Over the past three decades a significant shift in communications media has revolutionised the way in which we communicate and exchange information. Modern forms of communication have reduced the existence of traditional forms of communication such as print newspapers. Analog communications including radio and television broadcasts are also decreasing in popularity. The 21st Century has made way for digital forms of communication, leading the way the World Wide Web.
New forms of communication technology have for hundreds of years strived to eliminate the barriers of communication such as accessibility to a larger global market, reduce the time it takes to receive messages and share media and distance barriers. Essentially, the consumer has been the driving force to these advancements in communication as each of these barriers has been over come. Consumer awareness and voice have influenced new technologies and communication devices one by one so that each barrier is being broken down and transformed into a new device and means of communicating effectively. For example, the Ipod or MP3 player was invented in order to enable consumers to have access to music on a portable electronic device. The Ipods great predecessor records and compact disks (CD) were unable to be played anywhere anytime on a small compact device not to mention the large storage capabilities of Ipods.
After eliminating barriers such as this in communication, we have been able to continue to revolutionise the way in which we communicate and share information with people around the world. A shift in the way we operate has pushed aside industrial and physical economies and made way for an economy based around information technologies and intellectual property rights, this is now known as the knowledge economy. “A knowledge economy is one where ideas and intangible assets rather than tangible physical assets are increasingly central sources of new wealth creation, where the economy is more strongly rooted in the production, distribution and use of knowledge…” (Howells 2000:51). This type of economy has produced benefits for many groups in society, children from early ages are encouraged to utilise new forms of media. The Internet is a platform for media communication where tools such as MSN, Facebook and e-mail provide users with an instant and simple and convenient way to communicate with one another. “Technical communication practices have been changed dramatically by the increasingly ubiquitous nature of digital technologies, the Internet is now one of the most wide spread forms of communication around the globe (Bates, C 2004, p.580). Use of services such as social networking sites and instant messaging programs increase your ability to communicate effectively indirectly, although some social communication scholars argue these tools inhibit a person’s ability to communicate face to face.
When considering how being a knowledge worker within the developing knowledge economy applies to my future career path these new forms of communication media will have a significant impact on the way in which I go about performing my job and succeeding. Advertising was once a somewhat limited profession; print, television and radio were the three most popular forms of advertising. In 2009 the Internet and all of its content provide a whole new medium for advertising. I plan on entering into the advertising and promotions industry and am very interested in marketing in general. As a knowledge worker in this industry I will rely heavily on new forms of communication media and staying informed with new and upcoming communication media will be essential to succeed. Reaching a particular market with an advertising campaign is now easier then ever with thanks to the new knowledge economy. The success of online advertising is easily measurable and a business can identify exactly who their consumers are. In addition to this a business can place their advertisements on certain websites on particular days and at a period of time when consumers are most active online. Advertising has become a lot more personalised due to this new form of communication media.
To some degree new communication media has affected the advertising industry in a negative way. This is due to the ability of consumers to select what they want to watch and when with Foxtel IQ and Tivo. These devices allow consumers to fast-forward through advertisements and get back to they movie or show they were intending to watch. To over come this, advertisers have had to rely heavily on product placements in popular television shows. Recently, Brittany Spears record company promoted her song by having it placed on a trailer for a hit television show that shares her target market, Gossip Girl on Fox 8 played ‘Womanizer’ on one of their advertisements with great success for Spear’s sales and television show ratings alike. Combined with new media channels such as the Internet product placement in my intended profession has boosted the advertising industry as a lucrative and moneymaking sector of the knowledge economy.
The video above demonstrates how advertisers use new forms of media communication to promote products. This video is a Youtube promotional video for Gossip Girl yet is actually promoting Brittany Spears song 'Womanizer'.
Baites, C 2004 (Nov), Impact of the Internet and Digital Technologies, Technical Communication, p.580
Flew, T 2009, New Media: An Introduction (3rd) Oxford University Press, Sydney, p.29 & 194.
Howells, J 2000, ‘Knowledge, Innovation, and Location’, in J.R. Bryson, P.Daniels, N.Hentry and J.Pollard, (eds), Knowledge, Space, Economy, Routledge, London, p. 53.