The ‘Black Hole’ of Media Convergence

To converge means to come together towards a central point. So how does it apply to media?

Imagine a black hole, where the centre is technology, the driving force behind the convergent media. This internet fuelled vacuum is sucking all of our media from across the solar system towards it. Everything is in the process of being crushed into a big ball of media mass in the centre of the black hole. Elements of the media are changing shape, sharing elements with each other, and everything is in one grey area.

Media Convergence
My crude and not 100% accurate graphical metaphorical representation of media convergence

Because media is becoming centralised, it is very convenient to consume.

spiderman-desk
What do we do without internet?

We can wake up in the morning and catch up on everything from one device, whether it be a laptop, phone or even smartwatch, we can access news, social media, music, podcasts or pretty much anything. It seems more productive, but we rely too heavily on it? What would happen we couldn’t access it?  I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

Because media consumption is now so easy, and there is so much out there to be consumed, media audiences have been given free rein to choose what we consume, when we consume it and how we consume it. Part of the reason we have to choose from this smorgasbord of media, is that developments in technology have given audiences access to production means.

Producers and audiences have now morphed together into produsers – a term coined by media scholar Henry Jenkins. They have the ability to create their own content, and are doing so at an exponential rate. Whether it be a small piece of fan art/tribute, or an episodic series funded by a crowdsourcing website, produsers are at the forefront of innovation, as they are not limited in creative control like traditional producers were. However, this bonus control is a mixed blessing for audiences, as there is no quality requirements or regulations in place, unlike in traditional media.

awqlo
Convergence in a nutshell: A TV program with a live Twitter feed, where a member of the audience is referencing another TV show

Media industries have morphed with the changes convergence is bringing, and will continue to adapt. Traditional media companies are embracing changes, with certain TV shows like Q&A incorporating Twitter feeds into their broadcasts. News outlets use social media monitoring to find upcoming stories. Legacy media industries (newspapers, TV, etc.) still exist, but their influence and role are changing as the convergence black hole draws everything closer.

The traditional lines of media are blurring – we took the ingredients, threw them in the bowl and mixed. While we might have had a Venn diagram before, now we have a giant multi-dimensional mess. Who knows what we might end up with next?

 

Advertisements

4 Replies to “The ‘Black Hole’ of Media Convergence”

  1. Sunny,
    I loved your graph representing media convergence! To somebody first learning about it, that is about as basic as it gets as far as explaining it as a whole. Your definition and explanation of producers allowed you to further explain media audiences as well. I’m eager to see the future of media as well after reading your conclusion

    Like

  2. Quite frankly, I wish I read this before making my own post on convergence. That aside, the black hole metaphor fit perfectly and for the most part your post is pretty spot on. I only have a couple of gripes, like a couple of words missing here: “but we rely too heavily on it? What would happen we couldn’t access it?” While I still understand what you’re saying, it kind of pulls the reader out of the flow of your writing. It reminds people that what they’re reading was written by a person and that people aren’t perfect, so maybe what they’re reading isn’t perfect. Aside from that, you also never touched on whether we rely too heavily on media or not again, so it kind of seems like a moot sentence.

    Regardless, as negative as I probably seem to be coming across as, this is the most well-written post I’ve read yet, and it’s refreshing to not have to wade through a sea of grammatical and spelling errors to get to such a succinct explanation.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s