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					New Media Technologies:
Communication Theories

COM 300

Kathy E. Gill
24 April 2007
   Housecleaning
   Recap
   New Media Theories
   Networks
   Discussion Leaders – Group 2
 Grades
 Feedback
 Questions:
   How many seniors?
   How many have never had to write a
Adoption - Rogers
Summary Adoption
 How does an understanding of
  technology adoption stages relate to
  concepts like this week’s readings?
More New Media Theory
 Lev Manovich: professor, UCSD,
  author of The Language of New Media
  (2001) and Soft Cinema: Navigating
  the Database (2005)
 Marshall McLuhan: Canadian, author
  of Understanding Media (1964) and
  The Medium is the Massage (1967)
Manovich’s Five Characteristics   (1/6)

   Numerical Representation
   Modularity
   Automation
   Variability
   Transcoding
Manovich’s Five        (2/6)

 Numerical representation
   “zero’s and one’s”
   Copying does not lead to degradation
    (format change, however, can)
   Analog v Digital
     Early complaints about CD v LP
Manovich’s Five          (3/6)

 Modularity
   The “whole” consists of many “objects”
       Google Images
       PPT and Excel
       HTML page (javascript, JPGs, etc)
       Individual blog posts
Manovich’s Five     (4/6)

 Automation
   What computers do best!
   Photoshop automation; database driven
   RSS readers
   Object management and search (Google)
Manovich’s Five      (5/6)

 Variability
   Website customization possible by
   Presenting data (shaping appearance)
    based on output device: monitor, PDA,
   Scaling (zoom – Google Maps)
Manovich’s Five       (6/6)

 Transcoding
   Two distinct layers: cultural layer and
    technology layer … the intersection is a
    field called Human-Computer Interaction
   Which takes precedence – culture or
McLuhan     (1/3)

 Believes media (technologies) affect
  cultural (social) change
   Differentiates between a medium and its
   Same content (words) is a different
    message when delivered in print, face-
    to-face, or on television – what is less
    important than how
   “We shape our tools, and they in turn
    shape us."
McLuhan      (2/3)

 Historical Construct
   Tribal Age (oral culture – intuitive)
   Age of Literacy (invention of phonetic
    alphabet – emergence of logic)
   Print Age (invention of printing press –
    linear thinking – science – individualism)
   Electronic Age (ushered in with
    telegraph, poster child: TV – global
    village – decline of logic and linearity)
McLuhan      (3/3)

 Compare our immediate knowledge of the
  2007 VaTech shooting with the 1556
  Chinese earthquake that killed 830,000 (or
  even daily events in Iraq)
 If, as he suggests, print created
  individualism and nationalism … what might
  networked communication create? Will
  familiarity breed contempt or collaboration?
But to understand networks…
And their impact on society and the
  economy …

We first need a basic understanding of
Supply and Demand
 Most widely used economic model
 Describes how consumers and
  producers interact to determine the
  price of a good and the quantity that
  will be produced/sold
Demand Curve
 Shows the quantity of a good (or
  service) that consumers are willing to
  buy at each price
 Assumes “all other things” remain
  constant (static)
 Law of Demand: curve slopes
  “downward” (P on the vertical axis)
Supply Curve
 Shows the quantity of a good (or
  service) that businesses are willing to
  sell at each price
 Assumes “all other things” remain
  constant (static)
 No “law of supply”
Types of Goods      (1/2)

 Non-rival - a good that can be used
  by more than one person at the same
  time (an idea)
 Non-excludable - it is not possible for
  the “owner” to exclude others from
  consuming this good (non-patented
Types of Goods                   (2/2)

                     Rival                      Non-Rival

              Most consumer goods          Trade secrets
              Private land                 Multi-license software
Excludable    Services: dental,            Patents
             rental cars, tax prep          Subscription web sites
              Single license software

  Non-        Public land                  Basic research
              Most roads                   Defense, police, firemen
Excludable    Water?                       Lighthouse
                                            “Open” websites
Network effects       (1/2)

 Static analysis:
   One person’s decision to adopt a new
    piece of software (or other technology)
    has no effect on someone else’s welfare
    or decision to adopt
   Assumes no network externality
Network effects        (2/2)

 Dynamic analysis:
   The value of the software (or
    technology) depends upon the decisions
    of others (interoperability, for example)
   Assumes there is a network externality
Locked In!

 Consumers may be locked into a network
  because of “cost of exit” (switching)
   Contracts (cell phone 24-month policies)
   Training (learn a new system – ugh)
   Data conversion (from Word to Word Perfect, for
   Search cost (finding the new product)
   Loyalty cost (frequent flyer programs, “minutes
 As market share increases for any
  one product (system, technology),
  there are increasing returns
  (externality) from increasing
  consumer demand, leading to
  dominance by one system
   AM v FM radio
   Beta v VHS
   Mac v Windows
   What about ..
     “Google”?
     Windows?
     AT&T Wireless/Cingular?
How Does Open Source Fit?
 Assumes many minds greater than a
 Assumes transparency leads to higher
 Enabled by virtual computer network
Examples (some conceptual)
 ARPANET development of standards
  for telecom protocols
 1998: Netscape releases Navigator
  source code
 Apache (web server)
   Open Source Parking
 Firefox, Mozilla
 Wikipedia
 There is an intrinsic relationship
  between content and technology:
  both contribute to meaning
 Churchill : “we shape our buildings
  and then our buildings shape us”
 Network effects can shape society
  (but maybe only short-term)
Discussion Leaders
 Count off – groups
 Leaders pick a computer
 Small groups “move” but leaders
  “stay put”

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