What’s New? What’s Next?

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Things are changing rapidly these days. It seems like new technologies and social networks a popping up all the time. How do we keep up with them? How do we know what’s coming next? How will these changes affect our culture and our lives?

Those are exactly the kind of issues and questions we focused on in the Emerging Media class I took this semester. I had considered myself to be somewhat knowledgeable about social media and new communications technologies, but this course really opened my eyes to how little I actually know!

We covered topics like cloud computing, gaming, mobile technology and the rise in citizen journalism and virtual worlds among others. Because one of the assignments of the class was to create this blog and post once a week about emerging media, I had the opportunity to dig into and write about some of the topics that interest me most like augmented reality, mobile gaming, personal branding and social media.

Additionally, due to the open nature of our final project, I was able to create something I’m quite proud of! If you’ve read any of my last several posts, you’re well aware that for my final project I created a SCVNGR trek for the Urban Ecology Center. I put in a lot of work and I think it turned out very well! (see my next post for more info!).

Perhaps one of the best things about the Emerging Media course has been gaining lots of great resources and inspiration for future research. Here are a couple of examples:

I also got to start up this great blog. I know I’ve got some work to do before calling it a “good” blog, but I’m happy to be here making mistakes and writing about my thoughts.

The book Trust Agents makes it clear how important it is to put your thoughts out there by blogging and commenting on other blogs. It establishes credibility (I like to think of it as kinda like building up a credit history with credit cards) and builds up your personal brand on the web, which has a reach that is exponentially greater than printed materials like business cards. I’ll leave a full summary of the book for someone else to write, but I highly recommend it!

What’s next for this blog?

Creating and maintaining this blog was an assignment for this semester. Now that this semester has come to an end, what will happen to this blog? Will it become a “ghost town” with no signs of life?

Well, I certainly hope not! I intend to continue to post and build up a record of thoughts about emerging media. I may, however, shift or expand the focus. Perhaps I’ll begin writing about some other interests of mine such as music, motion graphics, typography, graphic design, environmentalism, nonprofit management, or film and television. Perhaps I’ll event start “vlogging” or just creating and posting videos. I’m not sure yet, but I do know that I’ll be doing my best to continue posting during my final semester of grad school at Marquette and beyond.

There is a redesign on the horizon as well. I’ve been fiddling around with different themes and settings for the appearance of this blog and haven’t been too happy with anything so far.

Basically, I hope to build this blog into a personally branded, regularly updated hub for my web presence.

Emerging from Emerging Media

With all of the above-mentioned knowledge, skills and experience that I gained from taking Emerging Media this semester, it’s hard to be anything but thrilled with the class! I consider myself to be especially lucky because it may not be offered again for a while (or maybe not ever again). It would be a real shame for future grad students to miss out on this opportunity to examine what’s new and what’s next. It is a topic that is always relevant.

I know that I certainly have a greater understanding of the new media landscape as a result of taking this class and I only hope that I am able to keep up with all of the changes heading our way. Thanks to this class, however, I think I’ll be ready for what’s next!

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