Out With The Old—But Not Without A Fight!
What’s in a name? Well, in deciphering the semantics of today’s terminology, there’s the usual confusion and lag regarding the continuous redefining of terms. Okay, so for example, how does one define Multimedia? Digital Media vs Interactive Multimedia? Old habits die hard, even if they were just adopted over the last several months. And with the onslaught of new applications and the new and reused terms that follow, it does become difficult to keep abreast of an exponentially developing field.
Multimedia has been redefined almost to the point where one can see the holes worn through its very language. Once denoting more analogue connotations, in time it was associated with the world of Digital Media. But wait! You mean like CD-ROMs and dial-up Internet? Right! Well, think about it—did you even notice the gradual deviation from those latest “innovations”? How about floppy disks and zip drives?
And now we have Web 2.0! Was there even a Web 1.0? Well, kind of. But rather like how WWI had to wait around for WWII before it was no longer referred to as The Great War. Even Nu Metal had a predecessor with a legacy.
Today, Multimedia has become interactive. Web graphics, music, games, blogs, RSS feeds, CMS, forums—Twitter and Facebook!!!! It’s still digital of course. Heck, it’s even Multimedia! But it’s definitely not that old projector you wheeled into your high school home room to show the driving instructional film Red Asphalt!
So of course, those who have been in the graphics and programming fields for some time may find their habits difficult to break. For example, moving from ActionScript 2.0 to ActionScript 3.0? Wait! There’s a 3.0 now?! Embarking on this field as a newbie may have its disadvantages as you need to merge the old with the new– but at least you’ll know what to call it!
Be The Change (Agent) You Want To See!
Okay, we may still have some ways to go in reaching a consensus regarding the varying definitions and interpretations for the same technology. But what about the intended implementation of an application ? How do we agree upon the use of a technology that deviates from the norm?
In a society content with the recreational value of much of the technology available, finding a more altruistic purpose presents the usual time honored and highly resisted tradition: Upsetting the Status Quo!
Change Agents are individuals that see things as they can be rather embracing a linear and conventional interpretation of how history must unfold. Think Edward R. Murrow, Steve Jobs, Gandhi– Individuals who exceeded expectations by their unreasonable resolve to not make concessions.
In the fledgling days of film, many movie directors envisioned theatrical works as more than just forms of frivolous entertainment, but as means to enlighten, educate and inform the public. Documentaries! Radio evolved from primarily a music oriented media to news and talk. Television even came of age when broadcasts were transmitted via satellite to report world events as they happened!
The June 13, 2009 election held in the country of Iran and the revolt against probable election fraud that followed made use of cellphones to transmit information to the outside world. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010 brought the iphone to the forefront as a chief means of sending photographs, videos, blogs and articles to a public hungry for information.
The very resourcefulness of people in the most dire of circumstances can evoke a positive upheaval in how we interpret and utilize new technology. Innovators will always be at the ready to upset and redefine conventions. Beyound even the creation and altruistic intentions of a new technology is the human factor that takes it one step further by the will of the human spirit.
Change of course is a long and at times painful process in the mist of resistance. And yet, when those very innovations become conventions, the cycle starts all over again! And the term New Media takes on a whole new meaning in it continuous evolution.
“Do You Suppose He Would Give Me A Heart?” ~ The Tin Man
How will all this effect one’s direction when embarking on or continuing a chosen path in this particular field. Personally, I have become more enamored with the latest trends in technology primarily for the very reasons I previously stated: The potential to expand our awareness of the state of human existence and how we as individuals can strengthen this core bond to achieve a stable global community. In my continous development as a photographer that embraces a documentary approach, it is important to me to utilize the latest technolgy in a more organic and visceral manner.
Okay, that may sound almost naïve. But I’m certainly no Pollyanna! Over the next decade, we will be introduced to new technologies and paradigms that will only test our resolve in preserving our humanity. The latest technological advances added into professional cameras such as HD video and the ubiquity of Content Management Systems may seem like a rather odd pairing, but these are steadily becoming the tools of the modern journalist, designer and videographer. An though we are in an age of specialization, individuals must still don many hats to remain competitive in the marketplace as they continuously become more self-reliant in the modern era of Multimedia.