Convergence is the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the corporation between multiple media industries and the migratory behaviour of media industries and media audiences.
Sound like a bit of a mouth full right? Don’t worry I’ll help you break it down.
Convergence simply involves media industries, content and the audience. The industries accelerate the flow of media content across channels to expand their revenue, and the audience are shifted from a ‘consumer’ to ‘producer’ stance. This is mainly because the status of legacy/old medias such as newspapers are being shifted to new media technologies. The main reasons for this shift from legacy medias to newer technologies is that it lowers production and distribution costs because a huge benefit of newer technologies is that there is an ability to reach a wider audience with little effort.
The thing is though, what does this mean for us? And what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages?
Well firstly, Convergence has become a vital and important element in people’s lives, especially mine. With the development of technology across the varying platforms like T.V, the internet and mobile mediums, an audience has a bigger choice in the media they want to use.
Convergence is very evident in my life, especially at home where my family interacts with different media platforms than I do. My parents are more prone to the traditional older legacies, while my sister and I are more reliant on the newer technologies. My sister and I are more prone to using and relying on iPads, iPhone and computers in order to gain information which could be through media sites like YouTube, online newspaper sites and just generally the world-wide web. This is definitely a difference to my parents who rely heavily on news programs and the T.V. I guess this difference could be blamed on the fact that there is quite obviously a generation gap between us, and ultimately the detail that my sister and I have grown up with these technologies and media platforms that it becomes second nature to use then and we honestly wouldn’t know any different.
The presence of media convergence can come with some challenges. Audiences can become so overwhelmed with information that they don’t know what to do with it all. As well as this because of the dynamic nature of technology, people are unable to take advantage of the full potential these medias have to offer.
A text is something that we can obviously read and interpret, that can we woven out of words or even images. This is evident in the study of Semiotics, which is the science of signs, that allows an individual to make meaning from signs by the use of either words or images.
There are three things that can distinguish a sign, these include:
- The Sign, which is anything that conveys meaning from the text
- The Signifier, the things that give meaning to the word or image
- The Signified, which is what is evoked in the mind, or is the mental concept. This depends very heavily on the cultural context of the individual, like their belief structure and past experience that that they have been exposed to
These three categories allow for a sign or image to create and resonate meaning within an individual, and are constantly used around us. The whole idea of semiotics is very frequently used in the realm of advertisements through the use of signs or symbols. The use of certain techniques within advertisements allows the audience to take denotation and connotations from the source. Denotation is the literal meaning of the word and the obvious meaning conveyed, where as the connotation is the feeling or reaction to the sign or image that the audience takes away from the experience.
I have picked an advertisement which I feel shows this very effectively. This Gucci ‘guilty’ advertisement for a guys Cologne.
This advertisement has quite a few semiotic connotations which are used in order to draw in an audience’s attention. For instance, the whole body language and facial expressions of the two individuals, especially with the man, link back to the title “guilty”. The black connotations and the use of shadows in this advertisements allows for a mysterious tone. Also the way that the two individuals are posed seems to have a power connotation, leaving the male figure in power of the female. Especially since the female is looking up at him with a dreamy expression. Overall this add would be pushing the idea that this product would increase the likeliness of a man to pick up a woman, and also lead them to believe that a woman would become instantly submissive and attracted when smelling the product.
In order for advertisements to be effective it’s a great idea to include either of the distinguishing signs as it allows the audience to unpack the meaning behind the message.
Many individuals are experiencing anxieties in relation to the media and the impact that it could possibly have the person using it. But, are these anxieties justifiable? And should we be feeling this way?
Violent video games/Violent videos = violence in children, is a very common anxiety formula that people argue. Why? Well, many people believe that if a child is playing or watching such violence they will act upon it in society. Games such as Grand theft auto, call of duty or even the Sims are a few of many video games which have a whole lot of violence attached to them, which in turn leads to a lot of controversy. This whole issue creates a ‘moral panic’, where the feeling of anxiety spread amongst society because people fear that the effects of these video games on children will corrupt or threaten society.
From a personal level, I feel like this moral panic over whether or not video games are
corrupting children is quite a silly thing to suggest. Over the years I have played games such as grand theft auto, where there is pretty much free reign to do what ever you want in it. I feel as if I am very moral and ethical when it comes to decision making and living my life, so its hard to believe that someone who will play grand theft auto will go out on a killing spree the next day just because they did so in a game (well I hope to God they don’t because that’s pretty messed up).
An interesting point however, was mentioned in the document ‘Video games and wellbeing: A comprehensive review‘ where it was stated that “focusing on violent video games as a precursor to aggression and violence amongst young people my cause parents, social activists and public policy makers to ignore the much more powerful and significant causes of violence amongst young people that have already been well established, including a range of social, behavioural, economic, biological and mental heath factors” (p10). I agree with this statement, you can’t just blame video games as the only source contributing to a child being violent. You should also look into and include their mental capacity or even any illnesses they have.
Overall, this leads to parents allowing their children to play video games which are age friendly to their child. Being conscious about how your child is playing on a game and even how long is important.
I guess you guys already know some basic things about me, but because I’m starting some new BCM classes and it’s required that I introduce myself, I thought I should create a blog post that caters to the classes I’m taking!
So to kick things off, as you would have figured out by now (hopefully!) My name is Rebecca but I like to go by Bec. I’m studying at the University of Wollongong and am in my Second year of the Bachelor of Communication and Media, however due to a low ATAR (thanks to my past confused self) I didn’t get into this bachelor straight away. Because of this, I have a bit of catching up to do due to changing into my current bachelor half way through last year. But there are no worries here, since I absolutely love being at UOW it’s not that much of a big deal for me (and it’s awesome being able to talk to a variety of people from different years, so thats definitely a plus!).
I’m here at university because even though I struggled through high school, I really enjoy learning new things and overall being in a learning environment. University has become such an awesome period in my life and I don’t want it to end. From the classes and the tasks, to the people around me, everything just makes me feel connected and alive. Dare I say I feel like I belong (yes, an eye roll from everyone is quite welcome here). I’m studying in Communication and Media because I find it interesting, and I guess it’s become a part of our everyday lives so I think it’s important to understand it. I’m not sure yet what I want to be in the future or where I will end up after I have finished these classes and overall this Bachelor, but I’m hoping because I’m doing something I enjoy I’ll end up in a job that I will love going to every day (fingers crossed!).
So that’s me in a nutshell, I have a twitter account that I will be using throughout my BCM classes so if your interested and want to follow me (and see me stress myself out over all these readings I have to do) click here!
Have a great day guys!