Friday, February 5, 2010

Digital "Datedness"

In chapter 1, Professor Levinson discusses how most of the sources he cites throughout the book are from Web site articles rather than published books. He explains this is "for the simple reason that most current books that seek to address new new media, by whatever name, are out of date- even if published in 2008" (Levinson 8). He goes on to explain that the book "Mousepads, Shoe Leather and Hope: Lessons from the Howard Dean Campign for the Future of Internet Politics," has no listing in its index of Wikipedia, Twitter or Digg and has limited Facebook and MySpace references. Basically, Levinson is addressing the issue of digital datedness, how many of the new new media he discusses simply did not exist as recently as the 2004 democratic nomination for president.

Howard Dean came to speak at Fordham last semester, and I had the opportunity to interview him for the school newspaper. I asked him if he thought his use of online media paved the path for future technology-savvy campaigns like President Obama's. His response was that he did not like taking credit for Obama's successful campaign because, even though they both used media in innovative ways, the platforms used were entirely different. Mr. Dean, like Levinson, explained that Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Wikipedia and rampant text messaging simply were not around during his 2004 campaign and therefore his media driven campaign seemed really dated in comparison with Obama's. He also told me to beware of the fact that traditional campaigning will soon cease to exist, that campaign strategy will be entirely drive by new media in the future.

The documentary "Digital Nation," mirrored both Levinson's and Dean's points, discussing the phenomenon of technology advancing faster than researchers can analyze what it is doing to people, that new social networking sites and online games become dated before these researchers reach any conclusive results about them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this anecdote, it is certainly interesting. From what I've heard, Dean didn't know anything about new media, and just lucked into it because he had to rely on young volunteers for his campaign. btw, please fix typo in first sentence.