mundane media. Week 10

Let it be said for the umpteenth time, Clay Shirky’s idea that media is only utilized once it’s become technologically boring, is supported ny yet another one of our readings.  Shirky suggests that media has to be understood, and as Nielson suggests, is common place.

Tools such as email and search engines have become “increasingly mundane,” (Nielson, 9).  We take them for granted, we utilized them, almost over-utilize, and expect them to work.  I remember a time, when the internet was new and fresh, when email and search engines were the extent of “the internet.”  I would sit staring at my email inbox,, refreshing it, hoping I had gotten an email.  I’m also not entirely sure what I did before google blew up, making my life so much simpler.  The original search engines, yahooligans (yes not just yahoo, but yahooligans, with special features for kids,  ultravista, etc, were not terribly user-friendly.  However, we have emerged into a new era.

Or have we?

I find it terribly intriguing, the results of Nielson’s study of political campaigns.  The same media that has been around for almost 2 decades is still the most utilized.  The media she labels “mundane” run our lives.  I find unsettling, because I hope for progress, and yet reassuring all at the same time.  Email, now gotten to our phones, is the plague that we put upon ourselves.  It keeps us ever connected, and available  To think there was a time when we died to just to hear the cliché “you got mail.” (i’m not old enough to have had an AOL).  This type of media made all the difference in mobilizing candidates, and as I’ve seen in my own personal life and professional life (internships and on campus jobs), it’s essential.  What did we do before?


What will the world look like in 10 years?  Will be continue to be heavily dependent upon email AND will Facebook have been wiped off the map?  

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1 Response to mundane media. Week 10

  1. Sophia Lief says:

    I think you make some interesting points in this blog post, and your opinion clearly shines through regarding the role these “mundane” media tools play in our day-to-day lives. I too have become very dependent on these technologies, whether I’d like to admit it or not, and because of this dependency, they have become less special as they now infiltrate our routines, occupations and the way we spend our free time.

    In answer to your discussion question, I do think that e-mail and its related technologies will still be around. Sending an e-mail, whether to one individual or a list serve of hundreds of addresses, allows a message to be sent simultaneously and with such ease that other technologies are not capable of accomplishing. While a lot can happen in 10 years, e-mail has become so ingrained in our society’s functionality that to have it waned out/eliminated would be problematic for our communities, our nation and foreign nations abroad. However, with the rise of new media technologies/applications, I am unsure through what interface e-mail will be utilized through. The idea of sending e-mail messages mostly through a computer is one I could see fading, with the rise of smartphone capabilities, portable tablets such as the iPad, and so on.
    In answer to your second question, I think Facebook will still be in full-function, yet I would not be surprised if it is no longer a free service. We take for granted the lack of payment that is attached to joining a social network of your choice – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, foursquare, etc. I could foresee an enrollment fee and/or a annual membership fee that is required in order to continue one’s account with any of the sites mentioned. The fact that they survive and prosper now without this money-based structure from its users is hard to grasp at times, yet I think this addition could further Facebook if it ever found itself slipping off the map that is social media.

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