At first, I thought new new media was a typo on the course booklist. Then I received the textbook and realized, oh, there really is a term called new new media. Well that’s news to me. I would not consider myself as a high impact or super participator in this contemporary digital culture. I would categorize myself as an observer. I check twitter and will tweet a little bit but always worried that I won’t write anything clever enough in the public domain. I certainly browse through YouTube to research various topics or trends for work or to see what all the hype is about when I hear a news story on the radio. I am not on Facebook at all as I made a decision to keep in touch with friends through old old media. Well, I use email and the phone and they could be technically considered new media.
Obviously, there are millions of people, not like me, that are very active in new new media and are transforming the way information, ideas, opinions, and entertainment are received. As Levinson suggests, YouTube and social media for that matter are better than “word of mouth”. Levinson adds, “…viral is something more because digital word of mouth can reach anyone, anywhere in the world, and millions of people, instantly.” Access to post a video on YouTube is open to anyone who has access to a computer and the internet.
It’s interesting how politicians have utilized YouTube and Levinson’s example of how the Obama campaign looked better on YouTube than his opponent but also looked good on television. Obama certainly appealed to the younger demographic because of his presence on YouTube. As Dr. Pamela Rutledge writes, “Obama dominated the social media space because his team got how networks work. The real power of social media is not in the number of posts or Tweets but in user engagement measured by content spreadability.”
Dr. Rutledge reaffirms Levinson’s sentiment, “… that word of mouth advertising—a recommendation from someone you trust–is the most powerful form of persuasion. Social media creates multiple levels of trust based on relationships. Social media also allows information and opinions to travel across networks, like ripples in a pond, amplifying ideas and allowing each person to participate as an opinion leader through media production and distribution, not just by passive consumption.”
So, in what ways do I measure participation? I think participation can be measured in a number of ways. One is the number of views on a video posted on YouTube like Obama Girl’s video. Two is how many times other media platforms comment on a post. Often the daily news will mention a YouTube video that has a tremendous amount of views or a tweet was retweeted an exorbitant amount of times like Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie at the Oscars. Her selfie was mentioned the next day in entertainment news shows, on twitter, on the radio, etc.. Three is if the video was answered and another video was made to either answer the first video or to carry on the message. To me, these are all measures of participation and engagement.
I think some people would agree that participation is emancipating. Someone could be very shy or finds it difficult to articulate their ideas in front of large crowds but YouTube is a platform that could provide a safe way to feel more confident and express yourself more freely. Also, YouTube provides anonymity if you wanted it. I think it is always liberating if you can share your ideas or point of view and express it in a way that works for you. Some people choose to remix videos to comment on politics or society while others choose to post videos for pure fun.
One trade-off that I can think of is that you may not always know how the public will respond to your post and may receive unwanted or unflattering feedback. You will have to be prepared for the good and the maybe not so good response to a posting.
So, if another platform arises that changes the digital culture, do we call it the new new new media?
Source outside course material: http://mprcenter.org/blog/2013/01/how-obama-won-the-social-media-battle-in-the-2012-presidential-campaign/