How do I see the future of social media?
Well, I am an optimist so I would like to think that social media will only continue to progress in connecting us with one another faster than the speed of light in so many ways and on multiple platforms, but I also will not deny the negligent and powerful effects that addictive social media use can have on individuals who are prone reclusion and anti-social behaviors.
In one of the blogs I wrote last semester in my Media Transformation class, I take a look at the negative effects of the social media and virtual worlds of the such.
MIT Professor Sherry Turkle interviews some people who are long time users of virtual worlds and reports about the negative effects these second identities have on our self image, self esteem and confidence in interacting with people socially in real life.
And it is no different for Facebook or Twitter, more for Facebook I guess, cause Twitter doesn’t really tell your life story like Facebook does. Everyone has two identities these days: their real identity, the raw, flawed person other people know them for, and their Facebook identity, the edited, cleaned up version of them people see but most never experience.
And yeah sure people want to look their best on Facebook since the everyone might see it, but when people spend more time on their Facebook identity than on their real identity, people can start to lose touch with their real imperfect self and it eventually makes it harder for them to accept flaws and live harmoniously with themselves.
Social media is great for connecting people and I use it so I’m not bashing it, I’m just stating my opinion derived from what I have experienced and studied about social media and that is that you cannot let social media take over your real life.
On a different note, I think we will eventually see a decline in Facebook usage, and it might be in a year or five years, maybe ten, but at some point something new will come along that finally takes Facebook’s crown as the king of social media.
But Facebook won’t go down without a fight. We will see Facebook continue to develop new apps and create richer user interfaces to attract more users. Facebook is at times annoying with its pesky banner ads and but it really is a great way to connect with people, especially for students.
Not to mention that as time moves on and a larger percentage of the elder becomes active on the internet and social media, Facebook will still be new to them and will continue to gain older users who have never experienced it.
It’s like as soon as the older generations learn Facebook, the younger generations have already moved onto a new social media platform.
I think Twitter will continue going strong and might eventually surpass Facebook because it is still relatively new and not as many people know of it compared to Facebook.
However, Twitter has its limitations when it comes to really storytelling and sharing parts of your life, so I think there will always be something like Facebook and Twitter will function as more of a news source.
When it comes to how social media sites function, you have to think about ads and selective marketing. If Facebook, for example, already knows everything about us and can advertise to every niche market, what will it be like in the future.
Will our computers be able to read our minds? Social media sites will immediately advertise something related to what you are thinking about. Now that would be crazy but it is possible.
Social Media in the future will be whatever the users wants it to be; the experience will be highly customizable and easily sharable as it is now but even more advanced and precisely detailed.
The way we connect and exchange information has been forever changed with the introduction of social media and the ways we connect with each other with forever expand in direct correlation with the advancement of technology.
What started with harmless LOL cats has turned into an overcrowded arena of content sharing that leaves many users of the Internet feeling overwhelmed. Between pesky pop-ups, commercial clutter, and potential viruses many people have turned their backs on the World Wide Web and opened their eyes the world of Apps.
But what is so appealing about an Application you pay for that gives you the same information as the free open web. Could it be the sense of security you get when you have to login with a username and password or is it the clean, friendly user-interfaces of the apps that draw people in. Well it’s a little of both and then some.
According to Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times, “Apps sparkle like sapphires and emeralds for people bored by the junky nondesign of monster sites like Yahoo, Google, Craigslist, eBay, YouTube and PayPal. That sparkle is worth money.” But it’s not just about the sparkle either. The ease of access to specific or time-sensitive information, while on the go, is something that is priceless for many consumers.
CONNECT WITHOUT YOUR COMPUTER
As the Internet continues to expand, so do the devices that facilitate it. In the near future, the majority of Internet surfers will be riding on the wave of a wireless device as opposed to a traditional computer.
In fact, according to Larry Greenemeier of Scientific American, “Traffic from wireless devices will for the first time exceed traffic from wired devices by 2015, when wired devices will account for 46 percent of IP traffic, while WiFi and mobile devices—including smart phones, laptops, tablets and other portable gadgets—will account for 54 percent of IP traffic.”
This change is not just because people are always on the go but also because the traditional open web has been flooded with information and devices allow user to be much more selective in the information they receive. Apps are developed specifically for certain types of users and the information they seek, which reduces the amount of clutter and disheveled information users have to sift through. With the explosion of Apple’s Store, there is literally an app for everything and as technology permits, the capabilities of these wireless devices will only continue to become more advanced and complex.
GREATER CONNECTIVITY EQUALS GREATER CONTROL
Stated by John Villasenor of UCLA “For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders–every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.”
As the reach of the Internet grows, so to does the reach of government control. With smart phones and other internet-enabled devices, we are connected to networks that are constantly being monitored by certain government personnel in order to “keep us safe.”
Safe from what I ask? Bomb threats via text message? Pssh! I mean come on; the whole monitoring of phone calls and text messages is just a way to keep us in control, by making us monitor ourselves in fear that government goons in masks might abduct us, because of a text message we sent. It’s just another fear tactic.
Make us panic as a nation with so-called terrorist attacks such as 9/11, then come to our rescue by passing laws that strip us of our civil liberties like the Patriot Act, but oh its ok because “we are safe now.” Thanks Government!
All of this monitoring in the name of security for our people is a load of crap, for lack of better words. Now I know what your thinking, “Why in the heck would the government be interested the text conversation I’m having with my friend about Bagels?”
John Villasenor, of UCLA gives us the answer in his research for the Brookings Institute. “The ability to record everything will tilt the playing field back in favor of repressive governments by laying the foundation for a plethora of new approaches to targeting dissent.”
He further explains that this type of control would allow authoritarian governments the ability to perform “retrospective surveillance.” So if someone is convicted of a crime, police or authorities will be able to look back in time at the offenders phone conversations, travels, contacts, and any other information available on their phone or computer that might lead to further conviction.
Personally, I use the internet/iPhone as my second brain, and why not? The Internet is like the brainpower of everyone combined. But not all of the information on the Internet is good. It is still at a point where you have to sift through a host of crap to find what you’re looking for. As mentioned before, the App Store has solved that to a certain degree, giving people their own clean little niche interface that makes them feel comfortable and only presents the information they want in that App.
This is a great advancement in terms of filtering and organizing data into neat little platforms of information, but I think that eventually the Internet will function just as intuitively as our brain does, literally becoming part of us. Kind of scary right?
This is still a ways off in the future but I see it like this. All of our devices from phones and iPods to computers and TVs will be linked between the Internet and our brains, so that if we think about how to bake a cake, for example, multiple results for baking a cake will present themselves on whichever device is physically closest to us at the time.
Or maybe there will be a sensor developed in laptop track pads for the future that can pickup the electrical pulses send from our brains. We will simple think about what we want to see or hear while touching the pad and BAM! There it is.
As stated by Barry Glick, “Over time, as the Internet matures, it will become something that is completely inter-woven [into] the fabric of our lives and not even something that we specifically tap into, but is just always presenting information to us.”
Due to advancements in technology, mainly the Internet, the future of traditional broadcast television has been called into question. In this post I will put myself in the shoes of a TV Network CEO as I try and understand how to adapt to the changes we have seen in television and the way we watch videos.
The way people watch TV and the reach of television has changed dramatically over the course of a decade, and continues to change. As a Television Network CEO I am now competing with companies such as Netflix and Hulu that have capitalized on the ability to stream video on the Internet. This explosion in Internet video watching has slowly been stealing away my viewers. Nielsen.com estimates that almost 145 million people watch video online in the U.S., compared to about 290 million who watch traditional TV.
In order to maintain my viewers I am going to invest in high quality shows that make money because they are specialized for certain loyal niche audiences.
This is a transition we have seen in television with many stations, because television can no longer survive on advertising alone. In the old days, according to Rob Levine, “Since networks only made money on advertising, they chose shows that would reach as large an audience as possible, whether or not individual viewers felt strongly about them.”
Now we have seen a transformation in the quality of show being produced. Hit shows like Mad Men shown on AMC or Modern Family on ABC are making money because they appeal to a loyal niche audience that will practically pay anything to see their favorite show.
I will invest in high quality TV shows that appeal to a loyal niche audience, because they are going to be willing to pay the high cost of a cable subscription to my networks shows if they are quality. As technology becomes more individualized and personalized toward the consumer, it is crucial to appeal to individual interests as opposed to mass appeal.
The idea is to capture audiences with narrowly defined interest areas and the advertisers who covet them.
I will also invest in technology that allows me to directly measure which channels my viewers are watching and at what times, so that I can better advertise to them. According to Dave Morgan, “For system operators, their ownerships of directly measured data and access to smart digital set-top boxes could transform their heretofore limited advertising businesses.”
Dave Morgan is CEO and founder of New York-based Simulmedia, a TV ad targeting company. I can use technology like Simulmedia to help improve the relevance of the ads I run on my Network. My customers will be more inclined to watch my station if they enjoy the TV shows, but also the ads in between because they are actually relevant.
In an article by Marco R. della Cava of USA Today, we learn that Youtube has invested millions of dollars in order to start producing their own line of web only TV shows.
“For now, YouTube isn’t likely to serve up the next Modern Family. Instead, it aims to provide short niche content for an increasingly fractured audience, says Shishir Mehrotra, vice president of product management.”
So as long as I continue producing quality shows, like Modern Family, my viewers will continue to pay their high cable subscription to keep my networks channels.
I will continue producing quality TV shows and using the data I have collected with data collection services, I will be able to measure which one of my shows is the most popular.
As we have seen with the introduction of Smartphones, every form of media is going mobile. This is the next big concern for a Network CEO like myself. How do I make the transition to mobile TV?
Beginning with the standardization of the Internet Protocol Suite in 1982, the Internet has grown into a vast computing resource that has profoundly changed the lives of individuals worldwide. Most of these changes brought about by the Internet have been beneficial for humanity but some have affected the lives of individuals negatively.
CONNECTING AND SHARING
One of the biggest and most influential changes brought about by the Internet is the transition from individuals as consumer to individuals as producers. With the Internet every individual has the opportunity to have a voice and to contribute his or her ideas to the world. NYU Professor, Clay Shirky expounds upon this change.
”What we’re seeing is that people weren’t couch potatoes because they liked to be, we were couch potatoes because that was the only opportunity given to us.“
According to Shirky, young people with access to fast, interactive media such as the Internet, are shifting their attention away from media solely for consumption, such as TV, and using this time instead, to produce and share content.
The Internet has also changed the way people connect with each other and has enabled new forms of human interactions. Through Facebook and other Internet-based platforms people have the ability to interact with other individuals from around the world. Whether through instant messaging, video chatting, or blogging, the Internet allows for instant connection.
Though, the Internet can bring individuals together, it can also pull them apart. The Internet, along with all of its components, directly affects how individuals view themselves. MIT Professor, Sherry Turkle, delves into this topic in her latest book, Alone Together. She discovers that mass immersion in virtual worlds like Second Life, MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) and social networks begins to dehumanize individuals.
Virtual reality pioneer, Jaron Lanier also expresses his concern with the Internet in his book, You are not a Gadget, and helps to point out some of the less opportune changes caused by the internet in the lives of individuals. He explains how because people are constantly connected to the Internet, they are less connected to each other. Instead of talking to a person face to face, most interactions occur online, and people begin to lose the natural connection. Some people spend more time blogging, tweeting, or facebooking about what they did yesterday than they do focusing on what they are doing today.
The Internet is not perfect, but through revolutionizing the way individuals connect and receive information, the Internet has provided much more flexibility and freedom in the lives of individuals. For example, with the Internet, instead of waiting tirelessly for the weather segment to show up on the local new station, individuals can quickly access the weather or any other information on the internet, and for most, directly from their phones. However, this change has also affected the lives of individuals who work in journalism and who rely on viewers to watch their program or read their newspaper.
IMPACT ON JOURNALISTS
With most news transitioning to an online format, many journalists and news staff have lost their jobs, or their job description has changed entirely. According to Kim Hynes, former Anchor and now Digital Content Manager at KWCH Broadcasting, every reporter and most employees they hire are now required to know multiple skills other than just journalism, such as how to edit video.
“In order to survive in the ever-changing world of Internet journalism, you have to know how to do it all and how to learn on the fly”, she says.
One editor of the Wichita Eagle Newspaper, John Boogert, also expresses his thoughts. “I am not longer just competing with the local newspapers to get the latest story out. I am competing with the entire world, so it is a never ending process.” Boogert also expressed his struggle to create an interesting news story that people want to read after they have already heard about it all day on Facebook and Twitter. John Boogert is referring to the boom in amateur journalism brought about by the fast accessibility of the Internet and the introduction of Internet-enabled mobile devices. This ties into Shirky’s idea of consumers becoming producers. Individuals no longer just receive news; they create the news as well.
The Internet has also brought cloud-based software, which has given individuals the power and freedom to work from anywhere. No longer being tethered to one computer where the software is stored allows for greater flexibility. Individuals never have to waste time storing data or saving content to their computer when everything is self contained and stored on the internet.
The Internet has literally made the possibilities in the lives of individuals endless. Businessmen have the ability to collaborate on global projects with people from across the world. It has changed how individuals meet each other, providing a neutral meeting ground, where individuals can more or less shop for the traits they want in a partner. This gives individual even more selection and possibilities. With access to so much information on the Internet, people are much smarter, and more self-reliant. More people search the Internet for how to change their oil now, before going to a mechanic. These days, most people even shop online, which saves them time and money.
With the collaborative power of the Internet, individuals are building a better, more cooperative world, a world in which everyone is informed and connected. This connection has changed the lives of individuals in so many ways, and despite some of the downfalls, has been an extremely beneficial contribution to mankind. Overall, the Internet has given every individual a chance to produce, share, and most importantly connect with the rest of the world.
These days, in order to find information on the web, we must navigate through pesky pop-up windows and sidebars full of advertising. But is the extra time spent waiting on advertisements really such an inconvenience considering the Facebook and Youtube ads we despise actually keep the information we consume free?
It all started with politically financed newspapers of the nineteenth Century, according to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. The politicians would finance a newspaper and in return that party of politicians had total control of over the news.
This control changed by the end of the 20th Century when advertisers took the place of politicians as financers. The use of advertising to support the news created competition between advertisers, which allowed for more deviation in types of financial backers, thus keeping the news unbiased.
This use of advertising to support the news gave many independent newspapers a chance to make a profit, while also keeping each news station in check.
“If the profitability of advertising is high, then it is costly for media outlets to distort their news coverage in the direction desired by a subsidizing group,” Petrova writes. “Any deviation from the coverage that maximizes audience means the loss of audience and the loss of corresponding advertising revenues.”
As I continue reading Klein’s article, he transitions by saying that “The news is not the only form of mass information that appears free while actually supporting itself through advertising.” He lists various other forms of media from television to radio to Google and so on.
The point is that almost every form of information is supported or financed by advertising. I think Klein’s observation best points out the reasoning for this support, and makes me laugh at the indifference stated.
“They didn’t do it because they are philanthropists, and they didn’t do it because they love information. But they did it nevertheless.”
Exactly! It is not certain why, over time, this huge stream of information has been collected, but what is certain now is that advertisers continue to compete to be the top providers of information because of the money. Advertising, specifically on the Internet, and more specifically on Social Networking sites has proved to be most profitable for advertisers. Furthermore, The ability by large companies such as Google, Youtube, or Facebook to pinpoint niche interests using complex algorithms has revolutionized the way we are advertised to as consumers.
Some people don’t like the thought of their personal interests and “likes” being processed by a computer, as data to better serve advertisers, while others say that it is actually helpful to be shown ads on Facebook, for example, which are related to their interests.
Personally, I really don’t mind the Facebook sidebar advertisements, and have actually clicked on a couple of them, but the ads on Youtube are what really bug me. With Facebook, at least the ads are optional to look at on the side like this. Youtube has taken it a step further and placed the advertisements directly between you and the content you want to watch, forcing you to watch the advertisement first, before playing your video.
Can advertising really be labeled as good or bad? Sure they are in it for the money, but look at the masses of information that have been generated in the process of earning said money. Without the support of sponsors, most websites would go under, and the information that we cherish might cease to be free. Which brings me back to my original point. Is the amount of time we spend sorting through advertisements worth the amount of information we gain access to? I tend to think so.