Florian Cramer on Thu, 3 Nov 2005 23:30:54 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> a new definition

>  A good example of how some areas of
> wikipedia are suffering from a lack of participation. It's probably
> because most media activists are busy posting on their own websites...

I am not sure whether the opposite is always helpful. As much as I
respect Olia, I don't find her edits of the Wikipedia article very
constructive. Before her edit, the article said:

| New media usually refers to a group of relatively recent mass media
| based on new information technology. It is based on computing technology
| and not reducible to communication in a traditional sense. Most
| frequently the label would be understood to include the Internet and
| World Wide Web, video games and interactive media, CD-ROM and other
| forms of multimedia popular from the 1990s on. The phrase came to
| prominence in the 1990s, and is often used by technology writers like
| those at Wired magazine and by scholars in media studies.
| The term has garnered negative connotations due to techno-utopian claims
| by new-media proponents about the revolutionary social and personal
| benefits of new media; the claims of revolutionary transformation of
| people's lives were widely seen as unjustified. All the same, new media
| have only grown in popularity, and their current ubiquity is slowly
| causing social changes; their initial proponents' error may have been in
| the speed with which they claimed media would transform society, rather
| than the prediction itself.

While this is not perfect, it's not a bad text either. Olia completely
deleted it and replaced it with:

| New Media is the field of study that has developed around cultural
| practices with the computer playing a central role as the medium for
| production, storage and distribution.
| New Media studies reflect on the social and ideological impact of the
| personal computer, computer networks, digital mobile devices, ubiquitous
| computing and virtual reality. The study includes researchers and
| propagators of new forms of artistic practices such as interactive
| installations, net art, software art, the subsets of interaction,
| interface design and the concepts of interactivity, multimedia and
| remediation.
| Media, in the plural, refers to the variety of technologies and formats,
| (such as computer games, the World Wide Web and Virtual Reality), that
| have been developed over the past few decades.
| "New" in this context means:
|     * the relative novelty of digital computing
|     * a belief in the computer as the future
|     * the unprecedented speed of evolution and mutation of devices and
|     * technologies
|     * undeveloped, imperfect and experimental environments
|     * subjective novelty, (most of the artists and theoreticians
|     * currently studying digital culture have migrated from different
|     * disciplines)

The whole entry, IMHO, is based on a confusion of the term "new media"
with "new media studies" and should have been a separate article with
the according title.

Two other editors subsequently abriged Olia's text into the following:

| New media is an umbrella term for media that are based on new
| technologies. Triggered by the media theories of Siegfried Kracauer and
| Marshall McLuhan, film, radio and television were subsequently
| understood as new media in the 1940s to 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s,
| the term was primarily identified with video, since the 1990s with
| computers and the Internet. The term "media" is sometimes used as an
| abbreviation of "new media".
| New media are also the common denominator of such disciplines as (new)
| media art (from Nam June Paik to net.art), (new) media activism, (new)
| media studies (from Marshall McLuhan to Lev Manovich) and journalistic
| media criticism (from Neil Postman to Howard Rheingold).


Obviously disagreeing, Olia has deleted the above text again and
replaced it with her previous version of the article.



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