In the past two months, Iâ€™ve heard a fair bit of buzzing along the lines of â€œwhen are media no longer emerging, but emerged?â€Â Or â€œis xyz technology really â€˜newâ€™?â€Â And to all those asking this question, I have only one thing to say: Youâ€™re right.
In many cases, the things we call emerging media are long standing institutions.Â Interactive TV has been around in some form or another longer than I have.Â I donâ€™t refer to myself as an emerging human, so why should we talk about Interactive TV as emerging media?Â Really, weâ€™re just talking about evolving media.
Considering this idea further has some interesting connotations.Â If â€œemerging mediaâ€ is actually just â€œevolving media,â€ then it stands to reason that there is no use in the differentiation of â€œtraditionalâ€ when discussing media.
Continuing on the logic train, one must wonder â€“ if what we call â€œemerging mediaâ€ is just the evolving nature of what we call â€œtraditional media,â€ then â€œtraditional marketersâ€ that donâ€™t keep up with the newest trends and behavior are, in a word, remiss.
But that is an unfair accusation. It is ludicrous to expect â€œtraditionalâ€ marketers to be experts on â€œemergingâ€ media.Â The two worlds are vastly different, requiring extremely separate approaches.Â Where one is institutionalized, the other is in constant chaos and redefinition.Â Where one can focus in on efficiency, the other has to first address viability.Â Each requires entirely different skill sets.Â As â€œemergingâ€ becomes institutionalized, it then naturally fits â€œtraditionalâ€ skills and workflows.Â But while a medium resembles the Wild West, itâ€™d be ridiculous to approach with a â€œtraditionalâ€ mindset.
The â€œevolvingâ€ concept breaks down further when considering the trend of consolidation.Â If online video is an evolutionary arm of television, what about mobile video?Â Is that an evolution of mobile, or of television?Â And while mobile may be an evolution of the telephone, itâ€™s come a long way from the rotary.
So whatever one wants to call it, there is a need to identify â€œemergingâ€ as separate from â€œtraditional.â€Â â€œEmerging Mediaâ€ might not be the best term, but it is one that weâ€™re used to, and itâ€™s much less of a mouthful than â€œevolving strains of established media institutions which continue to exist in a mercurial state.â€Â When a better term comes along, Iâ€™ll adapt.Â But until then, I plan on continuing to use â€œemerging media,â€ and suggest others do as well.