Culture & Social media
The Pony Express debuted 150 years ago, and using riders and “fresh horses … who rode at full gallop in 10- to 12-mile segments,” delivered mail between Missouri and California. “In March 1861, the Pony Express set a record for transcontinental delivery–7 days 17 hours–when riders carried Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Address to the West Coast” (Edwards, 2010). The service ended only six months later.
Thankfully, communication has changed. Today there is no need to wait a week for important correspondence, and the transmission is far less dangerous. Yet technological advances have brought us to a crossroad. “Old media” like newspapers, magazines, and television, are struggling to compete with digital media that is immediate and available at the click of a button.
The first unit of this course begins the process of learning about these new digital tools by developing a foundation for understanding. Consider the core term common to both old and new media.
“Media” is plural for the ancient Latin word “medius” or “medium” and it means something in the middle that conveys (or moves) something from one place or person to another. Related English words include:
- medium: Someone who reportedly conveys messages from the dead.
- comedian: Someone who conveys humor.
- intermediate: Something between two phases. For example, “intermediate school” moves students from elementary school to high school.
- remedial: A cure to move people from a poor health to good health, or poor education to good education.
Media conveys a message from a person or organization to someone else. It can be audio (like on a CD or the radio), the written word (like a magazine, newspaper, or a webpage), or video (like on TV or YouTube). Digital media conveys messages using new, computer-processor assisted technology. Today digital media can be accessed in many ways including with handheld devices such as mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, desktops, and many more.
Assignments: Complete the Week 1 Blog post; post your introduction; completed the required readings.
Required readings: Digital Nation part 1(video)
The Power and Business Risks of Social Media (PDF) week1
Week 1 PP: EN371 Week1
Social-Media-Managers-10-Required-SkillsEN371 Week 1