is concentration of media integration capabilities and economic substance. The creation of this join capability to form a more sophisticated capabilities. Equipment, systems, content and control information related to each other.

Eighth, innovation. That is, innovation is an important factor in economic activity and business success. In this sense also, the ability of human creativity and imagination become an important source of value.

Ninth, prosumption. There is no boundaries between consumers and producers. Consumer information and technologies become economic producers as well as human collaboration in the network becomes part of the sources of information multimedia company. Users can be a designer.

Tenth, immediacy. The speed and nature of information quickly is very important in the new economy. Be purely electronic trading in all transactions and business communications. This is impacting on the matter of economic conditions and forms that had ever happened.

Eleven, linkages and global competition. Sources of related information and media in global networks, with high interaction. Competition agencies are now more global economy. Finally, discordancy. Social contradictions appear to be massive. There is a conflict between classical resources with new resources, highly paid. Instead of new gaps arise in this context, between the have-poor, know and do not know. All come in a matter of access to information and economic. It is also growing potential for trauma and new conflicts that have not been previously anticipated.

New Media and Its Complexity

New media began to get rid of the traditional role in which occurs the combination and unification between content producers and audiences. Audiences to take more active in controlling the content that you want to accept and be content generators in some cases. High and low initial cost and increasing accessibility of new media that allow for this change. Traditional media tries to adapt to using new technologies to tap into what the audience wants. The shifting in the relationship between content creators and audiences create tension for the traditional mass media. How to monetize content in new online environments? Also, how do producers maintain control over where the content is distributed? These issues remain unresolved. Probably it will take a major improvement from the current copyright law. Current law is written for content that must be physically duplicated (Wilkinson, McClung, and Sherring, 2009). It is encouraging to see that people with very little money for start-ups can now be a mass communicator. The club was controlled mainly by upper-class white men being challenged. Various sounds can now gain entry into the, "Idea Market".

As new voices are allowed to breed through new media technologies, they allow for new social networks that will be created. Some have learned this from the standpoint of digital culture. Niche audiences can more easily access content and ideas that fit with their views. This is not necessarily a phenomenon exclusive to the Internet (Deuze, 2006). Niche audiences have been collected and created the club, meetings, newsletters, etc. for everything from model trains Neo-Nazism. Internet only allows people to access each other more quickly and easily. This is not the Internet that created this new culture is a culture that uses the Internet for connectivity.
Have questions about how the departure from involvement in cultural geography with an Internet-based culture will affect the community. Whether we will eventually be shut-in who only connect to others of like mind and a computer terminal? Are we missing cultural achievements because of the velocity data and loss? (Kornegay, 2009). In the first edition I have to say no. As humans we will always look for physical human interaction. I still believe that we are in the early adopter stage or maybe the majority of the early stages of Internet diffusion. The possibility that the Internet provides still new to most people. The ability to instantly connect with someone from the middle of like minds around the world is interesting. This is why we have seen a spike in things like Twitter and Facebook. Eventually this trend will level off and we really will see a slight decrease in use on a per capita basis. There are needs that most likely will never meet with a computer terminal or mobile phone.

Preservation of culture is another matter. Internet Archive is one effort in capturing information that is transmitted on the internet but very limited capacity (Kornegay, 2009). I believe that our culture will end up being archived has much the same way. Library server will archive and scientific literature. News server organizations will archive our history. The issue over the storage media becomes less of an issue. We are moving into the world of solid state hard drive and server-based multiple redundancies. Tape drives, floppy drives, and CD-ROMs have come and gone. They no longer are the threat to the archiving of information. Hard drives and solid state storage is as old as, and in some cases older than other media. We have to experiment to find the right storage solution and now we have found it.

Another issue related to the Internet is the agenda setting power of the mass media. Is it still there? Did it ever exist? Brubaker (2008) argues that, at least in this study, the theory of agenda setting is not correct. The media do not tell us what to think. This assumption arose because participants did not rank the same as they were given stories important by the media (Brubaker, 2008). This assumption is wrong. The study did not look at the fact that the media does not tell people to think about certain issues. Tell them the issues that are always the most important out of these issues will tell them what to think. This study ignores the point of agenda setting theory. This theory argues that the media tell the audience what to think about not what to think. Viewers can think of few issues more important than others but they are still thinking about the issues presented in the media.

Salinas (2008) also explore the theory of agenda setting. Theoretical articles attempt to add Burke, AOS concept identification agenda setting theory to make a better theory for the use of new media. The point of identification identifies the audience; AOS enhance the ability to pick and choose the media message. This research was even encouraged to use to use and gratification in a small capacity (Salinas, 2008). This seems like an overly complex integration framework. An existing theory account for the needs of audiences and effects. I believe that would be better to incorporate the media system dependency theory (Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur, 1976) by Burke, AOS concept of identification. Media system dependency theory has been harnessing the power of uses and gratification theory and so can benefit from identification. One of the main weaknesses with the MSD is that it fails to explain the purpose of mass media marketing. Identification can fill critical gaps in the theory.

How much should the researcher to change the theoretical assumptions in the face of new media? Bardzell (nd) shows Marshall McLuhan, AOS line “the medium is the message”. With this assumption, all we have discarded the old theory when discussing the new communication technologies. Yzer and Southwell (2008) provide an antithesis to see this. Their claim is that technological determinism is false and that the universal theory of human interaction alone will provide useful in studying new media.

I propose that the old theories should not be discarded and that new media create a new research base to discover the nuances of human communication. New media will provide active experimentation ground for theory. Some current theories will be proven effective, these must be changed, and some must be discarded altogether. This does not mean that the theory should be done away with entirely because it does not prove successful in the new media environment. This means that the theory should be modified to express limitations. Some theories will prove very effective in explaining the new media. I will attempt the Uses and gratification theory will provide an excellent model in predicting the use of new media. This, of course, may require slight modifications to the theory.

New media gives salience to the concept of different theories. This is because of direct observation may be in new media research. A researcher can easily see the hits to the page and the different demographic data even if users of the site have provided it. Users, AOS selection of activities on a web page or in web pages or interactive technology makes it easier to test the theory claims. This is not to say that new communication theories will not be out of the new media research. Given the critical nature of communication phenomena in a new environment, new theories will likely be produced. These theories may be then being applied in other communicative contexts. The new communication technologies spur new theoretical assumptions expressed by Lievrouw (2009). Many of the technologies of mass communication theories communication brings forth the new, this will also happen to new media. The argument here is that this theory does not apply only to new communication technologies. New media only provides a new environment for the invention.

The implications of the idea that media theory is tested much will change how information is conveyed to the audience. No longer can a media practitioner uses vague theories to involve the audience. This is often done in television and newspapers because in the second column contains a high number of errors. Nielsen diary and the number of newspaper distribution provide very little if any data on the audience, AOS reaction to a particular news or program. This is where the assumption in Journalism Next comes into play (Briggs, 2010). The media increasingly will move to digital delivery methods are more measured. Focus on audience demand will change the way information is collected, compiled, and evaluated. Of course the idea of capitalistic will try to keep the mass audience as large as they once were. It just will not be tolerated by the audience. Niche audiences will find the media they want and there will be increasingly fragmented audience. This is not something new so there's no need for a new theory to explain the phenomenon. It has been seen since the invention of the printing press. New media will see democratization as more information is always the case.

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