Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Making the Connection: Digital Media and Intelligent Networking

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Making the Connection: Digital Media and Intelligent Networking

Article excerpt

Keywords

Media convergence, intelligent networking, social media

Abstract

Technology is integral to the media industry and with each new technological device the creation, production and distribution process has been transformed. The digital environment accelerates the desire for information and connectivity. This paper examines intelligent networking through the lens of media convergence or multimedia platform use by individuals and media organizations, with particular focus on the potential of social media. Secondary analysis of select data from two studies on online use and social media from the Pew Research Center was used to examine networking behavior. The secondary analysis found users are increasingly connected and find value in the networks that are developed through digital technologies.

Introduction

The digital era can be characterized as a time in which individuals and organizations are driven by a need to know, connect, create and share, which is enhanced by the digital capabilities of media in the 21st century. The ability to reach out and touch, according to the AT&T commercials from the past have increased the connection tentacles to tweet, to text, to blog or to post among the plethora of choices for digital connectivity. The debut of delivery devices such as mobile phones and digital tablets have resonated across communication and media industries to increase the ways emerging digital technologies influence content delivery as well as behavior of users. The media industry's response is to determine how to integrate mobile and tablet apps with their brand and other products. The desire to connect continues to expand with each new technological possibility. This drive for networking and connectivity is enhanced by the simultaneous development of digital technologies over the past couple of decades.

The purpose of this paper is to examine intelligent networking through the lens of media convergence or multimedia platform use by individuals and media organizations, with particular focus on the potential of social media. Intelligent networking is defined here as the use of media and communication technologies across various delivery platforms for unlimited digital connections to reach or foster niche and broad-based connections whether business, education lifestyle and media interests. Networking is often viewed from a technological perspective focusing on the hardware and software that connect machines and devices. Organizations thrive on their use of network systems: "Intelligent networks, therefore, are the systems of communication that organize, transmit and display information with the goal of improving organizational performance" (Gershon, 2011, p. 16-17). Secondary analysis of select data from two studies are used in this article, Navigating News Online/ Project for Excellence in Journalism and Social Networking Sites and Our Lives/Pew Internet & American Life Project, both are projects from the Pew Research Center. The research questions that guide this article focus on the connections and intelligent networking that occurs digitally for frequent users of media platforms, mobile devices and tablets.

The three research questions guiding this analysis are: RQ1, what delivery channels are increasingly being used to connect and share information? RQ2, how do social networking sites influence behavior? RQ3, how do individuals stay connected to share news, social and political information?

Literature Review

The drive to be connected is enhanced by each new technological device that enters the market. The explosion of Internet use in the 1990s perhaps was a catalyst to the types of activities on mobile devices and most recently digital tablets that move at a pace beyond traditional print and broadcast outlets. Apple's iPad initially launched in 2010 attracts about 1% of global Internet traffic (Knowles, 2011). Internet use in the U. …

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