Emerging Media – A Sea of Definitions


First let’s define media, according to Meriam Webster, media is “a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression; especially : members of the mass media.” And further reference is made as follows: “the system and organizations of communication through which information is spread to a large number of people”

Now that we have the official definition for media, stop for a minute and and think where we would be if emerging media (not digital media) did not exist.   Oh wait, you can’t do that. Why? Because it has always existed from the beginning of the human race. From the biblical scrolls and Egyptian hieroglyphics to today’s multitude of media sources, media has always been emerging. Now to be clear, the term has only been used to reference “advertising” purposes for about the last 70 years. Although, today emerging media is considered all thing technology related in the past that was not the case. Times have changed.

What immediately comes to mind when you think emerging media. Making the assumption of all things social, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat….the list goes on and on and all of those platforms are very much a part of emerging media. However, emerging media does not just mean social media, according to one definition, “Emerging media is the evolution of utilizing technology to share information in new and innovative ways. Current trends in marketing include an explosion in digital media with the development and expansion of social networks, blogs, forums, instant messaging, mobile marketing, e-mail marketing, rich media and paid and organic search all the way to offline trends in discovering the power of word of mouth marketing (WOM) techniques and strategies that become a part of integrated media and marketing campaigns.” Em Emerging Media However, as you see from the video below from Ball State University, each person has a different viewpoint of how emerging media is defined. The question is can it even be defined if we don’t know what the future holds? Yes, if you think of it not as function but as a process. This statement by Alyssa Gregory of Small Business Bonfire gives a great definition; “Emerging media is the future of marketing; it’s the future of the flow of information.” The key statement here, is “the future flow of information”.

The question now becomes are you staying in sync with the information flow?


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