Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday 2pm section: Convergence

I found Jenkins’ article on convergence extremely fascinating. However, I disagreed with him in few areas.

1. Jenkins says that the television did not kill radio. It merely assigned a different function and status to it. He says that new media does not kill old media but that they co-exist. I think he takes the word ‘kill’ too literally. Television made radio obsolete and in a way killed it so that now it is rarely used as a medium for entertainment. Same with movies and theatre.
2. He says that there is no single black box that will replace all other black boxes. In the very next paragraph, he mentions how the mobile phone’s functionality has been expanded to include a countless number of features. I believe that the mobile phone has tremendous potential to evolve and will in some time become the black box that Jenkins believes will never exist.
3. “What we are now seeing is hardware diverging while the content converges.” I think that hardware after years of divergence has finally begun to converge, as the cell phone moves towards becoming the single black box in our lives.

I understand that the book was published in 2006 when Jenkins could not have possibly foreseen the amount of technological advancement that would take place in the next few years. However, he believed that we were “entering an era of prolonged transition and transformation in the way media operated.” I believe, we are now approaching the end of that era.

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