So after years of panels, face-to-face meetings, video chats, Facebook conversations, instant messaging - you name it- the book is finally out. We have come the place where the divide between "old" media and "new" media, producer and consumer, mobile and stationary, process and product are no longer useful discourses for what is happening in our mediated lives. So we've taken up and interrogated a new term: Polymediation.
No, we did not come up with polymediation. Mirca Madianou and Daniel Miller coined the phrase. They defined polymedia as “an emerging environment of communicative opportunnities that functions as an ‘integrated structure’ within which each individual medium is defined in relational terms in the context of all other media.” Beyond what polymedia can reveal about the role of a medium, we believe that polymediation is a phenomenon that is occurring all around us at all times. Their definition did not satisfy us. So we tried to extend and interrogate it, and in the process wrote a book.
For us polymediation is a vast new entry point for discussions of our age. What is polymediation?
- Polymediation is both the process and product resulting from media producers—who can be everyone and anyone with access—existing within a converged media state.
- Polymediation, as a term, acts as a discursive entry point to allow for the conversation about what is happening at the intersection of media convergence, content creation, gatekeeping, narrowcasting, online identity, social networks, etc.
- Polymediation also acts as a discursive structure, articulated by the historical referentials that we, as media creators/users/consumers, exist in daily.
- Polymediation moves beyond media convergence alone, by examining the simultaneous processes and outcomes of convergence and fragmentation.
- Polymediation provides a floating signifier, providing a point of articulation for our mediated realities to coalesce under and to.
- Polymediation can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective, and an adverb. Through actions the phenomena change leaving us to simultaneously act as producers, audiences, and critics who can describe, react, examine, and assess the implications of ongoing discourses and technological advances.
- We understand there is a relationship between the technological artifacts or tools (smart phone, laptop, etc.), the various sites of mediated communication (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, FaceTime, etc.), and the processes of communication, that help define our relationships with each.
We had a heck of a good time putting this book together and hope you will join us in the conversation.