New Media Research and Institutional Priorities: A Framework Perspective | Veneeta Singha, 2011

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New Media Research and Institutional Priorities: A Framework Perspective | Veneeta Singha, 2011
A Social Capital Schema
Rapid technological innovations and diffusion in the last decade have created an unprecedented opportunity for stimulating and augmenting the social capital that this phenomenon holds as its turnover. Concomitantly, the morphed boundaries between emerging media and the newly digitized environment have also paved the way for a holistic approach to developing, assessing and using the new media paradigm.
Technology and the media, in such an immersive reality, then function as enablers and mechanisms for advanced problem solving; allowing a free flow of information and data across geographic structures; and collaborative engagement in the development of key work areas and issues that result in social and economic advancement. The Internet and new media technologies have opened vast new avenues not only for communications and commerce but, indeed, for creative and innovative intellectual participation, socio-ecological protection and socio-cultural representation.
The opportunities and competitive strengths that the use of new media heralds can be seen in fields as diverse as education, health, environmental conservation and planning, rural development, product development and institutional strengthening. Capitalizing on these strengths is often seen as crucial to the continued operability and betterment of services (both public and private); the production and marketing of goods; and the proactive improvement of the quality of life in many countries.
A simple framework for, firstly, reviewing the communications/media infrastructure and the research throughput and, secondly, building on the existing research gains to maximize positive results for public and private services, enterprises and platforms is now a critical necessity. Implicit in such a framework is the increased potential for building the research and development capacities of the media and technology sectors themselves. As the need for and implementation of vital research gains ground, so does the inherent vigor of the sectors involved.
An Intellectual Capital Review
Research Questions and Programme Impact
Literature Review and Data Gathering
Data Analyses, Visualization and Semantics
Metrics and Assessments in the Information Society Paradigm
Reviewing Output and Research Findings
Knowledge Mapping and Case Studies
Collaborative Application Design and Dissemination
Practices Database: Action Research and Knowledge Ecosystems
Programme Modeling and Design
Early-stage research could be guided by the following Journals and articles, of particular relevance and importance to the growing need for and challenges of systematizing, applying and cross-fertilizing new media research and development.
The Social Layer: How the Rise of Web-oriented Architecture is Changing Enterprise IT
​By Christopher Lynch, ReadWriteWeb
Media Development Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Media Development
​By the International Programme for the Development of Communication, UNESCO
Interfacing by Iconic Metaphors
By Marianne van den Boomen, Project Muse: Configurations, Volume 16, Number 1, Winter 2008, Johns Hopkins University Press
Spatial Metaphor in the work of Marshall McLuhan
By Gordon Gow (Simon Fraser University), Canadian Journal of Communication, Volume 26, Number 4 (2001)
Orality, Literacy, and the Tradition
By Thomas F. Bertonneau, Paper Delivered at the Fifth Annual Conference of the ALSC, New York, 1999
Journal of Data Semantics
​(Eds), S. Spaccapietra; S. March; K. Aberer
Gordon Gow from Simon Fraser University writes the following words about Marshall McLuhan’s work on culture and technology in his article entitled Spatial Metaphor in the Work of Marshall McLuhan (Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 26, No. 4):
“This is but one preliminary study of spatial metaphor in the work of McLuhan. There are other possibilities for further research along the lines established in this paper. For instance, there is a need to explore McLuhan in the context of technology assessment, a field that has recently recognized the value of metaphor for structuring social interventions in the early stages of technology design and development (Tepper, 1996). In this regard, scholars might consider the proposition that technology assessment was imminent in McLuhan's project, and that his development of spatial metaphor, especially its contribution to his laws of media and the tetrad, may have some application for constructive approaches in technology policy research.”
Catalyzing Institutional Capital
Research and study on the impact of new technologies on development organizations necessitates an evaluation of socio-cultural dimensions and drivers along with the values that new technologies enhance, support and strengthen. Do these dimensions hinder or help diffusion? What are the barriers? The center of the debate on new technologies, in recent years, has been on people and technology as opposed to people versus technology. Do development organizations invest as much in technological expertise? Is there adequate immersion? What are the key foundational principles on which these technologies spin?
It is often argued that this explosion in techno-products, services and the concomitant technocratic culture is leading to a further marginalization of organizations that do not have the wherewithal to ride the technology wave. It is also important, at this juncture, to pose the question: Is this boom a mere passing wave or should all organizations, large and small, in the North and in the South, pay more heed to new media and technologies? Will the bubble eventually burst or is it here to stay? Extending this theme, we can also see a parallel development – that of new competencies and skills. This expertise is becoming a decisive proficiency in many organizations and the quality of the products and services they offer and deliver.
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