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Lost in Cyberspace

July 27th, 2011 | Categories: Intern Blog

Intern: Serena

Media is changing…fast. Fifteen years ago, I was scrambling to get the latest album, on cassette tape. Fifteen years ago, I was begging my parents to buy the latest theatrical release…on VHS. Before the i-POD, there was the walk-man. Before the Nook, there was the library. Okay, so we’re not that far removed from the tangible media, yet.

In fact, I clearly remember getting my first cell-phone…at age 16! I loved the simple  Nokia ringtone and the pixelated ‘Snake’ game. Now, I catch myself fuming over my first generation Blackberry because the internet isn’t up-to-date.

The media industry is changing while I’m in college. I’m studying for a cinema and journalism degree, and the print industry is experiencing a dramatic shift with tablets like the Nook, Kindle, i-Pad, and smart phone. It’s a new era.

Just as the beginning of the industrial revolution allowed people to become more specialized, the same change is taking place. Instead of the frontier, we’re now entering cyber-space! Thousands of new websites are popping up every day. People are inventing like never before. It’s both exciting and confusing.

Businesses also have the opportunity to market in ways they could never have dreamed just ten years ago. Before,  the options of marketing were limited to print, radio, and television. Now businesses can choose to set up a QR code on their TV ad or print ad that takes customers to their website, which is connected to their Facebook fan page that also posts their tweets, which has a link to their Flickr site! This tangled web is just made up of new ways of networking with people.  Add to that there’s a company in Europe that is working on a QR type of code (think a ringtone) for radio.

In some ways, this intangible, shapeless trasition to a new media era helps us get back to the basics. Everything starts with an idea. Ideas are not tangible, but they are the building blocks of everything we see. In fact, Brian Solis wrote in his article “Why Brands are Becoming Media” that it’s not enough for a brand to just engage, but to create. He explains that the brand creates a sort of hub, and social objects (i.e. Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Delicious, and FourSquare) are constantly inputting into this social hub.

So, what are some tips for not getting lost in space?

1.) Stick with the basics, the idea. That way, no matter what new terminology may be created to explain the change in online media marketing and branding (i.e. earned, paid or owned media), or whatever new social media sites are launched, remember that is just expanding the idea. No matter how much the field of journalism or media changes, the idea of transferring a message to others to create change is still the same.

2.) Learn to embrace change. By the time I graduate, the industry will look much different. People in my generation will be looking at renewing their skills every four years or else getting rusty on the skills we graduated with.

3.) Change is your friend. Change will always stay the same!

4.) Don’t settle for “okay.” Become a professional. The other day, Kirk was showing us a video project he produced 10 years ago! Get this, the producer was so impressed he commented “Wow, it’s even in stereo sound!” The editing, music and video were professional.

The lesson to be learned is that it’s not what you have, but what you do with the what you have. Just like anyone with a Macbook and Final Cut Pro can edit, and anyone with a blog can be published. Learn to be a professional.


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