Concept Week 9

Convergence media technology influences vs. convergence media economic influences.

By Austin M.

Convergence can be defined as two or more things joining together for the good of the same cause. Or they can be two things joining forces to achieve the same goal or a grander cause. Convergence media technological influences can be seen all around us. An example could be of your smartphone. It has the capabilities of a phone, Internet, camera, GPS, games, etc. Before, a phone was used only for talking. Convergence media brought the phone, Internet, camera, GPS, games, etc. together into one technology and made the consumers happy. Another example could be seen on the computer. A computer was meant to save data and compute data. I can now call people from my computer via Skype. They came together to give a great technology access to the consumer.  Why would they do this? Why not have many companies and let everybody earn money separately? When companies come together and converge they do not need as many employees, resulting in a lower payroll, and they can cross train their current employees. This example could be seen as convergence media economic influences. The economics for a company or an alliance could be that they cut costs, increase revenue and gain popularity. I have to think because I did not find this in the book that with less requirement for many workers, and assuming a few get cut loose, the economics for the community must take a hit. Fewer jobs are available in that private sector. On the flip side, companies can make a lot of money by introducing new innovative technologies or services to the mass public that simplify our living. Take Google for example. Google compiles a lot of websites together when you search for a certain topic. They make surfing the web an easier task for you and me. Convergence can be a good thing and a bad thing for us. It can be good for new technologies, lower product costs for companies and easier access to goods and services. It can be bad because the loss of jobs, having to cross train employees who may not be willing to converge, or making the public more dependent on technology.

In my example, found on USA Today, Microsoft came out with a new operating software for PCs. What makes this such an interesting and relevant example of convergence media is that they claim they are bringing a tablet software to computers. “Rather than come to market with another tablet operating system—seeing how (Google’s) Android has struggled in that space— they (Microsoft) decided to leverage the high shipping volumes of PCs every year in order to build developer support for a tablet operating system,” he (Michael Gartenburg- Gartner analyst) says. This example shows us how they are converging two technologies to capitalize on the fact that they sell a lot of computers already, so they are going to add tablet software to the bulk of their revenue sells and hopefully give the consumer something they have not had before. That is how I interpreted the quote.

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