April 25, 2007

convergence#2: individual access

If a user-centered perspective is taken instead of a technology-centered one, it is clear, that there are three or possibly four different scenarios of convergence:

(1) home scenario
(2) car scenario
(3) street scenario
(4) laptop/blackberry scenario (seated, focused, using full keyboard)

For each scenario there are special mixes of media possible - eg., typical for the home scenario is a visually dominated media mix (TV and/or multimedia Web integrating audio (again TV, radio, telephony) and textual visuality (Web, SMS, even TV texts).

The car scenario is typically audio (radio / mobile phone). The street scenarios are a hybrid of visual/text and audio. Whether visual elements (mobile TV) will play a more than complementary role remains to be seen.

Media-using individuals are feeling different in those scenarios, not only because the media-mix is different, but also because they have different roles/identities too: the At Home Being is different from the Nomad Being (in the street, at some airport/hotel) or from the armoured and in fact immobile Car Being. And the radical Nomad using just the phone (which is experienced as a direct extension of the self) is different from the sedentary Nomad equipped with a "tool device" like a laptop or a Blackberry or a PDA.

So, convergence has to be dicussed under at least 2 perspectives: technological convergence of access channels connecting a given terminating point, and experiental convergence of access to the mind. Experiental convergence is far more interesting, not only for the scholars of media studies and web science, but also for marketers of media services and contents.

This is NOT the same as the opposition between wired and wirelss access, although "wireless access experiences" are indeed thending to feel "more personal" and "less technological".

Posted by martin at April 25, 2007 2:35 PM
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