Monday, March 26, 2012

New Media Isn't So Bad

Mr. Keen:

I understand that you did not expect your innovation to take such a turn, which you think is for the worse, but there are many people who are reaping the benefits of new media. Democratizing the Internet does have its negative effects (such as Wikipedia authors being anonymous & search engines tracking our lives), but there are also positives resulting from this. New media allows for collaboration and offers individuals great opportunities to showcase and share their individual talents with others who may have similar interests. For instance, you wanted to enhance the ways of which we listen to music and now everyone has a chance to broadcast their own musical talents rather than watching a celebrity repeat their songs over and over again. It isn't the way you imagined it to be, but it still evolved into something that helped others. This innovation opened the door to more originality in music and creativity for individuals who felt that they had no outlet to show the world what they've got. Susan Cain, author of "The Rise of the New Groupthink" revealed that individuals are more creative in solitude and this new media is an outlet that helps individuals channel their creativity the most because it does not need the participation of a group. I can sit here, alone, and record a music video, upload it to YouTube and get instant feedback on my work. I don't have to sit and brainstorm with others, and I feel that is important because, in some ways, that can take away from my individual creativity. I may feel obligated to work with the group by placing my personal thoughts and opinions aside. However, collaboration isn't a bad thing in some cases. Shirky mentioned the division of labor, which can definitely help with big projects that require many people, management, etc. New media gives people many mediums to work with, allowing one or many people to use this media to complete their work. For example. there are many blogs that are run by more than one administrator. There is a group that is comprised of a web designer, author, maybe an editor, someone in charge of looking for features for the blog, etc. They work as a team with each other and their audience; collaboration is made easy due to the blog being an open forum, allowing outsiders to be involved, give feedback and interact with the blog owners. So, Mr. Keen, you can see how "new media" is not  destroying our culture, economy and values -- it just provides a new way of active engagement with others, liberating individuals from the constricting bind of groupthink, and allowing creative individuals to reveal their talents.

J. Howard

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