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Monday, February 16, 2015

An Accepted Amalgam

I've said it before and I'll say it again, while the strength of HTML may be the hyperlink, the strength of the Internet is that it comprises an accepted amalgam of all media types. When you are watching TV, you have an expectation of moving images and accompanying sound. Should one of those things not be present, you immediately begin troubleshooting your television or assume something is wrong with the signal.

Online, netizens in particular expect a blend of text, audio, video, and photo and revel in this. Memes have overtaken social networks, blogs and podcasts have formed their own networks, and fan fiction sites have spawned bestsellers and blockbuster movies. Few people would read anything on their TV... but they will soon. And it won't even seem unnatural, especially for younger generations. They will read fan fiction, comment on and create memes from it, then buy the book and watch the movie and review them on their social network profile - all on the same device.

It is true that many cable and satellite networks offer radio stations and have for years now. Many people have become accustomed to using their TV to listen to radio stations, thus blending the use of the one device for the function that used to take two. Stereos are now more a luxury than a necessity for music lovers. Still, these stations cannot contain a personal music library the way a computer or even a phone can.

With the advent of home theater set-top systems such as Roku, peoples' TVs, radios, and computers are becoming increasingly inseparable. The set-top boxes have the capacity to be interactive and transmit data much the way a computer does. With social networks stretching into news reporting and search engines forging partnerships with browsers and portals, it shouldn't be long before devices are made as one-size-fits-all meant to be used out of the box. Some computers are already outfitted this way.

© Copyright 2015, The Cyberculturalist

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