Media Studies A2 Revision - Online Media


What is Online Media?

Online media is digital media which includes;

  • video
  • images
  • music
  • communication
  • online television
  • games

All of which are distributed over the internet. All non-copyrighted materials are provided either freely or for a fee.  

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The Internet...

The internet was first created in 1970 by Harvard, MIT & BBM. The first real network was Arpanet. It's orginal purpose was for communication and sending data.

Internet was first available for home use in 1990/1995 and was accessed via Dial-Up connection, this was very slow, had to carry a cable and you couldn't use your phone while you were connected to the internet, however it was simple to set up, and connection was available even in rural areas.

The internet was further developed and Web 2.0 was created. This involved interactive websites, and the term was created as it was the next version of the web.

The terms Wireless and Broadband first appeared in 2000, and wireless broadband was created. This is quicker than dial-up, more porable, you are able to use your phone while on the internet, and is a lot more practical than Dial-Up.

The internet is constantly being developed and updated and it's difficult to keep up, what with 3G networks moving to 4G networks, quicker connections and more internet availability, the way we access and receive data will be changed and mobile computing will probably be the future.

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Audience Production...

Audience production is what people put onto the internet, for example articles on Wikipedia are changed and written by users of the site.

Benefits: Different opinions, Communication, Advertising, Easier to find information, Shopping, Watch shows you may have missed, Listen to music, Upload to sites from other devices, Keep up to date on the news

Issues: Anyone can edit, False information, False website, Hacking/Viruses/Gossip, Advertisers/Webcallers, Copyright, Age limit/Lack of Restriction, Peadophiles/***********/Child Abuse/Unsafe users, Buffering

Tech/Sites used: Info sites, Eductational, Social Networking, Media/News/Medical sites, Media players, E-Commerce, Forums/Chat rooms, Wiki, Computers, Wi-Fi/Broadband, Camera/Camcorder/Smartphones/Tablets/iPods/Kindles, Game consoles

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There are three main theories:

Wikinomics -

Mass collaboration sellers working with bigger companies and share profits. Consumer power, save money. Broadband has helped create a brand new global market, however BB is not available everywhere.

We 'Think' -

Our brains are shifting with the development if the internet, sense of knowledge shifting, The boundaries between media & rest of social life blurred & contested, challenged world, education - peer teaching, no teachers.

Long Tail Theory - 

Long Tail theory devised by Chris Anderson (2006) consists of a larger number of niche market products that are available in low volume BUT their total sales are almost equal that of mass market - 40%.

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Music & the Internet

The internet has helped the music industry a lot over the past few years. It has allowed for music companies to sell their music online, cheaper than it would be in shops, it allows for a much bigger catalogue of music to be sold i.e. music from the 80's/90's being made popuar again. 

The internet has also made it easier to share music via social networking and sites such as Spotify which allow you to set up playlists and share them on sites such as Facebook, Twitter & tumblr. 

However, music downloads have paved the way for illegal downloading. Illegal downloading does not help the artist and causes companies and singers to lose profit. But some singers think that illegal downloading has no effect on them and believe that you need to put out content which makes them want to buy it. 

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Gaming Industry...

Why do people play games? One topic within Online Media is the Games Industry. People play games for a number of reasons, the main reasons being escapism, socialising, hobby and passing the time. Games such as Second Life & IMVU are examples of games that are played for these reasons. The internet has changed the way the audience perceive reality, allow them to meet people online and socialise more easily, allow them to become who they want etc.

Games like Second Life always have pros and cons. Users don't class them as 'games' as such, and class them as a 'way of life'. It all depends on how they are used.

Pros: Escapism, Social, Rewarding, You can make new friends , Bettter virtual world, You can be whoever you want to be, Encourages creativity

Cons: Addictive, Takes away from real life, Relationships ruined, Could cause abuse, Can't be sure of others identity, Could cause bankruptcy

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Case Study - Ric Hoogestraat & Second Life

One piece of research into the effect of these games is the case study of one Second Life user Ric Hoogestraat. He was married ingame and IRL, he owns a mall, a private beach club and a dance club. He also has 25 employees, onlines persons known as avatars who are operated by other players including  a security guard, mall concierge, manager & assistant manager, the 'exotic dancers' at his club. He designs bikinis and lingerie, and sells them through his chain stores called Red Headed Lovers.

This shows just how seriously players of this game take it. To them it's a way of life, and this case study shows just how much the internet changes peoples ideas of what is reality and what is virtual reality. The case study also is a good example of how games such as Second Life allow users to change the way they look, make themselves look better than they do IRL and be able to make those with illnesses or life altering diseases be healthy etc.

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TV & the Internet...

Television has also benefitted from the internet and channel companies such as ITV, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 & Sky all have online TV sites where you can watch live TV on the go, catchup with shows you missed, like and share episodes via social networking sites and comment on shows with others. Online Television has made it more eaier for people to watch the shows they love, interact with those who also like the shows, and offers exclusives to persuade people to use the site such as webisodes on BBC iPlayer.

Other ways in which TV uses the Internet:

  • Synergy
  • Advertisements
  • TV Guides
  • Social Networking
  • Renting shows on sites like Netflix
  • Blogs
  • Online chats
  • Quizzes
  • Fansites
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Online Radio...

Radio has also benefitted from the internet. Technology has changed in a way that allows radio to be practical and appeal to a younger audience. Back in the day, radio was more middle aged to elderly people, now thanks to technology and the ever increasing amount of radio stations, more and more younger people are now starting to listen to the radio.

Radio has also benefitted from websites. This allows listeners to login, share, request certain songs, follow the latest news regarding their station and find out when shows are and listen back to shows they may have missed. This is similar to online tv, and increases listeners and users to the site. It allows for easier interaction with listeners.

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Essay Plan!

Question: 'For media audiences, the internet has changed everything.' Discuss.

Introduction: Agree or Disagree with statement, Relevance of Web 2.0
Evidence development, Development of internet, Quicker broadband/no dial-up, Audience expectation, Reliance on internet

Paragraph 1 - Music: Evidence, Pros & Cons, Long Tail Theory, Legal & illegal downloading, Effects on music industry, More availability, Less stock, Effect on social media

Paragraph 2 - Games: On the go, Hoogestraat - Second LifeIdentity, Educational, Synergy

Paragraph 3 - TV: Catchup, Synergy - catchup supports TV shows, Download on demand apps on mobile devices, Advertising, Share via social networking sites, Comment & share, Requires internet connection

Paragraph 4 - Radio: Online websites, Range of stations, Sound Technology, Demographics appeal to certain stations, More interaction with fans, Advertising, Answers demand for more free music streaming, Long Tail Theory, Playlists based on fan requests/charts, Promotion for artists

Paragraph 5 - News: Decline in printed newspapers, Practical to have them online, Easy access, Easier to update, Different sections more developed, Pick & choose stories

Conclusion: Sum up points, Give opinion, Explain what evidence shows, Close essay

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News & the Internet...

There has been a decline in printed newspapers now that the internet has been developed. Newspaper companies now hvae their papers online. This is practical as it can be updated more regularly, people can pick and choose what articles to read, it's cheaper, easy access, different sections are more developed. However, internet connection is required which you cannot get easily on the train, so online newspapers may not be practical in all areas and the older generation may still prefer to buy their newspaper as that's what they ahve grown up with rather than learning how to use technology and reading it online.

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