Why is new media still “new”?

Yaay! A breath of fresh air had finally come to cyberspace. We will actually be doing new things aside emailing and checking out static (a.k.a. boring) websites for information – both of which are the only components of Web 1.0; but it was now time for Web 2.0 or better still ‘New Media’. Web 2.0 is not a replacement for 1.0, as you still send and receive emails right? Well, as for static and/or boring website, the jury is still out on that. Web 2.0 was only an upgrade but just not any upgrade – it was going to be a revolutionary: a ‘new’ way of life on the web.

What is New Media or Web 2.0?

Good question. At least we have to know what it is before answering the question of why it’s still ‘new’. I’d be as simple as possible, when I say New Media is any web tool that allows for near-real-time engagement in an online community-like (network) environment.

So find anything on the web today that have these characteristics and it’s ‘New Media’. Web 1.0 tools: Email and Websites are 1-to-1 or 1-to-Many, while Web 2.0 tools allow for all that Web 1.0 doe, adds Many-to-1, but most importantly the Many-to-Many option. Funny it all started with Google – the search engine, but then it’s now social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., Blogs (self publishing), and Web 2.0 driven website.

How old is New Media?

I am not going to making any build up for this part and just go out to say New Media in the light of Web 2.0 is as old as the Google search engine. Well is there another light to see New Media aside from Web 2.0? Is there a Web 3.0? Well there was only one way to kick off that research. Google.com!

But before I go any further about my findings which actually come up in the last part of this article – don’t you want to know how old the Google search engine is? Well if you do know, then skip the rest of this part, but if you are still reading then you will be interested to know that New Media with respect to the search engine from Google labs was born in September 15, 1997. Yes! It is 14 years old.

The Big Question – Why then is it still ‘new’?

The biggest thing to happen to social networking is Facebook (at least until the time of writing) – take it or leave it. How old is Facebook? Funny how 7 years have gone by and the term ‘new’ is still used, but then with lots of social network still springing up and growing to community of millions of people in weeks, perhaps it’s still new after all.

As for Web 3.0 – I personally don’t see it an upgrade of Web 2.0 but more of relocating activities to cloud; it’s sure been making the news lately. In addition Web 3.0 allows for customized usage for areas such as: governance, education, and business. Ceteris Paribus it’s not a ‘newer’ media, so we still stuck with New Media being Web 2.0 tools. (Click Here for more on Web 3.0)


First published in Information Nigeria


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