1. Has new and digital media had an impact upon ownership and control of the media institutions involved in your case study? Explain in detail any impact and what exactly has changed.
Twitter was created in March 2006 and launched internationally in June by Jack Dorsey. Although the creation was solely his idea; there are three other main characters controlling Twitters affairs. As Twitter is almost completely controlled by those who post on it however, the content cannot be filtered by these people and therefore it could be said that the public run Twitter, controlling the topics and what the rest of the users see. In this way, it gives the public their own voice, and now considering how popular Twitter is, and how much it’s user base has grown, that voice has become extremely powerful and influential. It allows people to react instantly to the news presented in the media; defining new media and we 3.0 all in one go, as the instant and undeniably influential power of this site begins to become apparent.
2.What impact has there been on the way in which the audience now consume the media products/texts involved in your case study? How does it differ from what went before?
The difference in how the audience now consume the media products and text is that now they can do it anywhere and at any time they like with new digital progressions such as Blackberry’s; iPhones; Androids and other smart phones that allow instantaneous access to the internet wherever you are. People can still buy newspapers and the news is still broadcast in the evening news and across the radio; as it traditionally always was; but now this new method of transportable knowledge is something which appeals to many people, especially if they are particularly interested in the current affairs but do not usually have time to access them, either through Radio; Television or a Newspaper.
3. What impact has there been on how the media institution now has to produce the texts and the way in which the texts/products are distributed and exhibited?
The way Twitter produces its text has never had to change, as it is such a new feature. This doesn’t mean to say that they haven’t made improvements and differentiated themselves from other social networking sites such as Facebook. They have taken different elements of the popular site; such as ‘likes’ and ‘sharing’ and developed them to fit their own context. ‘Liking’ is ‘favouriting’ and ‘sharing’ is ‘re-tweeting’.
4. Is the size of the audience any different now than before the impact of new and digitial media (or has the pattern of usage changed)?
The size of the audience has definitely expanded and enveloped a different amount of people after the proper launch and recognition of the new media epidemic. A graph I found shows the extreme rate at which twitter developed and became suddenly so popular. At the beginning of January 2009 the amount of tweets per day being posted was barely one million; however, by July of that year, this number went up to over ten million tweets per day; and eventually reaching almost fifty million tweets per day in January of 2010. This sudden expansion of users can be timed perfectly with the boom in New Media and web 3.0. This was around the time when people started taking notice of Twitter and its unique concept of only posting 140 characters at once. The audience became attracted by the idea of ‘Tweeting; from anywhere they wanted at any time and therefore this lead to the sudden rise in usage members.
5. Who are the primary target audience now and has this changed? Who was it before and how do you know?
The primary target audience for this institution will be young; intellectuals, probably students, but this however does not define the audience that the site has attracted; with people as old at 100 being reported as using the site. Also, it is a breeding ground for businesses that want to help promote themselves among younger people, and appear to be keeping up with current trends and adhering to the expectations of their own audiences whilst entertaining others. The Twitter website is extremely attractive to people who feel that voicing their opinions on relevant topics is extremely important and should therefore have the right to have and outlet such as Twitter to do so.
6. How have the audience responded to the changes? Is there more consumer choice? Is there evidence of a more pluralistic model? What evidence do you have to support this?
The only changes in the institution to date is a change of layout and of certain aspects that have been developed to improve the services that Twitter provides and has not so much been the cause of any upset of anger towards the company; as it has not changed people’s ability to access the site or complete the actions that the site was created for.
7. What concerns/considerations are there (if any) for the media institutions involved in your case study as a result of the impact of new and digital media?
I think a definite concern of Twitter’s management would be the lack of control they have over what is publicised on their site; and the fact that they could be liable for any illegal happening on the website; such as earlier in the year when people were using social networking sites to organise looting and violence during England’s riots.
8. What are the political and social implications of the new technologies and the methods of their consumption?
9. Consider the effects so far, and possible effects in the future, on media institutions involved in your case study.
The effect of media institutions in my case study allows Twitter to develop as a brand; as other businesses and websites are logging into the site to promote themselves for themselves; and not have to pay out for anything, unlike normal, traditional advertising and promotion. The effect of this on Twitter in the future could mean that there will be too many businesses set up on the site; which could put some people off visiting if they only do so for social reasons, resulting in a decline of activity from users.
10. What issues may there be regarding media effects and/or regulation/ censorship as a result of changes due to new and digital media?
Censorship on Twitter is extremely hard to put I place as there are so many users posting new ‘Tweets’ each second and they’re not monitored by members of staff or approved before they are posted. This makes the website quite powerful in terms of its available influence over not only the users but the people who may simply read the sight. Regulations are also extremely hard to monitor if people are complying with them; as they are not able to scan each tweet sent every second to check whether or not people are sticking to, or breaking protocol; which would therefore result in their exclusion from the site.
11. Are there any cross cultural factors and/ or effects of globalisation involved in the impact of new technology on your case study?
The company used in my case study has almost defined Globalisation through new media – it has allowed people and users across the world to communicate in short bursts every second of every day; and the news is shared within nanoseconds of being sent. It allows different cultures to come together to interact with one another and gain knowledge about each other’s cultures. It has created links between countries that were not present before the rise of new media and the impact of such social networking sites such as Twitter.
12. Consider theoretical perspectives in relation to the impact of new/digital media in your case study.