In the past 10 years, mass communications underwent perhaps one of the most profound revolutions in their history, matched perhaps by the arrival of the telegraph and the telephone. Technology changes affect who we reach and in what ways. They also affect our entertainment and the way we spend free time.
The most notable change has certainly been the Internet. Its vast online spaces have made tons of information easily available to masses of people who previously would find difficult and costly to obtain information of similar quality from other sources. In this way, the Internet democratized communication between people, making writing cheaper through e-mail and making voice connections more accessible through Internet telephony and programs like Skype. I regularly use Skype and e-mail to reach my relatives in other countries, and this makes our communication much easier.
The use of online communication has also provided people with immense opportunities to address large audiences without considerable expense of starting one’s own media project. To make a site that will deliver content and the author’s news to large groups of people is very easy and inexpensive. This helps overcome the problem of freedom of speech that many saw in the world where media were owned and governed by rich tycoons. The critics of such freedom noted that it did not provide for “freedom of expression" of those who are not commercial film producers or media barons” (Iyer, 2004). Today, one can air political or social views without investing a lot of money.
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Blogs are yet another way to make one’s views known to a group of people and make an online community, getting new friends. In 2005, Business Week reported that “there are some 9 million blogs out there, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day” (Baker, Green, 2005).
I tried once to start a diary at LiveJournal.com, but soon got tired of writing there and could not find many people to read my writing. I believe myself to be a slow adopter, although when technical improvements in communication get popular, I do begin to use them.
Baker, S., & Green, H. (2005, May). Blogs Will Change Your Business. Business Week. Retrieved August 29, 2006
College of Communication, the University of Texas at Austin. Thoughts about the Future of Advertising. A White Paper by the Faculty, Department of Advertising. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from http://www.ciadvertising.org/studies/reports/future/whitepap.html
Iyer, V. R. (2004, July). 'Culture Cops' and the mass media. Retrieved August 29, 2006, from http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/jul/med-copmedia.htm
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