WEB 2.0 & Medium Theory (Final exam question)

By: Doug Robie

Word Count:523

Medium theory deals with a form of analyzing media and how it is used. Our textbook cites the main aspect of Medium theory, “focuses on the particular characteristics of each individual medium or of each particular type of media.” (Medium theory (textbook)) Medium theory looks to analyze, how society is using the medium and how the medium is becoming more integrated into their culture. In summary Medium theory is used to see how the medium of communications effects the general population in the way they use the medium and how they react to the medium.

The textbook gives two great examples of era that were directly affected by medium theory, the Medieval Church and the Roman Empire. The medieval church had control over all the religious information available until the printing press came along. The printing press was revolutionary in Medium theory because it changed people’s ability to read and communicate with others, or gain direct access to the sacred scriptures like in this particular case. This revolution allowed people to care for oneself entirely because they now had a way to help themselves spiritually, the Jesuits call this cura personalis.

Then in the Roman Empire the textbook talks about how they used papyrus to communicate through out there empire and how they were able to send information back and forth. This incorporates medium theory because it was the Roman Empire using a new form of communication to revolutionize the world and control their empire

The new media of “Web.2.0” correlates to medium theory because it is a new way that people are using to communicate. Web 2.0 allows people to expand their social circles and people are no longer constrained to factors such as location. We no longer have to depend solely on what people tell us because we can use the internet and its new resources to find out new information and details for ourselves much like the freedom the printing press provided but on a much larger scale.

In an article talking about web 2.0 and medicine says, “Seeking health information has been and remains a major function of Internet and Web use. For example, approximately 80% of American Internet users, or 59% of American adults, seek health information online.” (Witteman) This shows how web 2.0 impacting the ability to access more information and possibly improve their health and have better knowledge of what’s going on in their bodies. Web 2.0 through social media is also allowing people to voice their support and opinions on different issues. The Huffington post points to the #SaveJosh campaign as an example where twitters overall voice and impact was used to make a change. Through twitter they were able to change a drug companies mind and save the life of a 7 year old boy. Another example the Huffington post talks about #SFBatKid where the make a wish foundation was able to reach over 10,000 people to help make a little boy with leukemia dream come true. Techcrunch.com interviewed Twitter’s VP of product who said watching how the election was effected by twitter and how Obama announced he won re-election through twitter was “Amazing.”

Sources: http://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781465268686/epubcfi/6/16%5B;vnd.vst.idref=c02%5D!/4/2%5Bc02%5D/50%5Bc02-req%5D

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X11019621

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-scott/social-media-makes-an-imp_b_5406126.html

http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/15/twitters-social-impact-cant-be-measured-but-its-the-pulse-of-the-planet/

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