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Monday, 16 April 2012

N is for New Media

As a young man entering the world of media I am finding myself coming face to face more and more with that broad spectrum known as ‘New media’

New media is mostly internet based and revolves as social networking websites sites including Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Youtube and Google+, all of which are slight variations depending on what it is you want.

One common theme between all of new media is the speed. An hour is out of date. New media is all about constant updates, continual barrages of information seconds after events themselves unfold. With most mobile phones now having Twitter and Facebook alerts this information will arrive at you where you are and whatever you are doing.

Is this steady stream of information passing through our minds almost every second of the day good for us?

I find myself often getting distracted from what I’m trying to do because I am trying up to date with all of the latest alerts and news bulletins.

I do not believe this constant alertness and multi-thinking that people need to be doing to cope is actually healthy for us. From a spiritual point of view it prevents us from ‘stopping to smell the roses’ of life as to stay separate from this social media for more than an hour would produce a backlog that would take two additional hours to catch up with.

I certainly think some things are important to come direct to us as events unfold. Fires in  a nearby area, bomb scares or other such serious matter, it could save life for people to have the locations of these events at their finger tips.

I get so many tweets telling me about sentences that criminals have earned or something a politician has just stated... which is all very interesting and important to know, but right as it happens? Something’s can still wait until an end of the day round off and I feel we need to go back to that. The trouble with immediate information is you also find journalist panicking when they haven’t tweeted something fresh for half an hour, as a result you get a stream of useless or unimportant babble just to full up the space until a piece of gold passes through.

On twitter there is something called hash tagging (#) the idea behind this is twitter will search for these and group all conversations with a certain hash tag together. Now this is very useful as some journalists may have quicker updates than others so you can get a broader idea of the same story from a number of different angles by searching a hash tag. So for example #Cameronisaplonker. Anyone who has written a tweet about Cameron and puts #Cameronisaplonker will have their posts group together so you can quickly and efficiently find other related posts to what you are discussing.

I was watching Britain’s Got Talent the other night and notice dhow after every act a hash tag would appear. One was after that troupe of homosexual sailor people and it said #newonedirection.

This annoyed me because it is ruining the hash tag system, if you create lots of different hash tags for lots of different things then it dilutes the hash tags and makes it just as impossible to find related stories as it started with. Going back to my #Cameronisaplonker example, people instead of looking for the hash tag they want to associate with simply make up a new one, so they will go #Cameronisajerk which is a completely separate hash tag, taking the entire purpose away.

A thing like BGT creating separate hash tags for every act only confuses the system. What they should be doing is just show #BritiansGotTalent as the hash tag and that way people can all view conversations related to that episode of BGT, not separately for each act.

As per usual when modern television and Journalism jumps on these social band wagons they misunderstand it and bloody well ruin it! Uh!

*cough* ... hmm I’m really not doing a good job of writing positive posts am I? I am a happy person really #Paulisnotamiserablegit


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