Monday, 4 August 2014

Knowledge Before the Known - Initial Thoughts on New Communications Technology

This blog has been created as part of a university course to explore communication in the Age of Information through the contexts of media theory and the history of communication technology. I myself have taken this course as an undergraduate for an arts and business degree, relishing the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in an area that is so very prominent the world over. I start my journey being asked these simple, yet sizable questions to one of the most important constituents of mankind, communication. 

What are the main issues in new communications technology from your point of view?

There is such a flood of information that stems from so many platforms that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish what information you need through all the noise. I think it is important to communicate in effective and efficient ways, using that technology to your advantage and not being caught up in menial tasks and trends. 

Another significant problem is security. However, I believe security issues with web-based technology can be mitigated, to a greater extent, with knowledge. The LinkedIn incident would have been far less severe if people had the knowledge of the security risks that simple passwords pose. Many of the accounts that were hacked used passwords like 'link1234' for example. Knowledge, skill, and risk mitigation are an essential element for anyone dealing with the technologies of the information age.

How do we distinguish between old and new communication technologies?

Two words instantly come to mind; digital and internet. With those two words comes a slew of imaginative constructs that I can only dream of or read about. Those constructs come from the comparison I draw from my lifelong exposure to digital technologies and that of a person still pushing the technological boundaries of the time, but eclipsed by the power of the digital age. 

Under what circumstances will new communication technologies become old communication technologies?

This is a particularly important question to the minds behind marketing teams of communication products, and any business that relies on innovative solutions to provide them with a competitive advantage. I believe it is a combination of the innovation and creation of new technologies and the appetite of the masses to adopt to that new technology. 

What is your favourite digital technology? Which analog technologies are still part of your life?

Without contextualizing this question it is hard to pinpoint favourite technologies. This question also makes you realize how many parts of your life are shadowed by some form of digital technology. The two that come to mind first however are the increased ability to make music, and the efficiency and effectiveness of team collaboration and communication. As a guitarist I can appreciate the simplistic methods we have been given in the way we make and change sound. For a few hundred dollars I can make my guitar do pretty much what a room full of analogue equipment and hundreds of thousands of dollars could do in the past.    

Having the ability to collaborate with teams anywhere in the world is a popular way of building competitive advantage. People are able to access skills and knowledge by communicating through various digital channels, then apply those skills and knowledge to projects. People no longer need to be physically present to contribute to projects which saves time and money, and in turn be invested in further innovation activities. These activities continue to be an essential component of business sustainability in the contemporary world.

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