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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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21 Skilled Conversation Is a New Medium (Mary Ann Allison)

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CHAPTER 21

Skilled Conversation Is a New Medium

Mary Ann Allison

Very expensive if you don’t have it. Almost free if you do

To use the latest media technology, you don’t need to buy virtual reality goggles or get connected with Wi-Fi. The latest new medium is both old and very new. These technologies are processes, not pieces of equipment, and—like cell phones and computers—some people are better at using them than others. They take skill and sometimes require special training or a little help from your friends.

The newest media technologies are special ways of talking and listening, of meeting and working with others. I call them conversation technologies. And, just like an iPhone is the result of years of innovation, careful design, and user testing, these technologies have been tested with hundreds of thousands of people in many different cultures, businesses, organizations, and homes.

Conversation technologies are easy to learn—usually just a few simple rules—but often difficult to practice when they matter the most. Here are two examples of simple rules:

• We will speak for ourselves and from our own experience (not what we’ve heard from others or read somewhere).

• We will speak from our minds and hearts (not from intellect alone).

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