Horse Drawn Carriages and Media Evolution.

I’ve always said I was born into the wrong era. I should’ve been around in the mid 1800’s, or at least the 1960’s. After reading Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press., it  only seemed to affirm my heartfelt beliefs.

Of the entire chapter, there was one sentence that continually played on my mind for the rest of the time I was reading the article, and even afterwards. Jenkins had been retelling the story of the experience he had at The New Orleans Media Experience in 2003; come to page ten he tells us of the three messages he left the conference with. What struck me was point one, and I quote: “Convergence is coming and you had better be ready”.

It’s so upfront. And if your not ready there really isn’t anything that can be done about it.

I’m probably not the first to admit, but until reading this chapter I had been blissed by ignorance from technology and the continuous convergence. I mean, I own an Ipod, a laptop and a mobile phone. But my phone isn’t what Jenkins muses as “an electronic equivalent of a Swiss army knife”1, It’s a cheap chinese brand called Huawei. My laptop is simply of convenience and of the Toshiba range. And my iPod is a classic. One look at my lounge room and you would see very few “Trojan Horses”1. I’ve got a VCR, DVD Player, Set Top Box and a Wii cons0le (which I only use to play Dance games after I’ve had afew).

Throughout the reading I was in a state of pure shock. My technologic ignorance’s window had been smashed, and with each word I was further reading, the more my eyes were being opened to what was really going on. I remained in this same state until I reached the subheading “The Black Box Fallacy”1. Until then I was imagining the worlds I’ve only seen on TV (Futurama, Back to the Future) becoming a reality in the near future. This mini chapter put to ease the growing anxieties I had by explaining how all these new forms of media were not killing and forgetting the old, but simply shifting their functions to keep up with the new. The old objects are not long gone, they’ve just been made to be better.

It’s funny reading through this article and seeing, quote: “The old idea of convergence was that all devices would converge into one central device that did everything for you”1. Henry jenkins wrote his book only six years ago, and already that qoute has been somewhat fulfilled by noneother than the iPad. Although the iPad still might not be what is ideally written about in the article, it’s so close it’s scary. Is the iPad the piece of technology that has converged several technoligies into one that everyone has been waiting for all these years? Is the iPad the Universal Remote for today?

And funnily enough, the Subheading “The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence”1, was the section I could relate most to.

Social Media was already  growing when this Introduction was written, now, it’s taken the world by storm. It’s through networks such as Skype and Facebook that we can say ‘Goodnight’ to our loved ones when travelling. It’s through sites like Twitter and Facebook again that companies can advertise their product to the now huge consumer base of these sites. Social media has become a mean in which it keeps people in touch and on a polar opposite scale, helps people put their name/product out there.

Really, what has been gathered and processed through this weeks reading is that we are living and soforth evolving in a technologic world, where convergence is neverending. What we have to do as participants that weren’t really given a choice about where we have been put is do what we can to keep up with it; grow with the technology that is shaping our future. In the mean time though, I will continue to enjoy the language of the mid 19th century and the REAL music of the 60’s.

1. Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press.


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