o Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
• Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense
Non-linear web browsing
hypertext, clicking on hyperlinks, Apple’s HyperCard
Netscape Navigator
Graphical Internet browsers for average computer users
Mosaic –> Netscape Navigator
1995: Commercial services like AOL – free Internet access to all
Cultural + Economic impact
Eventually Microsoft’s Internet Explorer supplanted Netscape
Graphical User Interface
icons and shit
Metcalfe’s Law
Value of the Internet increases with increase in the number of users
Moore’s Law
o Processing capacity in computer chips has doubled every 18 months since 1960s (Gordon Moore at Intel)
Cookies, spyware & privacy issues
o Strong concerns: Invasion of privacy
o “Electronic footprints”, track everything we do
o Cookies:
• Files left by websites on your hard drive
• Collate information with other websites, without users’ knowledge
o Spyware or adware
• Programs that accompany other forms of downloads (e.g., music files)
• Send user information without their permission or knowledge
• Monitor browsing behaviors and trigger pop-up ads
Creative Commons
Online authors can “opt-in” or “opt-out” of specific copyright protections
Allow for non-commercial use
Net neutrality
o Basic premise of the Internet: Free and open access to all.
o Is Internet access a “public utility” like water, gas, electricity, etc?
• Similar to Title II of the Telecommunications Act
• This would also allow FCC to regulate Internet services more stringently.
• All consumers have same access to the same service
o Goal: To prevent ISPs from blocking or slowing down content
o Broadband companies (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc) fear “government micromanagement” (via FCC). More government regulation could mean —
• Discourage investment
• Halt technological progress and innovation
MUDs and MMOs
Multi user dungeons
Massively multiplayer online
Semantic web
o XML: Meta-language for creating tags -metadata
o Useful for indexing labels (tags) on different types of data
o Tags invisible to humans, but readable by machines
Bulletin Board Systems
email, personal chat
Internet of Things
Ubiquitous computing
Everyday objects connected to one another and being able to communicate with one another
PCs, Internet & Games
o Video Games + Personal Computers – turning point for both technologies
• Commodore 64 – brought gaming into homes
• Computer games: Main reasons why home PC sales increased
o 1980s, ARPANET – forerunner of the Internet
o Start of online role playing games
• Dungeons & Dragons, Zork
o MUDs – Multi-User Dungeons
o MMORPGs – Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
Virtual reality
o Immerse the users in a virtual world
o Head-mounted displays (motion sickness issues)
o Oculus Rift
Augmented reality
o Superimpose game objects on real-world environment
o Second Life meets First Life!?!
Artificial intelligence
o Game continues to change according to opponent’s moves
o Gets progressively difficult
o Virtual characters in the game act as if they are human (not just preprogrammed paths)
o “Voluntary” ratings by the industry
o Self-censorship to avoid outside regulation
• modifications to game play or game environments
• Introduce new characters
• Add new weapons
• Create new settings
Serious games
o Games with positive effects
o Educational Games
• Playing games helps acquire complex skills
• Improve “visual attention” (Barlett et al., 2009)
Casual games
games that involve social media
Effects of games on society
• Are games a threat to society?
• “moral hazard”, bad influence on the youth
• Games of Chess in the 12th century raised similar concerns
• Graphic violence, problem of desensitization
• Death Race 2000
• Mortal Kombat
• Congressional hearings
• 1999: Columbine shooting
• Doom implicated
• Sexual stereotypes and gender inequalities
Agenda Setting
o WHAT / WHICH issues to think about
o Gatekeeping
o Rank ordering of issues
Experimental research
Study media in CONTROLLED laboratory environments that manipulate exposure and content (p. 407).
◦ EX: Bobo doll experiments (Bandura,)
Claims to “causal” relationships
◦ The proposed CAUSAL mechanism behind media effects.
◦ E.g. Violence in video games
DEPENDENT Variable (Y):
◦ The consequences, our outcomes of media exposure
◦ E.g., Aggressive behavior in children and adults
results are STABLE and CONSISTENT
• Weight machine, same weight every time
Actually measure what we are intending
to measure
• e.g., Age measured via year of
High School graduation
Ethnographical research
o “Naturalistic way of looking at the impacts of communication media” (p. 410)
• Participant observation and Interviewing
• Adopts a more holistic approach
o Capture people in their own environment
o Can be difficult to generalize results
o Researchers’ subjective bias needs to be monitored
Uses & Gratifications
Understand audience’s media consumption behavior (Blumler & Katz, 1974)
Based on active audiences view
Users actively seek out media for
◦ New knowledge
◦ Social interaction
◦ Diversion
Different media for different needs
◦ Interpersonal and social needs – Facebook / Twitter
◦ Opinion and Analysis – Newspapers and Magazines
◦ Entertainment – TV and Movies
Our media consumption patterns change constantly, because our gratifications keep changing
Social learning theory
o Focus not on gratifications but on “outcome expectations”
• What is the proposed outcome? Reward? Punishment?
o E.g., The Family Guy, The Simpsons, Law & Order SVU
o Important to Social Learning theory: Observing the experiences of others
o Observational learning & Modeling
• E.g., Bobo doll experiments
Survey research
o Questionnaires to gather large scale data.
o Interested in variable correlation.
• How two (or more) variables are correlated with each other.
• Example: Education level and Internet usage.
o Often used in tandem with an experiment or on its own.
o More generalizable than experiments.
• Larger sample sizes.
o Ambiguous on Cause-Effect relationship.
o More valid: Longitudinal (over-time) essays
Content Analysis
◦ Manifest content (explicit meaning). Example: How many times was the word “gun” used?
◦ Latent content (symbols, gestures). Example: Focused on nonverbal patterns. Themes and patterns that are not explicitly discussed.
Select samples of media and evaluate the content based on an objective set of definitions (CODING SHEET) of words, images and themes.
◦ EX: Family Guy and Sex.
(+): Create detailed profiles and trends over time.
◦ (-): This method cannot speak to media “effects”.
Cultivation Theory
Heavy exposure to media, leads to a world view that is consistent with the world view portrayed by the media
Longitudinal effects – happens over a long time of media exposure
◦ Opposed to one-shot, short-exposure, immediate effects
Functions of PR Practitioners
Publicity or Media Relations
◦ Gaining press coverage
◦ News releases, press conferences, etc
Promotion or selling
◦ Print and audio-visual materials on a product
◦ Exhibits, promotion giveaways
Government relations
◦ Assisting or influencing local and state governments
◦ Problems pertaining to legislation, regulation, etc
Public information
◦ Use of print and audio-visual materials to inform, educate and assist the public
Special events
◦ Plan and manage internal & external events
◦ Ribbon-cutting, ground breaking ceremonies
Employee Relations
◦ Professional practices and policies within organizations
◦ Labor relations, contracts, benefits, etc
– Lobbying
o Working with legislators and Super Political Action Committees (PACs)
• secret-money groups
• special-interest donors
o Cannot give money directly to a candidate, but indirectly via super PACs
o Influence the course of legislative action
Hard sell vs. soft sell
Hard Sell
◦ Facts
◦ ‘Reason why’ ads
Soft Sell
◦ Emotional
◦ Entertainment
◦ Values
Rather than rational
Social media as PR tools
Major tool for PR research and data gathering
◦ What areas do people visit?
◦ What products and services do they buy?
Youtube videos – “Viral” campaign
“Snowball effect”: Sharing with friends and networks, forwarding and creating a buzz
e-WoM: Electronic Word of Mouth
Having an online presence has become mandatory for most businesses
◦ Cost-effective ways to persuade / influence masses