The term “new media” predictably suggests that there has been a shift from previous standards of information communication and delivery to improved models. Certainly this is true, but only in part. To clarify, new media services aren’t really new in the sense that the written or spoken word is still required in order to convey information. However, in contrast to traditional media, such as a televised news broadcast or newspaper, the content is provided in digital form, which provides the potential for interaction between members of the viewing audience. In short, this means that new media represents a two-way street in terms of networking capability, compared to a static, one-way production.
There are many different types of new media services available today being provided by a variety of companies and consulting firms. These include services to facilitate video and file sharing, content management, news feeds, role-playing games, and other forms of interactive entertainment. New media services also cater well to the business and marketing industries, as well the government sector. For instance, new media services enable such entities to distribute and collect relevant information via news distribution, video conferencing, online advertising campaigns, surveys, polls, etc.
Clearly, the dawn of new media presents numerous implications. For one thing, there is further distinction between digital technologies and previous analog models as it relates to global communication. Not only do new media services provide an opportunity to comment, discuss, and share information in real time, but also engage a larger volume of viewers without having to cope with geographic barriers. In other words, news travels fast when it happens, as it happens, no matter where it happens.
New media services provide additional advantages over traditional media venues. For instance, the advent of online chat rooms, discussion forums, and instant messaging capability has created virtual communities that stretch across the Internet and the world. These features enable people with common interests to locate and connect with each other regardless of where they live or work. In addition, new media equally enhances the experience of those who may otherwise have difficulty participating in such events, such as people with impaired hearing or speech.
A significant development in new media services is the advancement of social networking. Various online spaces have emerged that provide an outlet for individuals as well as commercial enterprises to establish, organize, and track their contacts in a virtual setting. Since users of such services often make additional connections by being “introduced” though existing contacts, networking becomes self-replicating simply based on the viral nature of the process.
Finally, new media services play an important role in more worldly matters, such as international security. Unfortunately, terrorist organizations sometimes use new media to distribute information to members and further their cause. In addition, new media has also given rise to new methods of theft and intrusion, which are appropriately dubbed cybercrimes. However, intelligence agencies throughout the world continue to work diligently to detect, intercept, and prevent such incidents.