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Connected by media [vision and views]

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1 Author(s)
Dimitrova, N. ; Media Lab., MIT, Cambridge, MA

Advertising campaigns and highly popular government programs have for many years trumpeted the need to get people connected to the Internet. That meant solving the technological and sociological issues involved in providing network access to the population and turning them into regular users. The message echoes today in a slightly muted form. Except in developing parts of the world, getting people connected is no longer a major challenge. The challenge today is to create and support experiences that users continue to value. The recent drop in the overheated valuations of networking-oriented businesses serves as a useful reminder that people don't really care about being connected to the Internet per se. They use the Internet to connect to other people or things. In the case of, connecting to people, a valuable question to ask might be, How can connected applications identify communities, support their activities, and evolve to meet their needs? With respect to things, let's consider the increasingly popular situation in which those things are multimedia content. In particular, let's think about how multimedia content might be the glue that connects, defines, and supports communities. Irrespective of views on intellectual property issues or business models, even a cursory reading of recent events makes it undeniable that the Web is becoming a remarkably effective-if not yet efficient-multimedia content distribution platform. While this may not have been a design goal earlier, it's now a significant driving force in the evolution of network technology, user services, and access devices. Given media content, people, and the Internet, there are three sorts of connectedness pairings to consider: people-to-people; people-to-media; and media-to-media

Published in:

MultiMedia, IEEE  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )