Exploring the Media Ecology

Of all the media theorists Marshall McLuhan is perhaps the most famous and in the 60s, there was perhaps no more well known academic figure in the entire communication discipline. McLuhan’s ideas have stood the test of time, yet at the time of their conception they were widely dismissed by the scientific community for reasons we will return to later (Scolari, 2012). In recent years the theory most accredited to McLuhan, the media ecology, has enjoyed a high degree of resurgence, with organizations such as the Media Ecology Association (MEA) leading the way. This theory, as Neil Postman proposed in a 1975 address, focuses not on specialization, but rather on making more generalize, bigger picture, connections (Salas, 2007). The media ecology can best be viewed as a framework, a way of looking at the world through the lens that mediums and technology are far more influential than the content of the messages they provide. This is the basic concept behind the phrase that epitomizes McLuhan’s contributions to this theory, “the medium is the message” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 7). Before we delve further into the tenants and contributions to the media ecology theory, it is useful to look at the metaphor around which it is organized, that of an ecology.

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With Vigilante Diaries, Did Brian Norgard and Jason Mewes Just Change Everything?

“We just have to do it better. Online is a revolution. The Internet is a revolution and we should be revolutionary when we think about the content we put on it rather than derivative and mimic the shit on TV and make it worse. Let’s say fuck it because the Internet isn’t TV. It’s different. It’s better.” – Shane Smith, founder of VICE

Vigilante Diaries

Today while browsing Mashable I came across an article about a new original show called Vigilante Diaries starring Jason Mewes (Clerks, Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob). The show itself is an interesting concept, shot first person documentary style it is a “fast paced ride into the dark world of vigilante justice” that harkens to first person shooter video games. The show’s story sounds interesting, but what is truly most intriguing about this show is its innovative approach to funding.

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Apple Scores Big with iOS 7, ‘Biggest Change Since the Original iPhone’

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Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference has become an annual attraction, as it typically is the platform through which Apple announces its biggest and most innovative products. This year’s conference was no different. As with most years the rumors prior to the conference were rampant with most people expecting the announcement of a massively overhauled iOS 7, those who were waiting got what they hoped for.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called iOS 7 the “biggest change to iOS since the debut of the iPhone” and based on what we saw that doesn’t seem like a big stretch. The new iOS is headlined by a completely redesigned UI, featuring a new flat design, grid, 3D layers, and gestures.

As you can see the new UI creates a 3D like effect.

Overall the new UI is undeniably gorgeous and really takes the iPhone to the next level, as aesthetically the old iOS was beginning to look stale against its Android and Windows phone competitors. Perhaps the most elegant element of the new system is its responsiveness. For example, using the phone’s accelerometer iOS 7 is able to adapt the screen in parallax, achieving as designer Jony Ive claims, “new types of depth.”

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