Robust Note Taking Assignment: Manovich


To most people in today’s society, new media is considered to be technologically based. We see it as the Internet, web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMs and DVDs, virtual reality, etc. Manovich describes the history that new media took to get where it is now. Media now does have more of a technology base because it is more digitized. It is not more focused on distribution and exhibition as opposed to production. Old media was more focused on the production of the media itself; media now is more digitally focused and computerized. What began as a cultural based expression is now moving into a computerized revolution.


Key Terms:

Numerical Representation: all media is compromised from a digital code; they are numeric representations

Modularity: the “fractal structure of new media.” Media elements (images, sounds, shapes, or behaviors) are represented as discrete samples (pixels, polygons, voxels, characters, script). They combine into larger-scale objects while maintaining their independence at the same time.

Automation: The numerical coding of media and the modular structure of a media object allow for automation of many operations involved in media creation, manipulation, and access.

Variability: A new media is not something that is fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions.

Transcoding: there are two layers – the “cultural layer” (encyclopedia and the short story, short story and plot,  composition and point of view, mimesis and catharsis, comedy and tragedy) and “computerized layer” (process and packet, sorting and matching, function and variable, and computer language and date structure)

Old/New Media

Manovich makes a lot of connections between old and media throughout this article. Simply put, there would be no new media if it wasn’t for old media being established before. It went from simple texts, photographs, and illustrations to computer-automated programs, video games, virtual reality, and 3-D animation. Old media is more production based. New media is more independent.


Works Cited

Manovich, Lev: The Language of New Media. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England 2001.

Thoughts of Fair Use, Copyright, & Creative Commons

Copyrighting has been something that’s been ingrained into my mind since high school. My teachers always stressed the importance of giving credit when credit is due. If someone works hard at something, they deserve to not have other people try to write it off as their own. I was surprised at the length that copyright laws last, but I do feel like it’s fair. I’ve known about the websites Flickr and Soundcloud, but I didn’t know they were called Creative Commons. I use sites like these on a regular basis to view the work of others or to find new musical artists that I may like. I love photography so on Flickr especially, I like to view the works of other artists. Although copyright laws, fair use policies, and creative commons can be annoying and frustrating at times because it limits access to certain media, they’re important to have so that the work of others is respected.


Key Words:

Poverty and Inequality: Poverty can absolute or relative. How thresholds of poverty are defined is contentious – what are basic minimum living standards? Relative poverty is defined in terms of inequalities: the poor in a wealthy country are likely to be better off than poor in a developing country.

Information society: a society where access to and manipulation of information becomes the key determinant of one’s place in society

Industrial society: a society where position depends on social relations under capitalism

Agrarian Society: a society where position depends on feudal relations such as land ownership

Meritocracy: a social order in which each individual acquires social status on the basis on merit: skill, ability and effort, rather than gender or class. Superficially a fairer society, the notion is in reality hypothetical due to complexities of defining merit and tends to cement social position, cosigning ‘non-elite’ members of society to unfulfilling manual labor.

Technological determinism: a belief that technology develops independently of society and in so doing is the central cause of consequent social ‘impacts’. Widely challenged, nevertheless the idea is found in many historical account of social change and lies behind countless predictions of future social trends.

Brief Summary

In this article, the author focuses on the inequality that exists among nations when it comes to access to new media. Equality of outcome tries to break the divide between the rich and the poor so that both have a greater chance of having access to digital technologies. Equality of opportunity is concerned with helping the poorest people and using policy to help them rise on the social ladder. This approach would have no effect on those that already have that access. One big problem with policy is that the more they venture into the digital world, the more they are widening the gap between those who have access to the technology and those who do not.

Ex: Accessing tax returns via internet, commercial transactions, etc.

Access to technology isn’t the only thing that will help break the divide. People have to have the willingness to want to be in the digital world and have the knowledge to use the technology. If you have access, but do not know how to use it, then there is no point in having it all.

Questions w/ Discussion:

Is this use and access of digital media that important to the society that we live in?

In my opinion, yes. We do live in a meritocratic society because we do perceive value as being able to access digital media and the way that we use it throughout our everyday lives. Those who use it more are seen as being higher up in society’s standards and those who don’t use it as over are seen as being out of the loop. In this generation, I’m not sure if poverty is a main factor in why the divide is so large. Many people just have no desire to engage in digital technology for various reasons.

Can access to new media technology create a more equal society?

I think that it would only create a more equal society if people were more open to using it. Those who grew up before the technology have very little interest in entering the digital world and see no reason to step outside of their comfort zone.


Works Cited

Lax, Stephen. Access Denied in the Information Age. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,, 2011.

Robust Note Taking Assignment #1

Media literacy is a big part of today’s youth culture. Teen now belong to a participatory culture in which they value artistic expression and sharing their ideas with those around them. This culture makes teens feel like their opinions matter, their contributions and their voice matter. The involvement in this culture allows for today’s youth to learn, create, and acquire skills that will help shape their future.

Key Terms:

Participatory culture: a culture that is open to artistic expression and has a strong support for creating and sharing ideas. This culture makes its members feel as if their voice matters and creates a connection within the community.

Affiliations: members are apart of an online community such as Facebook, Myspace, Friendster

Expressions: members who participate produce new creative forms, such as digital sampling and skinning.

Collaborative Problem-solving: members work together in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge. Ex: reality gaming

Circulations: shapes the flow of media, ex: blogging

Media creator: someone who creates a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories, or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations

Connection to Course: 

In the generation that we live in, being apart of a participatory is important. This course, and others like it, educates students about different forms of digital writing and allows them to create the skills needs that will enable them to become part of this culture and help them in the future.

Other Related Material:

After reading this article, I did a search on how blogging is educational for students. I found an article in which an experiment was conducted on fourth/fifth grades students who were in a household in which English was their second language. By writing daily blogs, the creativity level and productivity level of the students increased. They also learned skills such as how to use the Internet to conduct research. This shows that it is very important for youth to engage in this participatory culture because they are gaining more that just social interaction. They are setting themselves up for success.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Cambridge, MA: The      MIT Press, 2009. Print.