Context is critical

Every human communication requires at least two participants and a method for transferring meaning, messages, and information between them: participant <—> medium <—> participant.

As new techniques and technologies have emerged over the centuries, each added new facets to its predecessors:

  1. Spoken language.
  2. Written language (added permanence to 1).
  3. Printed material (added distribution to 2).
  4. Photography (added visual realism to 3).
  5. Film production (added visual motion to 4).
  6. Radio broadcast (added sound to 5).
  7. Television broadcast (added immediacy to 6).
  8. Interactive multimedia (added interaction to 7).
  9. Web 2.0 (added coauthoring to 8).
  10. Web 3.0 (will add ubiquity to 9).

An integrated approach

Even though production tools have evolved as each new medium emerged, the process of producing mediated communications has continued to include the following realms:

  • What is the environment within which the communication will occur (context)?
  • Why, and with whom, do you want to communicate (strategy)?
  • By what method shall the participants interact (interface)?
  • What do you want to communicate (content)?
  • How shall the content be prepared and distributed (production)?
  • What systems and tools are required to enable the communication (technology)?

Since online media communication share this meta-process with previous media formats: print, radio, film, and television — while adding interactivity — the evolving online production team builds upon the team structure of previous media.

  • 2003-08, 10/10/2008, 7/11/2011