When I tell people that I help companies understand new media, and how to use it to their benefit, most people look at me and say - "by new media you mean the internet, right..? what else is there??!".
In the beginning, I used to get stumped by the ignorance behind this assumption. I used to be apalled by the fact that even seasoned communication professionals in advertising and public relations think:
a) there's nothing more to new age communication than the internet, and
b) that there's nothing more to the internet than websites, banner ads and email!
Well, yes there is more, and I will attempt to briefly summarise what I know and share as part of my day job.
In my mind "New Media" is anything that can be used as a tool for communication with new age consumers and audiences. It just so happens that the internet occupies a huge part of their lives, followed by the omnipresent and omnipotent mobile phone... that's new media too!
In fact as much as we use tools born out of new technologies, I would classify innovations in conventional media as new media too. As long as they acquire the dynamism that can match the unpredictable free-flowing behavioral and consumption patterns of our audiences today.
So portable billboards that follow their audiences, rejuvinated conventional radio channels, cell broadcasts, multimedia streaming by bluetooth to handheld devices... they all are new media.
And when it comes to the internet, the usual suspects like websites, chat rooms and blogs aside, you should look at social networking groups, messenger services, wikis, and community generated hang outs - like youtube. The list is endless and evolving even as you read this post.
The amazing thing about new media, is also that it's a great internal communication tool. For example, did you know:
1. That you can make real time, online Powerpoint presentations with sound and you speaking to anyone, anywhere in the world, using MSN Messenger... which is actually yours to download for free!
2. That you can make audio visuals that look and sound as good as a slickly produced film, using MS Powerpoint?
3. That you needn't invest in any expensive Intranets and/or ERP systems, if you simply change mindsets and create of culture checking and responding to email promptly?
I'm just skimming the surface here... really! You won't believe it, but most of us use our PCs (or a Mac) like we use our minds - at just about 3% of their actual potential or capacity! And to maximise the potential of your PC, you don't need any fancy computer science degrees. You just need the desire to learn, supported by a whole lot of curiosity.
Think about it. Explore that PC on your desktop or lap. But if that's too much to ask, you know who to call!