Mapping New Media

The timeline below uses the tool TimeGlider to chronicle the evolution of new media technologies, and to highlight their changing political applications. With this visual representation, we can much more easily observe trends within the new media landscape.

For example, one of the most striking trends observed is the shift in functionality, across all media outlets, after the iPhone was introduced (01/09/2007). The graphics show a sharp and immediate move away from the more basic information production (stars). In its place, we find most outlets embracing more social sharing and mobile capabilities (plus signs and circles). This simple observation leads to a more generalizable and politically relevant trend; the notion that the form and function of political media is, at least in some part, dictated by the technology available. Taking this idea one step further, we can support the idea that media outlets are less likely to vanish as new ones emerge, but instead are likely to adapt their own news package to sync with the leading technology of the moment.

Each item on the timeline is coded according to the media outlet it represents and the functionality of the item presented.

The colors correspond to media outlet:
Blogs = Purple
Facebook = Blue
Twitter = Green
YouTube = Yellow

The symbols indicate functionality:
Information production = Stars
Information sharing = Circles
Multimedia production = Squares
Mobile production = Plus Sign
Political organizing =  Triangles