My Research

Embracing New Media

The video below reminded me of the McLuhan example which Liu uses in his “Imagining the New Media Encounter” article. It seems relevant to my research as it shows that accepting new forms of media is not easy. A lot of people, especially older generations have the same problems with computers in today’s world. The video also shows how versatile the medium can be; adapting from old forms of media, which is made easier by the fact that the concept of the book is the same as the scroll, but in a different form.

It is also ironic that this scene is depicted through video. A newer medium, one that allows the message to be translated with subtitles (it was originally filmed in Norwegian) so that the video can reach a wider audience.

In relation to my Personal Project, which concentrates on the effects of New Media on publishing i.e. ebooks and online publishing websites, etc. This video shows that there may be a gap in the market in which such developments will not catch on.


How Publishers Are Embracing New Media

This article, from The Irish Examiner, on the 29th January shows how online publishing websites create greater opportunities for authors. After unsuccessfully trying the traditional route to get her story published, Leigh Fallon posted her story on the HarperCollins blog for aspiring authors: When her story was voted one of the Top 5 manuscripts on the site she was offered a book deal.

Leigh Fallon’s book “The Carrier of the Mark” is due for release in September 2011

You can also find her blog under the Blogs I Follow category in the sidebar.


Review: “The Cybercultures Reader”

Edited By Barbara M. Kennedy and David Bell

“The Cybercultures Reader” is a collection of essays edited by David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy. The book consists of numerous articles written by various writers based around the field of life online.
Just a glance at the ‘Contents’ pages of the book gives the reader an idea of how much the internet has become incorporated into our daily lives. People have become so dependent on the internet that we do not have to leave the house to do the shopping or to date.

The essays in “The Cybercultures Reader” are reminiscent of Morrison’s “Blogs and Blogging: Text and Practice”, insomuch as, what Morrison means when she says that there are a variety of genres from which blog readers can choose to read but there are also a variety of websites out there which internet users can use. The choice is endless.
“The Cybercultures Reader” not only outlines every corner of the cyber world that is available to everyone with a computer and broadband/dial-up connection, but it also outlines the dangers of the internet.

The World Wide Web is exactly what it says on the tin: Wide. It offers endless opportunities. There are huge issues with identity and fraud. While on one hand the freedom the internet offers; the ability to forget your inhibitions and hide behind the screen however the internet is also a camping ground for potential scams.

“The Cybercultures Reader” is a filled to bursting with essays which highlight both the advantages and the disadvantages of the internet as a resource in everyday life. I found the book to be insightful into the amount of dependency that is placed on electronic resources in today’s world, which corresponds with the topic of my Personal Project: The Effects of New Media on Publishing.

The Pull of the Blogosphere:

I Blog Therefore I Am: Caroline O’ Donoghue, Motley Magazine, UCC Official Magazine, March 2011, Issue No. 6, Page 32.

As the title suggests, Caroline O’ Donoghue’s article ‘I Blog Therefore I Am’ in the Motley Magazine, which was published in the March 2011 edition, concentrates on how ‘The Blog’ has incorporated itself into the everyday lives of millions of users across the world.

O’ Donoghue’s introduction to the article gives the impression that blogs are a form of media that people love to hate. O’ Donoghue relates the blog to other forms of social media such as, Twitter and Facebook, which are now being used ‘as a legitimate source of information.’

Next, O’ Donoghue discusses the language that has been created around and by the use of blogs as a writing tool. O’ Donoghue argues that blogs have led to terms such as ‘O.M.G’ being deemed suitable to be included in conversation.  One can take from this that blogs bring a new language into use, the type of language, which illustrates the attitude of the blogging generation: a generation of ‘self-involved, spoiled, and sloppy’ beings. A generation which utilises terms such as ‘O.M.G’ because sheer laziness compels us not to write the whole words, even though it probably takes less time to time the full word into a computer than it does to handwrite. As an English scholar it grazes on me that words seem to be losing their meaning; reduced to mere acronyms. Not only does blogging bring with it a change to the language which we already have it introduces its own words which were created to describe the act of blogging. In Aimeée Morrison’s article the word ‘blogosphere’ was used to describe the world of blogging, meanwhile O’ Donoghue uses the word ‘Blogette’ to describe a female blogger.

O’ Donoghue continues by quoting survey carried out in 200, which states that 184 million people had signed up for a blog account. She then moves to point out a very obvious yet largely ignored fact: many of these 184 million blogs are the ramblings of ‘wannabe fashionistas’ or are dedicated to fan fiction. It is hard work to find a meaningful blog. However, that is the beauty of the blog. There is something out there to suit every reader, as the old adage goes; one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

O’ Donoghue also highlights the attraction of blogs and internet publishing. People may find it easier to write what they feel from the safety of the other side of the computer screen; to shed any inhibitions that they may have when speaking in reality. This is all thanks to the anonymity that the computer screen offers:

‘”People tell me I’m very mysterious,” quips a blogette, in reference to a photograph of her iris. […] Writing a blog could be the single most de-mystifying act a person can achieve.’

People are liable to put all of their personal information on a blog, giving perfect strangers information about themselves that they would not share with a person they meet on the street.

Blogs incorporate themselves into our everyday lives. Bloggers have the ability to control the message the send out to their readers. Thus, the blogger attracts a certain kind of audience, inviting like-minded people to be privy to their thoughts. This leads to the creation of a community of people that have similar interests. Bloggers get caught up in the ‘Blogosphere’ anticipating each new follower or subscriber.

As people become more encapsulated in the world of blogging the phenomena starts to make its way into verbal conversations. Bloggers live and breathe their blogs and therefore they cannot help but make reference to their blog during conversations. There is a whole new realm created by bloggers where language changes and new words are created for the purpose of blogging.

Although the tone at the beginning of the article suggests that O’ Donoghue is not a fan of the blog she does admit that, she is in fact, a ‘blogette’ and has become caught up in the atmosphere of the ‘Blogosphere’ like many other people out there now that the blog has become so prominent in the world of writing and media.


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