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Empty seats at the Alliance by Camaal Moten

Empty seats at the Alliance by Camaal Moten

(1) How has the Internet and new media changed culture and institutions in general?

As a designer within an arts organization, I see first hand how the Internet and new media are changing culture and institutions. I just had a conversation with the Alliance Theatre’s Corporate Giving Manager about this topic yesterday. He emphasized how our organization is always in need of finding new ways to use technology to reach new audiences, but we often fail. The Internet allows people to have more control over their culture and creates challenges for organizations that don’t encourage interaction between the producer and consumer. Currently, our theatre produces plays but our patrons have little involvement in how they are chosen or produced each season. New media and the Internet created new relationships between producer and consumer. The Alliance theatre’s future success in gaining a new generation of theatergoers is contingent on our ability to engage a younger audience on their terms. If we don’t meet the challenge, we could potentially become an obsolete institution providing plays that people are not interested in seeing. Today, more people are able to get some the same cultural and emotional experiences by participating in online discussions and virtual worlds. The theatre’s purpose is to provide a place where people with diverse backgrounds can come see a play that challenges their perspective and provide a place to discuss their ideas. Today the Internet and Digital Storytelling give patrons the power to do the same thing, but on their terms.

(2) How has the Internet and new media changed education?

The Internet and new media allow people to engage in more learning opportunities based on their interests. Schools are now being met with the challenge of keeping student engaged and convincing them of the relevance of the information being taught. Students are able to use the Internet to learn only what they think is necessary to know. Media producers see people as learner’s more than mere consumers and use transmedia to interact with them on multiple levels.

How do you feel that politics have changed by new media convergence?

Politics will never be the same. Media convergence engaged more people in this year’s election than ever. Today, it’s easier than ever to find out about candidates and discussion issues online. Candidates that engaged their supporters online allowed them to take ownership of their campaign. President Obama campaign did this best, they formed an affinity group of supporters to hold local events, raise money, register voters, and more. Each day you were provided new opportunities to interact with President Obama’s campaign on a national and local level. The reward became seeing how your small contributions added to the collective whole. The convergence of media created a highly engaged audience that can hold their politicians to greater level of accountability.

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2 Comments

    • Meredith Wise
    • Posted February 18, 2009 at 2:12 AM
    • Permalink

    Hey, nice site! Props for including your own photography. I like how your photos have a similar look and feel.

  1. Excellent observations.


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