Defining New Media

New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies in the later part of the 20th century. Most technologies described as “new media” are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial.[1] Some examples may be the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. New media is not television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications.

Although there are several ways that New Media may be described, The New Media Reader edited by Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort defines New Media by using eight simple and concise propositions:[4]

  1. New Media versus Cyberculture – Cyberculture is the study of various social phenomena that are associated with the internet and network communications, whereas New Media is concerned more with cultural objects and paradigms.
  2. New Media as Computer Technology Used as a Distribution Platform – New Media are the cultural objects which use digital computer technology for distribution and exhibition. e.g. (at least for now) Internet, Web sites, computer multimedia, Blu-ray disks etc. The problem with this is that the definition must be revised every few years. The term “new media” will not be “new” anymore, as most forms of culture will be distributed through computers.
  3. New Media as Digital Data Controlled by Software – The language of New Media is based on the assumption that, in fact, all cultural objects that rely on digital representation and computer-based delivery do share a number of common qualities. New media is reduced to digital data that can be manipulated by software as any other data. Now media operations can create several versions of the same object.
  4. New Media as the Mix Between Existing Cultural Conventions and the Conventions of Software – “New Media today can be understood as the mix between older cultural conventions for data representation, access, and manipulation and newer conventions of data representation, access, and manipulation.” e.g. In film, software is used in some areas of production, in others are created using computer animation.
  5. New Media as the Aesthetics that Accompanies the Early Stage of Every New Modern Media and Communication Technology – “While ideological tropes indeed seem to be reappearing rather regularly, many aesthetic strategies may reappear two or three times…In order for this approach to be truly useful it would be insufficient to simple name the strategies and tropes and to record the moments of their appearance; instead, we would have to develop a much more comprehensive analysis which would correlate the history of technology with social, political, and economical histories or the modern period.”
  6. New Media as Faster Execution of Algorithms Previously Executed Manually or through Other Technologies – Computers are a huge speed-up of what were previously manual techniques. e.g. calculators. “Dramtically speeding up the execution makes possible previously non-existent representational technique.” This also makes possible of many new forms of media art such as interactive multimedia and computer games. “On one level, a modern digital computer is just a faster calculator, we should not ignore it’s other identity: that of a cybernetic control device.”
  7. New Media as the Encoding of Modernist Avant-Garde; New Media as Metamedia – Manovich declares that the 1920’s are more relevant to New Media than any other time period. Meta-media coincides with postmodernism in that they both rework old work rather than create new work. New media avant-garde “is about new ways of accessing and manipulating information” (e.g. hypermedia, databases, search engines, etc.). Meta-media is an example of how quantity can change into quality as in new media technology and manipulation techniques can “recode modernist aesthetics into a very different postmodern aesthetics.”
  8. New Media as Parallel Articulation of Similar Ideas in Post-WWII Art and Modern Computing – Post WWII Art or “combinatorics” involves creating images by systematically changing a single parameter. This leads to the creation or remarkably similar images and spatial structures. “This illustrates that algorithms, this essential part of new media, do not depend on technology, but can be executed by humans.”

At the end of the day we at Knowledge Hemispheres can help you develop a New media strategy and then provide a range of high quality content to support it.

i.e: Video podcasts, Audio Podcasts, Corporate Films, Corporate learning videos, e-Books, e-Learning, News Portals, Wiki’s, Blogs  and aggregated RSS systems.