In this blog I will critically explain the meaning of convergence regarding technology and, just how important it is for us all presently and in the future. From my understanding of the word convergence it s the meaning of; the coming together of two different types of technology for example; an iPod now has the ability to play music and, watch videos on it which brings the word into life. The importance of convergence in our technological life is clear to see in society today and, is gradually becoming a very significant part of our lives as I'll explain in this blog.
As discussed in the lecture there are four main concepts of convergence in digital media currently which are majorly significant to how the digital world is being mapped out for future dwellers, and those who use it today. In this blog I feel that the use of various example and quotations will be very supportive in, explaining just how I feel convergences work and can be explained.
Technological convergence is a very noticeable media change in the world at present. Technological convergence is a progression of when two or more current technologies combine to make one new, different type of technological device. Each year this type of convergence seem to become more and more common resulting, in the most basic of devices to be able to accomplish multiple tasks such as; a digital watch. Most digital watches today have the ability to; time something or someone, activate a light in order to see the time in the dark as well as, being waterproof and, intelligently telling the time in other cities around the world. This seems to be very distant compared to the past when only a certain type of device could play a certain type of media, such as VCR could only play video cassettes and could not perform anything other than that. Saying that televisions, music players and game consoles have all evolved great amount from their original creation immensely. For instances games consoles such as; PlayStation 3 now has the ability to surf the web, interact with other players, send pictures, listen to music and play videos on just that device as well as, actually fulfilling its original purpose which is to play video games. Television have also adapted into doing more than just watching T.V, currently television are available for purchase which can surf the internet, stream videos and rent movies, communicate with friends via Skype and have motion sensors to adjust volume up or down along with other functions. Technology has progressed a large amount from the days when several devices where need to perform individual trades to now, just having one platform achieve most of the tasks single handily. The most popular form of technological convergence is by far the mobile phone. From once just being machinery that was made for having conversations, the mobile phone has advanced into a device which no longer has any limits. Mobile phones have now become “Tiny computers that just happen to make phone calls.” That is a quote from Gavin Stewart which expresses just how advanced telephones today, have now become. Mobile phones now as well as being used to call people work as; digital cameras, music player, accessing your emails, perform instant messaging services, video cameras, use the internet and much, much more.
Institutional convergences are when big companies such as; Time Warner and, News Corporation are great examples of convergences in this sector. Time Warner is a good example for institutional convergence rather than News Corp. as, Time Warner is merged with many companies as supposed to News Corp. owning all the companies but, they still do cross media sections like Time Warner. The merge of several different media forms in an institutional sense is very interesting as, when company tries to monopolize the market in order to gain complete dominance. Time Warner possesses companies such as; HBO, Time Inc., Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting, it is easy to feel that there is no such thing as competition in the media. When companies merge it makes it much easier for the popularity of that company to grow and in return creates more profit which the company gracefully accepts. When Time Warner was merged with AOL it just showed how diverse a company could actually become and, the benefits such as being a television and film as well as owning a successful internet site. They could freely promote their new films or television programs online via AOL, in addition to going to the movies and watching trailers which may have been sponsored by AOL. As a final point the benefit of having an already successful company such as Time Warner being linked to another successful company like AOL, is beneficial as somehow people are using their product in different forms of media.
In some cases professional convergences are in order to create more of reputation or to in fact save a business. Though not a media company a great example of GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) is one where two pharmaceutical companies GlaxoWellcome plc and, SmithKline Beecham plc. Came together to form GSK and then kept the company alive. But in media terms professional convergence is shown like how MSNBC is television network but is also maintains internet services which execute the same content but, just on different mediums. This is just the beginning as many companies today, have spread a wide net upon various types of media from newspapers, radio, magazines and television. The advantage of this is that instead of fighting for the share of consumers which either just uses the radio or just watch television that could have material on all types of media to avoid fighting with other companies.
Cultural convergences are another way how popular media has become around the world. Cultural convergences have developed into how popular brands, beliefs and fashions spread across the world today. The way YouTube has become a global phenomenon across the world today, user finding it easy to upload each day via their; mobiles, tablets, computer or even game consoles. Also the recognition of Walt Disney around the world today is very easily noticeable as Gavin Stewart pointed out in a lecture. The Disney logo is widely recognizable everywhere in the world today due to the famous Mickey Mouse ears. This could have a major advantage in today’s media for any new programs, movies or franchise that embody the famous Mickey Mouse ears, instantly making it a recognisable and trusted brand.
On a whole I believe that convergences in the digital life today is a very welcome effect on society today and that, the more we allow technological convergences to happen, the more we will be advancing into the future with each new device for sale. Media convergence is a big impact in our lives’ today even with the smallest thing we go through today such as; sending an email on your mobile, watching a video on your iPad or, watching television on your computer. The world has progressed so far from being really narrow mind devices to, now having mobile phones that can just about do anything we could possible want it to do.