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Media and Digital Convergence

Digital convergence is the overlap of “old”and “new” technologies which may be attributed to the need for more efficient ways to get things done. With Digital convergence, older or dated technologies aren’t being replaced, so to speak. But are rather, being reconfigured to simplify the way things are done.

With this very broad explanation, I will use snail mail as an example to further explain what digital convergence is. I was born in 1992 (yikes! I just aged myself) so the thought of only receiving communication via postal mail is quite foreign to me (however, I have mailed a letter to my 90 something year old great-grandmother, Anne B). Letters by mail, unless expressed, may take as long as 2 to 3 days to arrive. Additionally postal mail cost, and gets more expensive the faster you want your communication received. Email, is the result of a need of a more cost efficient and less time consuming way to get communications from person A to person B. Although email is more widely used, snail mail still thrives today. So digital convergence didn’t do away with postal mail entirely, just reconfigured the way we might communicate.

Media as we know it today, has been hit by digital convergence. Media once consumed via print (news paper and magazines) television, and radio now is easily accessible thanks to the Internet. Convergence from print, radio, and television to digital media did not do away of previous channels to which media was delivered. However, convergence introduced new ways to which media is produced. For example, a news article in a local news paper can be bought via print or accessed via the company’s website. In this case, the overlap of digital communications is the article being published in both print and digitally. Of course, one offset of digital convergence, is the fact that media can be produced by anyone with a blog, instagram, or twitter account to create the next viral thing. For instance , the new viral challenge , “The Bottle Cap Challenge. Celebrities and net famous people have joined the bandwagon in creating media for this entertaining challenge drowning important or professionally done media.

All in all, digital convergence does not replace older technologies, rather, reconfigure the way media may be delivered.

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