Saturday, 4 March 2017

What are the basic characteristics of new media as an industry?

The key characteristics of new media as an industry are—

characteristics of new media

Digital vs. Analogue

  • All input data - in contrast to analogue media - is not converted into another physical object, but decoded and received as screen displays or can be obtained as hard copy.
  • Digital media do not represent a complete break, but are a continuation and extension of traditional analogue media.
  • Analogue media tend to be fixed (physical objects). Whereas digital media tend towards a permanent state of flux.
  • The relationship of the author/performer/creator and reader/spectator/interpreter becomes blurred and give way to a reading / writing continuum.




  • It is an opportunity to manipulate and intervene in media.
  • Under the idea of interaction, new modes of engagement such as playing, experimenting and exploring arise. Interactivity provides a platform to engage with variety of people and know different cultures and traditions.
  • Examples for interactivity:

1. hypertextual navigation
2. Immersive navigation
3. Registrational interactivity
4. Interactive communications
  • Problems arising from interactivity:

1. Interpretation & definition problems: How do we define interactive text? (Experiences can differ between users)
2. Problems for producers: how much control should be given to the user, how much should be retained?



Describes a text which provides a network of links to other texts that are ‘outside, above, beyond’ itself (e.g. Wikipedia articles).
Characteristics: Easy and instantaneous access, instantly accessible links, interventions and manipulations possible, interactivity, jump-link capability, totally beyond the author’s control.
‘Cybertextuality’: Machine, text and reader/user are all equally implicated in the production of meaning.


New media are dispersed in comparison to mass media that is no clear distinction between consumers and producers.
Consumption: Decentralised, individual, not bound to time and place, many input/output connections.
Production: within everyday life (photos, homepages, word documents,…), distinction between producer and consumer has broken down, breakdown of the professionals category.    Participation: from active interpretation to actual production.
New media gives a chance to everyone to be the controller of their webpages and accounts and thereby the people can express themselves freely. Blogs are a perfect examples of this.


‘virtual reality’ is applied to several different forms of media and image technologies simultaneously:
‘Virtual’ in discussions of the internet and the World Wide Web; immersive, 3D, and spectacular technologies; screen-based multimedia and in the transformation and convergence of older media as in digital cinema, video, and computer animation.

‘Virtual’ as a feature of post-modern cultures in which so many aspects of everyday.
Experiences are technologically simulated.
Websites like secondlife give the people an opportunity to live another life on the internet and do all the activities of everyday life virtually.


1. Numerical representation
Because all new media objects are composed of digital code, they are essentially numerical
Representations. That is, all new media objects can be described mathematically and can be manipulated via algorithms. According to Manovich, the key difference between old and new media is that new media is programmable. The closest we can get to the ‘materiality’ of a new media object is to talk about the numbers and formulas that constitute it. In new media compositions, the opposition between visual and verbal is bridged in the sense that both are code—both image and text are programmed and programmable.

2. Modularity
Pixels, images, text, sounds, frames, code—independent elements like these combine to form a new media object. These elements can be independently modified and reused in other works. The modularityof new media is related to the modular character of structural computer programming, such as we find in Java and C++, in which independent functions or subroutines are brought together in larger programs. In Photoshop, modularity is most evident in layers; a single image can be composed of many layers, each of which can be treated as an entirely independent and separate entity.

3. Automation
Automation is seen in computer programs that allow users to create or modify media objects using templates or algorithms. Automation is evident in the filters, special effects, and other operations in Photoshop that allow users to modify images.

4. Transcoding
Transcoding is the most substantial consequence of the computerization of media. Transcoding designates the blend of computer and culture, of "traditional ways in which human culture modeled the world and the computer's own means of representing it".Technically, transcoding refers to the translation of a new media object from one format to another (for example, text to sound) or the adaptation of new media for display on different devices.
The computerization of culture is a process of transcoding, as “cultural categories or concepts are substituted, on the level of meaning and/or language, by new ones that derive from the computers ontology, epistemology, and pragmatics”.