I’m not sure exactly who said this but, creativity is not creating something new but finding new ways to do something old. This is especially true in new media.
It can be argued that new media is nothing more than old media, done in a new way. Hulu is television + technology. Blogs are journalism + technology. E-mail is literally mail + technology. In new media, technology is the key driver to fostering “creativity.”
One interesting way technology in new media has played a part in creating something interesting is with mashups in music. The New Yorker defines mashups as “new uses for current digital technology, a new iteration of the cause-and-effect relationship behind almost every change in pop-music aesthetics: the gear changes, and then the music does.” One of the most popular mashups is “The Grey Album” by Danger Mouse, which is a blend of “The Black Album” by Jay-Z and “White Album” by the Beatles.
Businesses have benefited greatly by this stir of creativity. One way is through crowdsourcing. New media, such as Facebook, blogs, Twitter and websites have allowed the common consumer to open up and express their ideas on how to improve businesses, and businesses listen. For example, according to a NY Times article, “‘Twitter’s smart enough, or lucky enough, to say, ‘Gee, let’s not try to compete with our users in designing this stuff, let’s outsource design to them,’ ‘ said Eric von Hippel, head of the innovation and entrepreneurship group at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. and author of the book ‘Democratizing Innovation.'” Did you know that Retweets and Lists came from user ideas?
What exciting, creative things have you done with New Media?
Since about 1995, virtual worlds have been replicating real life interactions in the digital space. These real-time, three-dimensional experiences that can be used in many ways such as health, business, social, etc. In this post we will explore the different ways virtual worlds are used today and how it may be used in the future.
Virtual Worlds for Personal Use
When you first think of virtual worlds, personal use is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Many people use virtual worlds as a way to enhance their social life. When you create a virtual world avatar, you can then allow that avatar to go to bars, beaches, museums, etc., all within your computer! For example, MTV created a virtual world called VLES (virtual lower east side) which is, as the name suggests, a virtual replica of New York’s Lower East Side, where you can go to many of the same shops and bars that are there in real life! According to the New York Times, “In the fall of 2006 MTV started Virtual Laguna Beach, a 3-D world meant to simulate the Southern Californian beach community of its semi-reality show ‘Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County’; in short order it added virtual worlds based on its shows ‘The Hills,’ ‘Pimp My Ride,’ ‘The Real World: Sydney’ and ‘Kaya.’”
Virtual Worlds in Health
There are many people in the world who cannot have a normal social life due to their medical conditions. This has lead to the creation of many virtual world communities made specifically for people with certain illnesses to interact and simulate a normal social life, as well as learn more about their condition. For example, David Savill of Gloucester, England created a virtual world in Second Life called Naughty Auties, “to serve those with autism spectrum disorders and their friends and family.” Dr. Fred Volkmar, a professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center, said, “Although not much research is yet available, there is clearly considerable potential in use of new technologies for fostering social skills.”
Another example of virtual worlds being used in healthcare are virtual hospitals. Of course real patients don’t use this to get treated (not yet at least), but they are being used to train healthcare professionals on how to handle certain situations. According to the Wall Street Journal, “dozens of hospitals, medical schools and health foundations have staked out space in the online community Second Life, where participants can build their own virtual clinics and stage just about any training drill they can imagine.”
Virtual Worlds in the Workplace
Virtual worlds enable you to chat, give interactive training sessions and conferences, and also to collaborate. Of course it would be easy to translate these benefits into the workplace. In a CNN.com article it states that, “more than 1,400 organizations — including large companies, educational institutions, government agencies and even the U.S. military — use Second Life to hold meetings, conduct training and prototype new technologies more efficiently.” It allows employees from all over the world to come together in one place without ever leaving their countries or cities.
There are many other ways to use virtual worlds besides the ones listed such as gaming, education and commerce. In the future, virtual worlds will become more popular and more big companies will start to explore it in order to create a more dynamic experience for consumers. Colleges may start hosting online courses via this medium and you may be able to see a doctor for health information this way. With the rise of two-way communication in marketing, community building, etc., I can envision big brands like Apple or Macy’s exploring virtual world options.
Can you think of any other ways to use virtual worlds?
Do you have any experiences to share?
Blogs and wikis are both extremely revolutionary and useful tools in new media today. Both have been used personally, by businesses and in many other ways to provide information on various topics and to allow for easier collaboration among colleagues.
One of the main differences between blogs and wikis resides in the structure. According to How Can We Measure the Influence of the Blogosphere? by Kathy E. Gill, posts are primarily in reverse chronological order and time stamped. Also, old content remains accessible. When you create a wiki however, it’s more like one big research paper, with links to different sections or pages that have information on a set topic.
Wikis are more often collaborative, allowing users to edit information to each section almost instantly. According to More on How to Build Your Own Wikipedia, it states that “each team member could contribute and access up-to-date information.” In a blog however, normally a post is written by one person and new information by other people are on a separate post with a new timestamp.
While normally blogs are made by a person or business to be read by the public, according to the wikipedia on wikis, “Many wiki communities are private, particularly within enterprises. They are often used as internal documentation for in-house systems and applications.” Blogs have a more journalistic feel, with that journalist’s opinion sometimes inserted into the writing, wikis have a more objective feel.
Even though wikis are more collaborative by nature, blogs can also be collaborative. There are many group blogs out there, written by more than one author. Blogs also allow readers to comment, allowing colleagues, mentors or the general public to weigh in on what you are writing, sharing a new point of view.
Some interesting ways to use wikis are event planning, collaborative note taking (convenient way to share notes with classmates!), writing business plans and project planning.
The internet has made it easier and more efficient to work together. Technology like blogs and wikis have created the ultimate opportunity to create synergy between departments, managers in different areas of the world, and employees in general. Blogs especially, have provided an outlet for 2-way communication between the public and companies. They have given consumers a voice and has allowed companies to better connect with them.
One theme in new media that I am very passionate about is social media and I want to dig deeper into the topic. For my New Media class, I’ll be doing a paper entitled, “Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing.” Throughout the paper I will be discussing the differences and similarities between them, the pros and cons of the two methods of marketing and how they work together. I will also be including real-life examples, from major companies to small businesses, to explain my points in the paper and to demonstrate best practices.