Media Scholars Take Note

I have always been fascinated by the future and efforts to try to predict the future. I remember reading Popular Mechanics and Pupular Science as a kid, which trumpeted such things as personal helicopters and pod-like cars that would travel on a rail in the roadway allowing (I remember this picture on the cover) the male driver of the car to lean over and light up the cigarette of his female companion in the passenger seat. As I pursued my graduate studies in tele- and mass communication, I came to believe that media corporations (or, more specifically, their behaviors) were an important variable in how the future would play itself out. Think of the efforts of oil companies in the past to block the development of electric cars if you need an example of how a corporation can influence the adoption and diffusion of new technology.

My advisor at Ohio State, Dr. Joseph Foley, taught a graduate seminar called "Corporations and Communications," or something close to that. I got it. When new media scholars look to the present and future of the media, few include the impact corporate decisions on the future of the media. (RCA developed a doomed stylus-based videodisc player to compete with the Japanese made VCRs.)

With that backdrop in mind, I'm adding another source of information for the future of interactive and other television technologies, Seeking Alpha (consumer electronics), which is "a site used by academics to refer to a stock's performance relative to the market, and by fund managers to refer to 'beating the market'. Every stock picker is therefore 'Seeking Alpha'. Seeking Alpha's goal is to be the best resource on the Internet for opinion and analysis about stocks." Well, I don't know that it is or isn't, but it's another research source we can exploit as we try to envision the future of television.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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