Epoq 2.2 New Media of Mass Communication
Dr. Anthony Curtis – UNCP Mass Communication – 910.521.6616 – acurtis@uncp.edu
Global Resources

Discover more about the new media of mass communication from these resources on virtual worlds, social networks, Web 2.0 tools, blogs, digital storytelling, grassroots video, online sharing, bookmarking, wikis, data mashups, and other 21st century media tools:
New Media Communication Technologies

Here are some contemporary New Media communication technologies that are a mix of mass communication and interpersonal communication.
  • Virtual Reality Worlds: A virtual world is simulated by a computer, displayed as a three-dimensional environment on the computer's monitor screen, and intended for its users to inhabit and interact via graphical avatar representations of themselves. The best known 3-D virtual-reality environment is Second Life created by the San Francisco company Linden Lab. SL's more than 15 million residents create avatars representing themselves, build and create objects and clothing, and interact with each other in the setting of a user-created virtual world complete with its own economy in which they may own land. SL is not a game. It has no game rules, no scoring, no winners, no losers. Instead, it is a social networking environment widely used for recreation, commerce and education. Learn more about SECOND LIFE and virtual worlds »

    Lesser-known virtual world hangouts where users have social avatars with profiles and connections to people with whom they share interests include There and Kaneva and Whyville and LinkedIn and IMVU and Moove. For teenagers ages 13 and up there are Second Life and Zwinky or Zwinktopia.

    The virtual worlds sometimes are referred to as collaborative virtual environments (CVEs), multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) because they involve more than one person's avatar, or immersive virtual environments (IVEs) because the user actually senses being within the world.

    MUVEs also have been called massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), massively multiplayer online (MMOs). They include such online computer games as World of Warcraft in which players do combat with hundreds of others; Weblo; Ultima Online; and Everquest II. The text-only games that were popular a few years ago were called multi-user domains (MUDs) and MUD object oriented (MOOs).

    There's a list of virtual worlds by category, which shows 128 virtual-world websites in 11 "best for" categories: kids, teens, 20-30s, 40+, techies, newbies, artists, dial-up, broadband, free access, and Mac access.

    Another important virtual reality tool is Google Earth, which creates a mashup of satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings. In addition to the surface of Earth, you can explore the sky with Google Earth. Google SketchUp and Google 3D Warehouse complement Google Earth. A virtual reality tool from Microsoft built on Google Earth sky is WorldWide Telescope, a data mashup that forms a visualization environment in which a personal computer can function as a virtual telescope.

  • Wiki: A wiki is an online resource which allows users to add and edit content collectively. Through the use of hypertext, a wiki's collection of web pages can be navigated and edited by anyone. The fact that anyone can edit, delete, or modify its content makes a wiki the collaborative work of many different authors. The best known of this informative type of website is Wikipedia. It is a research resource like an encyclopedia or database that is broad and general in coverage of topics. The English-language Wikipedia has the largest user base among all wikis and ranks in the top twenty among all websites in terms of traffic. On the other hand, many wiki's are narrow and focused on a defined range of topics. Wikis can be set up for free from providers such as Wetpaint and Wikidot. There is a list of the largest wiki's. The words wiki wiki mean "rapidly" in the Hawaiian language.

  • Blogs: Blog is short for weblog, a form of online journal. Best known services are WordPress and Blogger and Typepad and LiveJournal and Squarespace. A blog can have a single author or several. Most blogs allow readers to post comments in response to an article or post, but some do not. Bloglines is an RSS reader, which is a service that collects updates from your favorite blogs so you can read them in one place.

  • Microblogs: A cross between instant messaging and blogging, Twitter is a microblogging system that allows a user to send a short, 140-character informational updates. Users also can follow the updates of selected friends.

  • Photo Sharing: The best known online photo sharing site is Flickr. Users upload digital still photos. Public photos may be viewed and commented on by others. Other photo sharing sites include Photobucket and Snapzilla and Ringo and Buzznet and Picturetrail and Dotphoto and Fotki and Faces and ImageShack. There are sites that let you embed slideshows in your web page such as Slide and OneTrueMedia.

  • Video Sharing: An online video sharing site is YouTube owned by Google. Videos are uploaded by users and can be viewed free by others. Users can leave comments on video pages. There also are Video Egg and jumpcut and Google Video and eyespot and vimeo and Sony's Crackle and revver and ourmedia and vSocial and Bright Cove.

  • Data Sharing: A Web application that allows discovering, reading, organizing and sharing on the Internet of valuable personally-selected data and information is Pageflakes. The tool creates a Web start page for blogs and news sources that are read daily. The page is personalized with photos, videos, a calendar, email, to-do list and more. Pageflakes is a free service offering thousands of Flakes (a.k.a. widgets or modules) including Facebook, a universal News Search, YouTube, Twitter, message board, blog, and hundreds of RSS feeds to choose from.

  • Digital Storytelling: Digital storytelling is mediated mass communication combining traditional techniques from television, video production radio, newspapers and magazines with contemporary multimedia tools to deliver informative and entertaining short productions with text, still and motion images, sound, music, and voice. They are script-driven and all about the articulation of a coherent verbal expression – the voice of the narrator.
    More about digital storytelling with examples »
    video sampler »
    machinima »

  • Machinima: The art of making a real movie in a virtual world is called machinima from the term "machine cinema." A machinima is a video production shot in a 3D virtual reality world, such as Second Life, and produced with real life tools and techniques.
    More about machinima »
    video sampler »
    digital storytelling »

  • Social Networks: A social networking site where users can set up a profile of themselves, create formal connections to people they know, communicate, and share preferences and interests is Facebook. Once restricted to college students, Facebook's fastest-growing demographic is users over 25. MySpace is another social networking site where users can set up profiles, create formal connections to people they know, communicate, and share preferences and interests.

  • Social Bookmarks: The social-bookmarking site del.icio.us let's you add, categorize and manage social bookmarks for storing, sharing, and discovering web pages. Another bookmarking system is Furl.

  • Tag Clouds: A cloud of tags is a visual list of weighted keywords on a Web page – usually hyperlinked single words listed alphabetically with their importance shown in font size or color. They can be created at TagCrowd and Tag Cloud Generator and TagCloud Generator and TagCloud.

  • Content Sharing: An online content sharing site is Digg. It surfaces the best stuff on the Web from news to videos to images to Podcasts as voted on by its users. There are no editors. Users collectively determine the value of content. Once something is submitted, other people see it and vote by going to it.

  • Cloud Computing: Traditionally, users ran software on their own computers and stored all of their data on their own computer disk drives. However, Internet connections have become faster and more reliable. Cloud computing has application software on Web servers and stores information on those same remote servers. A service company delivers software applications as an online service using the computing power of its network of powerful computer servers accessed via the Web. That network of servers is the cloud. In the past, cloud computing has been known as client-server architecture, thin client, and software as a service. Cloud computing allows access to documents from anywhere and collaboration with co-authors. Examples of companies delivering applications online include Google Apps, Adobe Buzzword word processor and Photoshop Express, Amazon.com Web Services, Salesforce.com, Microsoft Windows Azure, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, and SAP. Users must trust putting all their personal, family, corporate and strategic data on computers operated by someone else. Of course, they already are doing that with such websites as Facebook, Flickr, or Gmail. Notably, the Free Software Foundation is against the idea of trusting for-profit corporations.

  • Google Tools: While Google itself is not native to the 21st century, its many Tools and Packs are: Google Tools and Google Pack for Windows XP or Vista and Google Pack for Macintosh. Dating to the old days of 1998, Google now is the largest search engine on the Web, indexing a large proportion of all pages on the Web. Google handles several hundred million queries each day through its various services. The main function is the well-known Google Search. Google Trends allows users to see underlying numerical data on the popularity of any particular search in Google's vast database of search terms, relative to others. Other Google services include Google Language Tools and Google Toolbar and Google Clock, and numerous others. Wikipedia has a List of Google products and a List of Google tools.

  • Conversion Tools: There are many useful new conversion and building tools appearing on the Web. For instance, the free Online PDF Converter and Document Creator. Another is VIXY, which offers a free service to convert YouTube videos to QuickTime-playable MP4 files. And Videobox, that converts Flash from most video sites to Quicktime. More free Web Tools including webmaster tools, and tlbox, and W3C HTML Tools.

  • Podcasts: Long lists of podcasts can be found at Podcasting Station and Podcast Alley and Digital Podcasts and Podcast Central. You can download podcasts from iTunes.

  • iTunes: The best-known online music store is iTunes, where you can buy music, TV shows, audiobooks and iPod games, buy and rent movies, and download podcasts. Other places to buy music online include Amazon and eBay and Napster and Rhapsody and Wal-Mart, and many others.

  • Writing Communities: Writing has been around since, maybe, the 4th millennium BC and printing dates back a thousand years, so they definitely are not 21st century natives. However, new technologies are allowing individuals to publish readily, rapidly and repeatedly, thereby creating communities of writers. One of the best known is Lulu. These low-cost, on-demand publishers make it easy to disseminate ideas with the support and feedback of a large online writing community.

  • Digital Scrapbooking: Also known as digi-scrapping or computer scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking uses a computer and graphics software to create visual layouts to preserve memories. Scrapbookers used to paste photos on paper alongside hand-written journal notes and various small embellishment objects and memorabilia such as stickers, buttons and ribbons. Digital scrapbooking uses digital photos, clip art, and graphic textures as embellishment. Preservation of memories remains the ultimate purpose. Digital scrapbook layouts can be printed for an album, or left as computer files shared via Web pages or email. Software includes Picaboo and Smilebox and Two Peas in a Bucket and Memory Mixer.

  • Internet Calling: An Internet calling service, Skype is reminiscent of the telephone. It enables two-party audio and video chat and multi-party audioconferencing. Skype can make computer-to-computer calls as well as computer-to-land or mobile phone calls. Yahoo! Voice is an Internet calling service that has the ability to assign a phone number to your computer so that it can be called from land-line and mobile phones; computer-to-computer calls from within Yahoo! Messenger; and computer-to-phone calls.

  • Rich Media: What is rich media? It isn't a new-media technology in itself, but rather a term used in the advertising business referring to the use of the latest technology in creating Web advertising content. It means ads on Web pages that contain interactive elements, which permit active participation by consumers in a website audience. Ads with this kind of interactivity also are referred to as interactive media. More than just stationary banner ads with simple GIF animation, the digital files that form the new rich-media ads incorporate richer graphics, animation, audio, streaming video, applets that allow user interaction, special multimedia effects, hypertext, pull-down menus, and fill-in forms for greater transaction behavior. They use such enhanced technologies as Flash, Shockwave, Java, Javascript, and DHTML. You might say they look more like television commercials, as opposed to ads containing only static images and text. Businesses look at rich media as new ad production formats while New Media are new delivery vehicles they use to reach out to new and different audiences.

    New Media buzzwords: what they mean  »»
    Twitter: how it's used in journalism  »»
    News of New Media, Virtual Worlds and Social Networks  »»
    Read this page in the Serbo-Croatian language  »»
The Future

Six developing technologies are identified in the New Media Consortium 2008 Horizon Report
  • Grassroots Video
    Anyone can capture, edit and share video using inexpensive equipment and free software.

  • Collaboration Webs
    Colleagues use Web browsers to edit group documents, hold meetings online and swap information.

  • Data Mashups
    Combining data from different sources into an interactive tool.

  • Collective Intelligence
    Knowledge and understanding emerge when large groups of people interact.

  • Social Operating Systems
    Networks organized around people rather than content.

  • Mobile Broadband
    Mobile devices access any Internet content delivered over local wireless or broadband cell networks.

    Horizon Project Wiki
    Horizon Project Tagging
    Six Key Emerging Technologies for Higher Ed
    2008 Horizon Rreport PDF
Six additional developing technologies are identified in the New Media Consortium Horizon Report: 2008 Australia-New Zealand regional report
  • Virtual Worlds and Immersive Digital Environments
    Hundreds of colleges and universities are using them for all kinds of projects.

  • Cloud-Based Applications
    Cloud computing has large storage, increased speed, and services that change how we think of applications and data.

  • Geolocation
    Attaching location information to media creates applications for data visualization, personal placing, searching and finding.

  • Alternate Input Devices
    Accelerometers, multi-touch interfaces, gesture commands change how we work in collaboration.

  • Deep Tagging
    Deep tagging of audio, video and multimedia content will improve annotation and retrieval.

  • Next-Generation Mobile
    Phones with WiFI, GPS and touchscreens rival laptop computers to be a main source of educational and campus activities.

    First NMC regional Horizon Report

    Horizon Report: 2008 Australia-New Zealand regional report PDF

Flames escaping an iron pot illuminate a stone pathway near an Indigo waterfall on a south seas island in the 3-D virtual reality world Second Life.

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Poulet Shack: UNCP Journalism students work as extras with Forsythe Whitfield singin' the blues at Fishbelly's Juke Joint in the virtual world Second Life.


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© 2013 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke    e-mail    home page
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