What’s the Hype with New Media? I have been surfing & Googling the word New Media;
New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies in the later part of the 20th century. Most technologies described as "new media" are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial. Some examples may be the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. New media is not television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications.
… Erm … what???
Okay, flip that page … in a nutshell, New Media is reflected by the following:
- Revolutionizing of traditional media
- Nowadays often referenced to communication in the digital world
- Communication is no longer one way
- Information travels much faster than it used to between people – almost always in ‘realtime’
- Everyone can be more expressive & ‘be heard’
- Sharing content becomes universal
So, really … the New Media, as referred to above, isn’t new stuff after all since the 90s, only the intensity of usage has increased and become more universal – almost everyone’s into it. Now when people say New Media, I am quick to jump to thinking Blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Social Bookmarking & Sharing, RSS Feeds, Second Life and the like. It is almost like now, New Media significantly focuses on the network part of the Cyberculture. But this will change with time and what’s new today will not be the same new stuff tomorrow. This is why the hype with New Media will forever remain. There should not be specific activities incorporated in the definition of New Media, as these change. So when you want to brand a medium as New Media, it has to be borne in mind that THAT medium has to continuously evolve and offer to users something new, new, new.
Recently, My1Stop.my, an online shopping mall that was born in 2006 with the concept of Web 2.0 (here’s another hyped term :p), was branded by its Co-Founder (the other one) as the New Media for Entrepreneur, in conjunction with its release of version 2.1. The branding is more than merely a propaganda but carried with it a huge commitment for My1Stop Virtual Shopping Mall to be a dynamic provider of the latest technology in retailing at its best.
How is My1Stop a New Media for entrepreneurs? How is this useful to an entrepreneur? It took me a while to agree to the branding of My1Stop as the New Media for Entrepreneurs, not because of my lack of confidence in My1Stop as a dynamically evolving online marketplace, but more of my dislike towards hyped terms and associating My1Stop with over-exaggerated jargon when all I expect of My1Stop as an online marketplace is to provide the best of what internet can offer to its users. If it means developing applications with the latest hyped technology then fine, so long as it comes with great practicality.
My1Stop exhibits the current trend of New Media from its very root of existence – its shopping mall concept that creates a network of sellers and buyers. My1Stop, like YouTube, Facebook & Wikipedia, is a portal that grows by feeding on users’ content, which in the case of My1Stop, would be the shops and products fashioned by its sellers, and reviews & comments supplied by all sellers’ customers. With all stores gathered under one roof, every seller can benefit from each others’ marketing effort – “your customer is my potential customer”.
With My1Stop v2.1, it further emphasizes its commitment as a New Media with the provision of even more well-integrated marketing, sharing & communicating tools e.g. inviter system, social bookmarking, chat, review system, RSS feed & improved widgets for blog, forum, e-mail, newsreaders, browser & social networking sites, on top of its v1 applications. We are talking about a library of tools for especially the new entrepreneurs to fully utilize the power of the internet for their business. The best thing is, the tools can be easily used in various other websites, which means that one can tap the market from various portals, yet manage the content from a single platform – easier, more organized & synchronized. No more unattended shop branches with outdated stock :)
So while selling online (even the shopping cart system) is not a new idea, the networked marketing concept & viral marketing system in selling online at My1Stop is where New Media comes into picture. The marketing tools that comes with My1Stop e-stores are said to be viral in nature due to its potential in reaching-to-many. The RSS Feed of a store for instance, enables anyone to subscribe & display the store’s recent catalog to the subscriber’s network of friends/visitors/viewers, be it in the subscriber’s blog, Facebook wall or even his/her browser. That’s New Media on the spot – sharing a realtime updated content (of others’) quickly, easily & voluntarily. To an entrepreneur, this spells FREE marketing!
My1Stop too provides customizable widgets that display a store’s catalog on blogs & websites and even attaches an affiliate plan to the idea. This results in many ‘volunteers’ plugging-in My1Stop sellers’ catalogs to their blogs - again, reaching-to-many. Individual websites alone & solo-marketing is a thing of the last decade & an undervaluation of the true strength of the Internet.
Some online biz intellects suggested in the last decade that having your own e-commerce website is everything, when in fact … it is not! My1Stop as a New Media for entrepreneurs is shifting its sellers to realize the potential of networked marketing & that sharing means MORE.
There is no problem of having your own boutique, but if you are not taking advantage of the crowd in a shopping mall as well … then you are missing a lot! 1000 fliers from ‘Your Boutique’ gets you 5 potential customers, but 1000 fliers x 1000 sellers from various shoplots in ‘Our Mall’ get you (& other sellers) 5,000 more potential customers. And if you feel that opening a shoplot in someone else’s mall disturbs your ego & pride, then you’re missing the point … that the fate of your business comes first, then your ego ;) Let the mall owners do their job & manage the mall system for you while you can better focus in your business.
New Media for entrepreneurs will likely take a newer shape in the next decade. The question is whether today’s entrepreneurs are fast at fully utilizing it to their advantage or are entrepreneurs to leave New Media as an over-hyped terminology and remain safe in their ‘comfort-zone’ of “I’m doing alright already!”.