Welcome to the new semester and the new academic year at BU!

We started this week with an overview of digital media and the course, its aims and assessment.

Here are some of the premises that inform this course and that we’ll use as guiding principles:

  • digital media is continuing grow at a fast pace
  • digital media is a very cluttered space
  • digital media jobs do not always maintain the purity of the degrees you are currently pursuing (knowing how to cross the line between PR, advertising, marketing and politics/political communication will be an asset so learn from one another)

Your assignment this semester, therefore, is an opportunity to work for a real client on a real problem inviting you to use both your critical and analytical skills as well as your creativity to propose to them digital media strategy and campaign.

Details about the assessment are included in the Unit Guide, already shared on myBU. Further details on word count, submission, deadlines, plagiarism and support are also included in the document.

The digital media landscape: not so new, very cluttered and user focused

We spent our second lecture talking about the current digital media landscape reflecting on the recent history of the web and the changes and expectations it brought with it.

As we were starting DCS last year, Google had changed its search algorithm and Instagram had launched the 15 seconds video. Now Instagram has its new lapse feature, Google continues to innovate with its algorithm while also expanding its affiliated services and video is really taking over the web.

(not so) New media

While exploring the some of the major points in the history of social media, more than once we emphasized that platforms that are currently popular have been around for at least ten years. This interactive history of social media from avalaunchmedia is quite insightful.

The new services and platforms emerging are therefore packaging, in many cases, concepts seen before updating them to the behavious, demands and technology available today. For instance, photo services like Photobucket but also Polaroid inspired platforms like Instagram that combined their community features and shareable content with smarphone app technology.

The growth of interest, adoption and penetration of social media reflect similar patterns with the adoption of websites in the 1990s, a new medium at the time perceived to enable companies to control their own messaging while also reaching wider audiences at reduced costs compared to traditional media. As companies, big and small, get more ethustiastic about the new media considering their potential, consumers’ skepticism grows. The examples and inforgraphics in the Prezi will make that difference in vision obvious.

This presents a need for digital media literacy which includes a technical vocabulary, an understanding of technology and how it works as well as the various forms in which (shared, owned, earned, social or highjacked) media content can be created and disseminated.

This also highlights a need to understand strategy, develop and implement it. The Digital Communication Strategies unit will address most of these needs.

We also indicated that at the core of social media lie the elements specific to web 2.0, namely the rich user experience, the perpetual beta, nieche audiences. Of particular relevance here is Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” which highlights the importance of nieche and bespoke audiences and their loyalty and support of online brands and concepts. Moreover, understanding at the centre of social media is the user and its experience is essential, too many companies and organizations online nowadays continuing to use social media as mouthpiece which, in the long term, can be more detrimental than not havaing any social media presence at all. We will revisit these concepts throughout the semester.

Further readings:




About Ana ADI

Professor of Public Relations/Corporate Communications @ http://www.quadriga.eu | Researcher | PR & Social Media Consultant | Fulbrighter

One response »

  1. […] content online is also important. Remember particularly our definition of social media from our second lecture when we stressed that this an environment focused on people, their friends, needs and interests and […]

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