Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jordan - 11 am Friday Blog Post

With most of these readings, I enjoy taking the authors' often philosophical assertions and examining their implications in the business world. Just as many of our readings point out, like Fredrick Jameson's Cognitive Mapping and Tara McPherson's Liveness, Mobility, and the Web, the development of technology is governed not only by human necessity, but also by economic profitability. The notion of flow in television is a necessary invention in order to prolong the engagement of the viewer with the media and more importantly advertising.

Should the concept of flow, as McPherson explains, really be understood as a means to, "unite the disparate bits of information, advertising, and narrative comprising and evening's television into a seamless whole, establishing a planned sequence which is more important than the individual segments which might seem to categorize TV programming"? McPherson fails to examine how the synthesis of information is influenced largely by capitalism, and that 'planned flow' may be the perversion of a more natural form in order to meet necessary economic demands.

Flow did not emerge as the best way to integrate these bits of information; instead, it emerged as the best way to keep viewers hooked. Each segment, a cliffhanger; each advertisement, a moment of tension or relaxation; each ending, the start of a new beginning. Here, it is the structure of the information that conforms to economic demands and advertising; however, the web, it seems, is a structure above these economic demands for profit. It is actually an engine for ubiquity and an accumulator of information disguised as a productive force and a proliferator of information.

Truthfully, the items that the internet does create to enhance productivity naturally separate themselves from advertising in ways similar to real life. There are no explicit advertisements in the office, in the classroom, or in the library; instead, the advertisements are located between these areas of dynamic attention, mobile pathways, or to areas of static attention where the individual subjects themselves to an event but is not directly incorporated within the event, like sporting events. Web based advertisements will continue to develop forms that are suited to the user's most common mode of interaction with the media in context; and thus, this expectation, this prediction, will influence the future architecture of the web.

The same way that malls are constructed to force individuals past the maximum number of store fronts by locating escalators in optimal positions, the web will be structured. The same way that an individual advertises a campus event by delivering a short informational message at the beginning of a class as opposed to a billboard on the side of the highway advertising discount furniture, web based advertising will adapt to fit expected behavior in context. The notions of mobility and liveness uncover the relationship between capital and architecture in the digital domain.

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