Aspects of convergence

Samsung P9000

The meaning of word Convergence is quite general. Literally it means confluence or convocation. This word is used to express the confluence between many aspects of digital world. Convergence has been taking place since the digitation of the content begun. In the analogue world the use -for consumers-of every content and every device is derived from producers. In the digital world not only the use of content and devices is converged, but also the role of consumers and producers. The consumer is not any more a passive person who just adjusts setups and pushes buttons. It is a person who gets  involved actively with many parameters of the content, as well he/she creates their own content (they are called prosumers). If analogue material is constant and standing, digital one is flexible and flowing [1]. That is the basic reason convergence is coming into our lives, and also because people need more and more time through ages, and convergence adds up to it.

Smart Home

Smart Home

There are many aspects of converegence. Some of them are described below, taken of Lucy Küng’s Book Strategic Management in the Media [2]. One aspect is the convergence of delivery platforms, that means of the different networks that transmitt content. As all the messages(voice, music, video, data) are in digital format, it is easier for them to be transported in a similar way, making all the different networks (broadcasting, satellite, cable, telephony,) an integrated broadband communication system. Nowadays it can be a realistic prospect, as computers become more powerful, wireless technology is developing,  coaxial and fible optic cables are revealing, digital compression is taking place and bandwith gets broadening.

An other aspect is the convergence of devices, that means that one appliance is able to combine and service multi-information [2]. There are many examples of this kind of products nowadays, as they become more and more popular. Mobile phones combine a lot of functions: telephone, images, video and music player, video and voice recorder, games, radio, television, internet. Computers of course: internet, telepnone, communication, TV, radio, games, library, video and music players, recorders, processing softwares, and many others. We notice that the functions between computers and mobile phones are approaching one the other, that means computers were first made to process information and have internet access and now they are used as well for real time communication, and phones were made for communication and now they are used as well for content processing and web access. Some other examples are Smart Homes: controlling the heating, lighting systems, ventilation, air conditioning, automation from the same user interface and even far away from home, and Cars: many of them offer high quality sound systems, DVD and CD players, LCD displays, mobile chargers, GPS navigation, touchscreen VGA monitors, computers, rearview visible systems, backup cameras. See also Aigo watch (time, games, video, music, headphones, browser, recorder, photos).

There is also the aspect of convergence of industries, where companies from one sector buy other firms,  cooporate with them or start creating their own ones. This happens because of the integrated demands of devices and the touch of  telecommunication, media and audiovisual services. That also implies better quality products and lower costs, as the competition between companies is growing. Examples of this kind are the iPod music industry (computing and music sectors), Facebook, YouTube and MySpace (content and communication sectors)[2].

Convergence is expanding and is quite tempting to us, as it offers so many possibilities for our digital, rush everyday lives. But all that matters to me is not to acquire or use this asset, but to find a good reason to acquire and use it. Especially young children admire all this stuff, but how useful can it be in their free of responsibilities and obligations lives? So, I believe that if we do not treat it with a sensible and reasonable way, it can be really dangerous.

[1] Jenkins, H. (2007), ‘Worship at the Altar of Convergence – a new paradigm for understanding media change‘ , in Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

[2] Küng, L. (2008) Convergence and its Causes in Strategic Management in the Media: Theory and Practice, Theory to Practice, Sage Ltd. ISBN 978-1412903134

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One thought on “Aspects of convergence

  1. Very good and engaging blog Margiori! Very well explained concepts and practices, by the way, your English is great!
    Looking forward to reading more!!!

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