Google, the world wide web in general, YouTube, smartphones, iPhones, iPads… any Apple product really, Netflix, Amazon , the thermomixers of media and technology. Modern technologies and concepts such as (and not exclusively) these are bringing the world together and synthesizing the way we use media and our time. This, in general terms, is the idea of media convergence.
When different platforms and audiences incline towards each other, media convergence is created. More technically, this amalgamation is:
“The interlinking of communication networks… and media content that has occurred with the development and popularisation of the Internet, and the convergent products, services and activities that have emerged in the digital media space.” (ALRC)
Today, cell phones have the power to connect the world and make nearly all of humanity’s knowledge ever accessible. Convergence runs behind modernization, chasing it, like a child of today after the boundless iPad rather than their favourite toy or a butterfly. What media convergence holds is the attention of users. While I scroll through Facebook, snapchat, add a view to the latest YouTube video, my parents, surprisingly, do the same, well, minus snapchat. The television remains on, the iPad and newspaper sit on the kitchen table waiting to be consumed. We are all, regardless of our generation code, utilising media convergence. What differs between us, and to a minor degree is the product we use. An underlying element of convergence as a concept is that audiences are participating in this media flow, not only as viewers consuming information, but as “produsers” behind the artistic mashups. For example, with the readily available video camera in pockets, there is the arrival of citizen journalism. Individuals are accumulating observations, sharing and allowing them to become the sources of our information. However, this does present a problem towards those that are paid to do such work as there becomes a sort of cult or culture of user- created information.
Media convergence allows for the exposure to a wide variety of media platforms at once and the effective use of technology. However as media is streamed across a broad spectrum, the Monopoly’s (such as those mentioned earlier) – Amazon, Google, YouTube, Apple, Warner bros and many more, deliver censored and compelling content. It is the act of media preying on creative talent. Due to the idea of a better working model with more dynamics, we are converged without our consent or general awareness, as we to are the architects.
Burns, A, 2010,Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage, viewed 3 April 2016, <http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf>