Digital Communications

In the modern age, user-created content has become mainstream; gone are the days of news being consumed purely via television and newspapers. With the ever-increasing popularity of social media sites and with the internet being such a big part of our lives, everyone is able to contribute in many ways using numerous methods.

We sometimes use digital communications without even knowing it- with devices such as mobile phones and tablets that are accessible to us even when on the move.

In a typical day, people use sites like Facebook and Twitter as soon as they wake up in the morning- checking updates and posting items or photos they deem relevant or entertaining to them. Personally, in a morning I use my phone but purely for text messaging. Other outlets at hand to use include the radio and the internet for use at college.In an evening, checking Facebook/Twitter in bursts has become routine. Surrounding these activities include TV, Online gaming, YouTube, and on-demand television.

Even older forms of media, television for example, has embraced the new age of how people communicate and congregate socially- shows from Sky News to The X Factor regularly have personalities Twitter accounts visible on-screen to allow more interaction with the viewer.

It isn’t just how we consume news or talk to one another that has changed because of the Internet age; it is also how we shop. Being able to purchase something with a click of a button has become normality. This trend that is continue to rise with every passing year continues to be a huge factor in our failing High Streets- with many big name companies struggling to compete with their online counterparts.

Smart phones and tablets continue to evolve, giving those access to millions of Apps that have many purposes and functions. Again, depending on the particular App, they can be used to rely, share and inform the consumer from anything from music, the news or quite simply keeping in touch with friends.

‘The Internet Is Down!’

In the event that the Internet were to crash throughout the entire world we’d see just how detrimental that would be; from the short-term frivolous activities we take for granted to the much larger ramifications that would be extremely serious for each and every one of us.

The first things that people would notice would include not being able to use social media and many of the apps and the Internet in general on their phones, computers or devices- and because of this, they would struggle to find out what was happening as most of their communication outlets would have been taken away from them. The old-fashioned forms of sending information to each other would return; letters, phone calls etc.

News networks would have the speed in which they relay news stories reduced dramatically also, no longer having things like Skype, e-mail to incorporate into delivering the news faster to us.

Business and commerce would see a huge effect with the loss of the internet. Markets such as online shopping, online banking, online money lenders would fall. People who work in the digital industry would lose their jobs too; web designers for example would become extinct. The music industry would take a huge hit aswell. YouTube, MySpace, digital downloads would all cease, causing an increase in physical sales of CD’s again.

This could all escalate into riots due to the fact people have lost a commodity they have relied on so much.

On the other hand, a positive from the internet is that people could become healthier and socialize in a more traditional way with lots of people having lots more spare time to enjoy hobbies and the outside instead of looking at a screen all day. Our society would once again be a ‘cash society’- moving away from the virtual realm of fiance. We would all have to rebuild and readjust our lives around the loss of the internet.

QR Codes

QR codes are an evolution of the barcode which stores information that can be accessed through a smartphone. These QR codes are mainly used in marketing to link adverts or webpages that give more special content to the consumer.

Below are examples of QR codes that have specific content which are relevant to me throughout my course:

qrcode-1.18118953

qrcode.18119101

Researching Websites

  • REDBUBBLE

Based in Australia, it is a website for a creative community  which enables them to share and also sell products ranging from T-Shirts, iPhone cases and posters. The website definitely demonstrates Web 2.0 as the users are able to generate content and comment on others work- consumers are also able to interact with the seller. Redbubble is made up of a team of 35 people, with some of those responsible for the design of the website. The website gets in the region of 500,000 hits per day.

  • HALIFAX

Used for online banking- information like interest rates, comparing savings accounts and  credit card information. People using this website would be customers and potential customers. What is good about the site is that has a simple layout and allows banking on the move which makes managing accounts easier. The site isn’t web 2.0 as the content isn’t user generated- it is finance rather than social, although you can get in touch with the bank via Twitter, in store, SignVideo and post. Halifax is part of the Lloyds banking group. I imagine that the website is developed by a separate company, yet when contacted to clarify this, and also its visitor numbers, they were unavailable for comment.

  • MAX PAYNE 3

The purpose of this website is to advertise a product, relaying news, information and video content to gamers and those interested in the title. The website also has something which is called a ‘Social Club’ which is Rockstars’ (The company responsible for making Max Payne 3) equivalent to a social network which connects gamers from around the world and are able to communicate through forums and also play and compete against each other in online competitions, which are examples of it being Web 2.0. It is successful due to the brand and the legacy of the game. Again, it has a simple, strikingly artistic interface that is aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Unable to check the visitor numbers of the website, but the game itself has sold more than 4 million copies since its release in May 2012. Finally, the website is made by the Rockstar team themselves.

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