Tag Archives: social media

Collaborative Bibliography: Technological Convergence


There are many forms of convergence. However, in this blog post I will be focusing primarily upon technological convergence using the recent development in mobile phone technology as a prime example. Being a lover of technology and gadgets this is a subject which I find fascinating! First it is important to define exactly what convergence is:

 “the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole”

Technological convergence refers to the trend for different technology based systems or devices to evolve and unify to perform related tasks. A fantastic example of technological convergence can be seen through the recent development in ” smart” mobile phones which now perform the roles and functions that used to require numerous separate electronic devices.

I experienced this first hand when I recently upgraded my five year old ancient Nokia handset to a swanky new HTC Wildfire smartphone. This was a slightly reluctant move on my part as I didn’t feel that I needed to have so much technology to hand at all times. However my new phone definitely proved me wrong! Whereas my old phone had just provided basic phone functionality along with a poor quality digital camera, my new smartphone has effectively replaced my MP3 player and camera and is definitely more portable than my laptop computer! I use my phone for the following applications:

  • Portable Music Device
  • Camera
  • Camcorder
  • Internet Browser
  • Gaming Console
  • Organiser/Calendar
  • Social Networking
  • Email
  • Music recorder/basic Digital Audio Workstation!

The number of devices and functions that modern smartphones integrate into one handset really is astounding and with the app market booming and fast developing technology who knows what features will be added to phones in the future. I don’t think they should even be called phones any more as my HTC handset seems to be able to perform everything my personal computer does but on a smaller, more portable device. This integration of functionality can be found across a range of technology based products and services ranging from games consoles which play films music and video games to the internet itself which developed from a simple protocol network to provide users an almost endless range of media which can be shared to reach audiences globally.

Mobile Technology Convergence Characteristics and Number of Users

This type of convergence gives us the convenience of many devices in one product which saves on cost, size and time. The only problem is if your phone (or other convergent device) breaks your left with nothing to use! Another argument against this  is that individual devices which are made for doing a specific task usually perform better at that task. Therefore sacrifices are made in quality of each function the device provides. However, convergence usually prevails over time as the quality of the converged technology develops and the quality of each function improves. Smartphones are definitely here to stay and it is predicted that by 2014 there will be one billion smartphone users worldwide.

For my contribution to the social media class collaborative bibliography I would like to provide a link to the following journal entitled “Predicting the emergence of innovations from technological convergence: Lessons from the twentieth century”. The work features in-depth case studies where industry experts predicted that multiple technologies would converge to create an entirely new product and therefore an entirely new market. It also examines the differences and similarities between the various case studies presented and looks at why some ideas for technological convergence have taken longer to be accepted by the public than others.


Convergence image 1  from http://paddylevy.edublogs.org/files/2010/07/convergence1.jpg

Convergence image 2 from http://lh5.ggpht.com/_YjQRbm0VL9I/S09Gihn7v_I/AAAAAAAAAe8/qjDuy_md8Ok/image10.png?imgmax=800

Smartphone users image from http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/pr-march2010-smartphones

Merriam Webster. (2011) Convergence Definition [Online] Available from:http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/convergence [Accessed: 7th November 2011]

Schnaars, S.  (2008) Predicting the emergence of innovations from technological convergence: Lessons from the twentieth century [Online] May 2008. Available from:http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/convergence [Accessed: 7th November 2011]



The Positives and Negatives of Social Networking


In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of the vast majority of people’s lives and has effectively made the world a smaller place. Sharing information and connecting with the world around us, along with the people within it, has never been easier or more popular with facebook, wikipedia and you-tube all featured in the top 10 most visited sites on the internet. On average, 16% of all users total time spent online is taken up using social media in some form with many users able to access these sites at any time using mobile phones. However, there are both positives and negatives to the ease of communication and information sharing that social media and crowdsourcing gives us.

Collaborative information created through crowdscourcing methods are a very popular way to share information. One of the of the largest collaborative encyclopedias online is Wikipedia which features over 10 million articles. Information gathered and shared in this way follows the old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” and has allowed an unprecedented amount of information to be shared worldwide. Crowdscourcing can be a valuable learning method when integrated into teaching as shown through the social media modules’s collaborative bibliography. However, there are opposing views on crowdsourcing as shown through this BBC news article who feel that sometimes data collected by crowd sourcing can be inaccurate or unreliable. Another potential problem that arises when content is crowdsourced is that the rights to the content is effectively taken from the user and given to to the overall owners of the website.

Social media gives users a feeling of involvement and allows friends and colleagues to keep in touch through sharing photos, events and by providing instant messaging services. After the recent integration of spotify with facebook it is also incredibly easy to share your favourite music with your friends and can also be a fantastic platform for businesses and professionals to promote themselves. One interesting aspect of social media I hadn’t fully realised the potential for is using these platforms to perform project research as shown through the “Sound Around You” project. This has definitely given me some ideas for performing primary research for my MSc dissertation next year! On a larger scale, social media has also helped the world gain first hand news accounts and raise social awareness during world events such as natural disasters.

The Positives and Negatives of Social Media: Fox News Story

The disadvantages of the rise in social media have been well documented in the news recently as seen through the use of these technologies to help organise and plan the recent outbreak of rioting in the UK. There are also issues such as a potential lack of privacy and the platforms being use to aid criminal activities. However, I feel that overall the positives social media provide us with far outweigh the negatives. Any communication network can be used with malicious intent and it is pleasing to see that these technologies are also being used to help indentify criminals and for planning and organising charity events.


Top 5 UK websites usage image from http://www.comscoredatamine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/TimeSpent_UK.png

My Digital Identity


Hey everyone, my name is James and my family home is located in North Wales near Chester. It’s only about an hour’s drive away from Manchester but is a lot more rural and picturesque with plenty of fields and mountains- a very relaxing part of the country to live.

On my travels last summer- chilling at an amazing bar in New York

I’m a self taught musician that has always held a huge passion for both music and technology. From an early age I began working with and building computer systems and learning acoustic and electric guitar. I have an audio engineering background that lead to me to graduating with a first class BSc degree in Music Technology at Staffordshire University. This course was perfect for me as it combined my love for music with the technicalities of audio engineering using computer hardware and software. I really enjoyed my time there meeting some fantastic friends and learning a huge amount in the process. In my spare time I play music with various musicians, perform acoustic gigs and write and record as much music as I can. For more information about my professional background please check out https://jkeyaudio.wordpress.com/aboutme/

Playing a gig with my band in North Wales a couple of years ago

Despite having a long term background in computers and technology I am currently not a huge social media user and barely seem to hold much of a digital identity- the idea of keeping my own online blog and using twitter is definitely a new one for me! I never really saw the need to make a twitter account to inform my friends of what i’m up to in real life preferring instead to wait until I caught up with them in real life and could tell them over a nice cold pint. This is also my first ever blog post and I’m finding it quite strange writing for this format, hopefully I’ll get more used to expressing my thoughts electronically over the course of the social media module.

This cartoon definitely sums up the modern reliance of social media to interact with each other!

My first encounter with social media was using myspace to promote my old rock and roll band by uploading our tracks and informing users of our gigs. These days my primary social media format is facebook which I use mainly for sharing photos and staying in touch with friends. I recently created a soundcloud account to showcase my audio engineering work for clients which I hope to develop, update and incorporate into the project for the social media module. This can be found at http://soundcloud.com/jkey and currently features tracks from various genres of artists I have worked with from acoustic singer songwriters and rock bands to jazz film scores and downtempo electronica.

Despite not having a large amount of interest in twitter and other social media platforms for personal use I would like to develop a professional digital identity in order to showcase my work, learn from other audio engineers, for networking purposes and also for liaising with clients. I also hope to keep this blog updated with information about the projects I am involved with whilst completing my Audio Production MSc and will also be integrating soundcloud tracks into this blog directly when relevant. Thanks for reading!

Cartoon Image from http://tothewire.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/060719_pb_internetcartoon1.jpg