A question of self…

Posted on December 8, 2010



For the past couple of months I have been reading varios books on social media (3 in particular): Erik Qualman‘s S


ocialnomics, Mitch Joel‘s Six Pixels of Separation, Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones’ Understanding Digital Marketing, and Brian SolisEngaged (ok this one I am listening to as an audio book but either way).


You see ever since I arrived in Bloomington I have been questioning everything that I have done to achieve the goals I set in my mission statement to the Telecommunications Department and to the Ford Foundation. Both institutions have been funding my new media studies up to this point and for all intents and purposes I owe them a huge debt – be it thanks or one hell of a project to set me apart from my peers.

At the core of it I believe in the rise of digital media, it’s more than an inevitability  but the way things are right now. Whether it is broadcasting or marketing things have changed and I want to be in the forefront of it all as a theorist and practitioner. Is that too much to ask? Is too much to aim for? Sometimes I feel like that, like I am trying to over fill my cup with so much knowledge but there is so much to learn that feels like I would be short changing myself if I didn’t even try. So existential…

I guess the main issue I have is focus…as a digital native you have to ask yourself where do you fit in; what is your modus operandi and where do you see yourself ending up in five years. But then I don’t know where I fit, I don’t know what I should be doing and I don’t know where I will be five years time.

What made new media so intriguing to me was the continuing novelty of it, the constant flux from one new form to the next and the varios affordances that we get from them. When I proposed to come here I was interested in broadcasting a new and evolving medium and at this point it has changed from the form I knew to be to something else. We’re connecting socially through our TVs now; Google TV is making viewing more interactive. Could I have seen this in 2008?

I am a member of a social media group on LinkedIN and the other day a question was posed as to whether people consider themselves experts of social media or not. For the most part people said that no one is an expert and we are all learning as we go along and that is so true. Pierre Levy wrote about “collective intelligence” where no one knows everything and everyone knows something and we all contribute to the overall knowledge of society. I extrapolate from this statement that we continuously learning and evolving thus nullifying any notion of ignorance in your chosen field. As a student of new media I find it comforting then that the aforementioned notion means that I am learning everyday and I will continue to do so with the evolution of our field.

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