Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Po Po on the Social Media Judo

Imagine if you saw a CSI episode where the detectives were on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the entire episode.  Pretty unusual right?  Well that's actually what's happening at police headquarters all across the nation.  Criminals are people, and in today's society it's pretty hard not to be connected to social media.  It's an addiction!  Criminals and suspects are "checking in", uploading photos, sending Snap Chats that record your location based on your phone's GPS.  They are leaving behind a cookie (yes pun intended) crumb trail for officer to be able to follow them.  Using this information, the police have been able to locate and identify criminals out of hiding (Knell 2013).  Pretty late to the game, police department would have been able to use social media much earlier, but many officer had issues with media literacy (ability to understand and effectively use social media outlets) (Kelly 2012). 

According to Heather Kelly in her article, "Police Embrace Social Media as Crime-Fighting Tool", Facebook was the most popular and easiest tool for officers to use to find criminals, suspects, and evidence.  Facebook which now has approximately 1.59 billion user claims that there is no longer a six degree of separation between people in the world.  The theory of six degrees of separation was a claim by mathematicians that everyone in this world is only within six people away from everyone else.  As it turns out, it is only a 3.74 degrees of separation.  What does this mean?  It means that the world is getting smaller and smaller due to social media.  We as a human society is more interconnected than we could have ever imagined before.  This shows us that the new media markets will continue to shift to social media and advertising heavily on social media.   Ever since police started heavily trafficking social media outlets, there were people worried that some social media outlet would taper off due to privacy violations, but this has yet to happen (Sterbenz 2013).   Just like many new jobs that have been created in the past decade have been Social Media Marketing jobs, there are now many police stations that hire teenager to show the police all the applications and functions of social media creating more jobs that we probably couldn't have imagined 10 years ago. 

Barnes, Susan B.. "A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States." First Monday [Online], 11.9 (2006): n. pag. Web. 25 Jan. 2017

Kelly, Heather. "Police Embrace Social Media as Crime-fighting Tool." CNN. Cable News Network, 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

Knell, Noelle. "Pinterest Helps Police Catch Criminals." Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America's Leaders. Governing, 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

Rose, C. (2011). The security implications of ubiquitous social media. International Journal of Management and Information Systems, 15(1), 35-40. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.tamu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/855808114?accountid=7082

Sterbenz, Christina. "Cops Are Creating Totally Bogus Facebook Profiles Just So They Can Arrest People." Business Insider. Business Insider, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.

Westin, A. F. (2003), Social and Political Dimensions of Privacy. Journal of Social Issues, 59: 431–453.

iPhone Cameras Kill Digital Markets with Single Shot

Apple’s ability to push the limits on their established core competency, the iPhone, has caused a dramatic and noticeable decline in the overall sales of traditional digital cameras.  The new iPhone 7 Plus has been marketed as “the ultimate camera phone,” which features a second camera on the backside, a higher number of megapixels, and several effects that can alter the focus of the camera (Ochs, 2016).  Ultimately, consumers value the iPhone more over digital cameras for its convenience, its simplification of the editing and sharing process, and its satisfying playback features (Bouckley, 2016). Researchers like Pressman are claiming that the benefits accessible with the new iPhone are now outweighing the costs of using an actual digital camera, causing a decline in the market’s sales (Pressman, 2016).  Apple’s creation of the iPhone 7 Plus reflects the idea of technological determinism as this innovative form of media technology has reshaped consumers’ expectations of both a smartphone’s capability and a digital camera’s accessibility.  This new media convergence will satisfy previously established consumer expectations while also reshaping our culture by offering advanced photography features that have never been seen before.  A cycle of advancement will continue and will then follow trends of cultural determinism.  As our culture evolves around current technology like the iPhone 7 Plus, consumers’ newly developed expectations will demand further technological advancements that will breed new products.  Apple has successfully exceeded consumer expectations for both the smartphone and digital camera industries by converging two products; however, if traditional camera manufacturers fail to make a countermove in response to cultural determinism, then sales will only continue to decline. 


Bouckley, Hannah. (2016). Smartphone or camera? Is it still worth buying a compact camera? (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2017, from http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/smartphone-cameras-vs-compacts-is-it-still-worth-buying-a-compact-camera-11363960940202

D. (2016, March 14). Show Your Love Some Love. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x70SCVU1W24

Galarneau, Lisa. (2012). 10 Ways Social Media is Transforming our Culture and World. (2012, February 06). Retrieved January 24, 2017, from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/02/06/10-ways-social-media-is-transforming-our-world/

IPhone 7 Plus - Price, Features & Specs. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2017, from https://www.att.com/cellphones/iphone/iphone-7-plus.html#sku=sku8040334

Ochs, S., & Murray, A. P. (2016). Photo shootout: We tested Portrait mode with an iPhone 7 Plus fashion shoot. Macworld - Digital Edition, 47-54.

Pressman, A., & Marinova, P. (2016). THE IPHONE WON, AND DIGITAL CAMERAS LOST. Fortune, 174(5), 18.

Sintumuang, K. (2012, March 31). Is the iPhone the Only Camera You Need?. Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition. p. D1.

The Bachelor, Internet and TV Consumption

How does media convergence influence new media markets? This was the question of the week that we were asked to focus on during our presentations. I chose to present on the ABC dating game show, The Bachelor. I used this television show as an example to show how consumers now play an active, rather than passive, role in today's new media world. Because of this, media markets such as advertisers, have been introduced into a new platform in which to reach consumers.

My presentation focused on the outlet of social media, and how the Second Screen Theory plays into the way the audience consumes media. Second Screen Theory involves the use of a computing device (commonly a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone) to provide an enhanced viewing experience for content on another device, such as a television. It was found that many audience members for The Bachelor are involved with live tweeting as the show is being aired on TV. This is an example of the Second Screen Theory. Since the audience was actively participating online while watching the show on TV, advertisers realized that they should reach out to consumers on social. Clorox ran a campaign to reach these social users, and their engagement rate doubled from the previous year.

Although this is a brief summary of my findings, it was concluded that media convergence influences new media markets by changing the interaction and connection abilities with consumers. Therefore, advertisers/sponsors are open to many new opportunities that new media provides.


Straubhaar, J. D., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2016). Media now: understanding media, culture, and technology(Ninth ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.

Grant, A. E., & Meadows, J. H. (2012). Communication technology update and fundamentals. Waltham, MA: Focal.

Goyal, S. (2013). Advertising on social media. Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 2(5), 220-223.

T. L. (20`6, March 17). 'The Bachelor': Why do people still watch? Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/16/entertainment/bachelor-why-watch-feat/

Poggi., J. (2015, October 12). Coming Up Rosy: Inside the Business of 'The Bachelor' Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/media/business-bachelor/300852/

Kissell, R. (2016, March 15). Ratings: ‘The Bachelor’ Finale Strong, Notches ABC’s Top Monday in Two Years. Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/ratings-abc-the-bachelor-finale-strong-up-vs-last-year-1201730354/

The Vinyl Revival

The question of the week for my presentation was “how does media convergence influence new media markets?” I chose to do my case study over the revival of vinyl records in popular culture and the effects of this trend on the heavily digital music industry. In 2015, Vinyl Record sales reached a 28 year high, accounting for over $400 million in sales (Morris, 2016). This is more of the market share than popular ad-supported streaming services like youtube, vevo, and other free internet radio sites (Morris, 2016).  The beginning of this phenomenon could be attributed to Record Store Day, a marketing scheme started in 2008 by a small group of independent record stores to bring some interest to their nostalgic niche of the market (Sax, 2016). Since 2008, vinyl sales have enjoyed considerable growth year after year, some years as much as 30% annual growth (Morris, 2016). In fact, the movement grew so quickly that the outdated production methods for this once obsolete media were unable to keep up with demand. Up to 90% of the raw materials used to make these records all came from one source in 2015 (Barron, 2016). Producers faced up to 6 month delays in having their records pressed due to a severe shortage of pressing facilities (Sax, 2016). This is where the media convergence began to affect current markets.

According to an article in the New Yorker, in 2016 two new record pressing machines were introduced to the market, both modern upgrades to the outdated record presses of the 70s (Sax, 2016). The article has this to say about the more advanced of the two machines, Toronto-based company Viryl’s Warm Tone: “The Warm Tone is outfitted with dozens of computerized sensors, which monitor everything from heat and humidity to the specific blend of PVC being used, and allow the pressing process to be calibrated in response to conditions. The best vintage presses can produce a record every thirty to forty seconds; the Warm Tone promises to do so in twenty-five seconds, a significant advantage for a plant that presses tens of thousands of records a day. Viryl also says that the machine’s defect rate is only one per cent” (Sax, 2016). This is a clear example of the convergence of this outdated media on the current new media markets which had all but forgotten the vinyl medium.

Another example can be seen in an article from Adweek magazine, which focuses on how new media brands are capitalizing on this analog medium. The article says, “Figuring out how to create a differentiated product for consumers in a sea of streaming music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music or iTunes has been a point of concentration for everyone associated with vinyl, even labels like Interscope Records, which has built its vinyl marketing efforts aggressively over the last two years, according to Gary Kelly, head of digital and revenue at Interscope. "Streaming and downloads are almost like a commodity to a degree, where everything is the same," says Kelly. "People are searching for that premium experience where they can show they are a superfan, and they can have that artwork sitting in their record collection or dorm room. We're in the digital age, but here we are going back to analog in some respects’” (Monllos, 2016). Kelly even went so far as to say that vinyl marketing has “really become a fundamental part of how we do business” (Monllos, 2016.)

Dela Cerna of Erika Records notes that the rise of vinyl media hasn’t created competition for the digital media industry, despite its rise in popularity. "We don't see it as the digital world versus the analog world—we see the two working well together to keep music alive," she said (Monllos, 2016). The article in Adweek even conjectures “that digital and analog work in harmony is key” to the success of vinyl media (Monllos, 2016).

To prove that digital media has not suffered from this phenomenon, it is worth noting that streaming services have grown 57% over the past year, and now account for 47% of revenues (Friedlander, 2016). Subscription streaming service revenues exceed $1 billion now, and account for 30% of total market revenue (Friedlander, 2016). Permanent downloads have dropped 31% though, a sign that the newest in media technology is pushing the old into obsolescence, even if they are digital (Friedlander, 2016).

In conclusion, the resurgence of vinyl records is a return to analog media in a digital age, and an example of cultural determinism. Despite the constant evolution of media technology, this once obsolete media has made a strong recovery, which counters the idea of technological determinism. However, it has not and will not take over the industry. Digital music continues to grow and evolve, despite the return of vinyl, a fact that supports the ideas of technological determinism. According to an iHeartMedia executive, vinyl “will never take over again as the mainstream platform but it might just find its place as an alternative for people who both want high quality and want to experience music on the format it was originally created on” (Monllos, 2016). I agree fully with this statement, and will conclude with exactly that idea. The vinyl media phenomenon is not one of revolutionary dominance or a countercultural rejection of new media, simply a nostalgic supplement to the sometimes impersonal, intangible music of the digital age.


Barron, L. (2016, March 26). Why Vinyl Has Made a Comeback. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.newsweek.com/why-vinyl-has-made-comeback-323135

Friedlander, J. (2016, September 23). 2016 Mid-Year RIAA Shipment and Revenue Statistics. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from https://www.riaa.com/2016-mid-year-riaa-shipment-and-revenue-statistics/

Monllos, K. (2016, March 7). With Vinyl's Resurgence, Here's How Brands Are Capitalizing on Music's Most Analog Medium. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/vinyls-resurgence-heres-how-brands-are-capitalizing-musics-most-analog-medium-170016

Morris, C. (2016, April 16). Vinyl Record Sales Are At A 28-Year High. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://fortune.com/2016/04/16/vinyl-sales-record-store-day/

Sax, D. (2016, April 14). New Hope for Record Store Day’s Vinyl-Supply Troubles. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/new-hope-for-record-store-days-vinyl-supply-troubles

Monday, January 30, 2017

Welcome COMM 330-Spring 2017!

Howdy Comm 330 and welcome to the class blog!  The main purpose of this blog is to serve as a discussion forum for issues raised during student case study presentations.  After you do your in class presentation you are to do a blog post that summarizes your response to the questions of the week. Your blog response should be based on your research and feedback you received during the question and answer time from the other students and the instructor.  It is important to back up you opinion with evidence from your research, this includes citing sources of facts and quotes used to help illustrate your claims.  Post should be about 200-300 words in length and are due by 5pm on Friday of the week you make your presentation.  I am looking forward to reading your reflections and what you have learned over the course of your research!