Monday, January 15, 2007

I’m probably going to go back and totally re-think this and re-write this later, but here’s my thinking at the moment:

Definitions from the book Remediation:

Remediation – the “anthropotropic” process by which new media technologies improve upon or remedy prior technologies. We define the term differently, using it to mean the formal logic by which new media refashion prior media forms. Along with immediacy and hypermediacy, remediation is one of the three traits of our genealogy of new media.

Immediacy (or transparent immediacy) – A style of visual representation whose goal is to make the viewer to forget the presence of the medium and believe that he is in the presence of the objects of representation.

Hypermediacy – A style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium.


Okay, so clearly the personal website has been remediated by profile-based networking sites such as MySpace and deviantart.

I’m stuggling with the idea of “immediacy” as defined by the book Remediation and the more immediate response you get from MySpace “friending” and messaging as opposed to guestbook connections and e-mails as described in Cheung’s explanation of “cyberfriending” in my last post. This goes beyond simply “visual” representation.
However, I do see this visual immediacy in the MySpace page itself. You don’t have to search for information about anyone on MySpace: it’s all on one page, along with the guestbook-like comments from friends, links to friends’ MySpace profiles. You also have the option to send a message to the user, add user to friends, instant message the user, add user to a group, forward user to friend, add user to favorites, block user, and rank user all in one panel. There is also no HTML coding necessary to create a MySpace page, another aspect of the internet medium that is dropped to make the interface more widely useable and making the profile less like a page on the World Wide Web and more like a representation of self.

MySpace combines many popular elements of the web: blog, guestbook, quick profile (age, sex, religion), pictures, instant messaging, e-mail, “about me” biography section, literal “cyberfriending” capabilities, even music embedded in the profile, all of which is linked right on the front page.


Feel free to tell me if I have this totally wrong, Div 3 Committee members. This could just be me trying to fit something in a mold it doesn’t belong in: it might just be that MySpace is simply revolutionizing the idea of self and expression and has noting to do with the set of terms set forth by Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin.

8 comments:

penny said...

I think you're on the right track w/ your use of Bolter & Grusin's ideas here.

I think the immediacy of myspace (or web 2.0 in general) is certainly about speed & access & instant gratification, but it certainly has something to do with geography as well -- it's almost as if you are teleporting into someone else's life -- and into their minds as well...

The "window" of the web browser does not call attention to itself when surfing, yes? The immediacy of being INSIDE a profile is worth considering... it's similar to the idea of POV in movies... when a character speaks directly to the camera/audience perhaps?

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