Senior Thesis Introduction : New Media

Nonverbal or verbal, word of mouth or technological, all of these are very different types of communication with one very big commonality, the audience.

Since the beginning of time, audiences have played a huge role in society. “It began with a face to face audience, in the presence of a communicator or an entertainer” (Gillespie, 2005). Later on down the line, “nineteenth century entertainment turned to twentieth century mass media” (Butsch).

The introduction of newspapers and print gave the ability to reach out to a larger number of people faster then they would have been able to in the past. “The emergence of …printed book… allowed effective communication at a distance in space and time and also privacy in use.” (McQuail, 1997).

After the emergence of print media, other methods of reaching people started to pop up. Reaching out to people was no longer solely based on gathering groups and asking questions or having them test products, or going door to door to see how people felt about a product. It started to become about trying to reach out to as many people as humanly possible, and getting a reaction.

Television and cinema were the next available ways of reaching out. The two gave companies the ability to market their products, by branding, on big screens that hundreds and thousands of people could see at once.

The reaction that companies got from the emergence of the big screen only continued to give them bigger and better ideas – to reach out to a bigger and better audience. Lucky for them, the Internet gave them a chance to do just that. Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web in 1991, and it gave companies the opportunity to reach out to people all over the world. Now, in the 21st century, “the Internet represents the newest, most widely discussed, and perhaps most significant manifestation of new media” (Flew, 2005).

What exactly is new media? “The idea of new media captures both the development of unique forms of digital media, and the remaking and the remaking of more traditional media forms to adopt and adapt to the new media technologies” (Flew, 2005). Simply put, new media is an update and an upgrade to the technological resources that have been placed before the public.

“In early 2007, the results of a groundbreaking study into the adoption of social media within the Inc. 500… were released. In 2008, the same group was restudied, and the results were released. According to the study, in 2007 less then half of the companies that responded were familiar with social networking sites, message/bulletin boards, blogging, online videos, podcasting, and wikis. The study that was done in 2008 showed that over half of the companies were familiar with social networking sites, blogging, and online videos. It also showed that in 2007, 43% of the responsive companies did not use any type of social media, but in 2008, only 23% were not using it.”

Many companies and people are using new media to their advantage, to broaden their audience. This paper will show multiple examples of companies and people using new media, some of which were successful and others that were not. Using multiple recourses, an analysis of each campaign will be conducted.


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