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New Media Wave Crashing In On Traditional Outlets

Aug 31, 2007
It has been almost twenty years since the Internet burst onto the scene and changed the way Americans communicate. However, access to this universal forum was only the first step in what was to become a large tangle of products and ideas making information faster, more accurate and more compact. These new innovations fall under what many refer to as new media.

The phrase new media is somewhat of a buzzword in many circles and merely a synonym for digital media in others. Its definition is quite vague, but its impact is quite distinct. In general, new media is seen as a tool allowing information to be delivered simultaneously to an almost infinite number of people yet also allows all those involved to have equal control over the content.

What is now known as Web 2.0 is one of the most important parts to the new media landslide. This refers to the second version of the Internet involving user-generated and social networking channels such as Wikipedia and MySpace. These channels focus on social interaction and rapid information delivery as well as give all users a share in the creation of the content. Virtual Worlds such as RuneScape and blogs are also attached to this Web 2.0 phenomenon. Each of these creations gives the users the ability to control the content.

Another part of the new media revolution is the addition of TiVo, DVRs and other aspects of interactive television. Electronic kiosks and evolving mobile phones (BlackBerries, iPhones) also come into the new media game by allowing multiple consumers to connect, share and create information immediately. Podcasting and Internet video such as YouTube also get their foot in the new media door by bringing traditional media of radio and television to the Internet, thus increasing user accessibility.

The emergence of new media has radically changed the way information is gathered. When describing the new media revolution, global media executive Rupert Murdoch put it best:

"What is happening is, in short, a revolution in the way young people are accessing news. They don't want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don't want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what's important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don't want news presented as gospel. Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it."

Murdoch here focused on the newspaper industry, and rightly so, as newspapers are not able to keep up with the fast-paced new media. One commentator even estimated that the last printed newspaper would be in April of 2040.

Blogging is one creation that has most affected the newspaper business. Bloggers offer national news with the ability to use commentary, a facet not shared by newspapers. Billions of readers can immediately post blog comments and discuss points made by others.

Advertising agencies are also affected by the new media buzz. Interactive advertising is becoming the trend that must be followed, and the Internet is the milieu. Advertisers are using less television advertising and print media due to lagging revenue. DVRs now allow users to fast forward through commercials. Many even forgo TV altogether and watching their favorite shows online. This has forced ad agencies to use product placement within shows or simply forget it all together.

Traditional media has a hard time keeping up with new media and its lack of limitations. There is little restriction on content or ownership and geography is not a limitation. New media can reach anyone from anyplace. Those agencies adapting to the new media wave will be best suited for the future of advertising.

Although it may seem new media is something to be feared by tradition media venues, this is not so. New media is instead something to embrace. Many media outlets have already started to ride the new media wave. It is these media venues that will enjoy success, while pleasing users by giving them exactly what they want - a new media voice.
About the Author
Charlotte Buelow is a contributing business writer for Goliath. Goliath is one of the Internet's largest collections of business research, news and information. Learn more about
Goliath .
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