I felt it apropos to wrap up this blog in my 10th post, now that my Emerging Media class is just about over. I am a person of closure, so I need to tie it all up neatly more for myself than anyone else. I don’t think that I will keep up this particular blog, though I may figure out a way to revive my secret blog. Close friends of mine know that I have this sad excuse for a blog that is sitting idle. Perhaps I can find a way to bring it to life again!
Three classes into the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program and I have not turned back yet. There is something to be said for education at this age. It is much more meaningful than it was the first time. It could be that this time, I am the one writing the checks. But I think that it is more about getting caught up, current and learning how to learn not just for learning’s sake, but to actually improve myself and make a contribution.
Emerging Media class has taught me many things. First, the very act of going to graduate school online can not be under-appreciated. Professor Rachael Post owns a PR/Communications firm in Pasadena, California. I am at my kitchen counter outside of Cleveland. She teaches. I learn. We converse. Amazing.
I have “friends” in Boston, Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago and Coconut Creek, Florida (wistful sigh, it just snowed here again). I think I have gained more from learning alongside these folks than if I was in a classroom of fellow Clevelanders because everyone brings a different perspective to the party.
I started to think more strategically about new media and the possibilities and pitfalls of it. I am a better user of it and a more educated consumer. I feel more comfortable navigating social media whether using it for work or leisure.
But I think that if I was left with one impression or over-arching thought it would be this. New media might enable us to communicate differently using new tools and channels, to be more spontaneous and to be more interactive more often. But at the heart of it is just plain old communication. And at the heart of that is relationship. Just a need for all of us to know and be known.
The blog, the Tweet, the Facebook wall post are really doing the same thing that a diary or letter, or telegram did in the last century. It may not be something we can collect and put in a box or a time capsule, but the thoughts and emotions are still there. We most certainly can’t hold it, or hand it down to our grandchildren, but I would say that these things do help us to live more fully in the complicated present.
And in the case of yet another devastating world event, it has been interesting to see the role emerging media forms have played in the global information stream. News gathering on the world stage has certainly evolved to a level unimagined by the Cronkites, Murrows and Brinkleys of a bygone era. See real time Tweets from Japan here.
We most certainly can’t turn back now, and most of us wouldn’t want to. So we best learn how to use it and navigate this thing called “emerging media” whether the goal is simply to share photos of our kids, or to stay informed about world events, or to further our own education.
I can’t wait to see what comes next!