A media product could be defined as a practice that is used for the achievement of different purposes. This means that a media product can be recurrently learned through experience and from others as they engage in its different uses. According to Albarran, Chan-Olmsted & Wirth (2005, p 102), a media product is also a practice in the sense that it can be changed into a routine and a key social reference point for individuals. There are many examples of media products that are utilized all over the globe for the achievement of different purposes. Some examples of media products include the television practice, which individuals learn from their childhood days. Another key example is the web that is utilized by different individuals for different purposes. Additionally, magazines and newspapers are key media products that could be used by individuals for further references about particular issues in society. These media products have continued to evolve with the continued changes in the world of technology. Albarran (2009, p 75) affirms that technology has been instrumental in shaping media products in order to ensure that they fulfill the current and emerging needs of individuals around the globe. In regards to the changes in technology, media houses and professionals in the media industry have engaged in a series of innovations in order to make their products as appealing as possible. This is in line with the belief that people would always select only those products that would satisfy their needs according to their needs. Media products should meet the necessary features such as accuracy, speed, convenience, quantitative data, and qualitative data in order to be embraced immediately by individuals. Therefore, inventors and innovators must keep in touch with the continued changes in media practice in order to understand what individuals need in society.
This essay will utilize the web practice because it is one of the key media products that are used by individuals all over the globe for the performance of different functions. Chan-Olmsted (2005, p 98) asserts that the web practice is spreading all over the globe at a faster rate as technology strengthens. People are able to access the internet using their internet-enabled mobile phone, computers, tabs, and laptops. The web practice is popular with the youth in society. This is due to the fact that they are still energetic and enthusiastic to access vital information faster as they perform different functions. Middle aged individuals are also popular with the utilization of the web practice as most of them are in their active stages of their jobs. The web practice is less familiar among the old-aged individuals because most of them would have retired and weak hence unable to stay on the web and perform different functions.
People use the media practice for different purposes such as education, accessing news, job performance and even socializing with others over the internet. Different gender groups and age-groups use the web for purposes they deem would adequately satisfy their needs. More so, different ethnic groups such as whites and blacks have different interpretations of the web practice (Hoynes & Croteau 2002). Statistics indicate that web usage is more popular among the whites compared to the black population. This essay will also discuss different theories of media products such as the contemporary theory and feminist media theory.
This essay explicates different aspects relating to the web as a significant media product used for different purposes for individuals around the globe.
According to Hoynes & Croteau (2005, p 110) the web practice varies in popularity among individuals of different ages, gender, level of education, and urban social groups. It is vital to determine the popularity of this product in order to put in place other measures that could be used to improve its spread and utilization all over the globe.
It is significant to note that the web practice is popular among the youthful population. Statistics indicate that approximately 90% of individuals aged 15-35 years utilize the internet in their daily lives as they perform different activities in their lives (Khosrowpour 2004). Middle-aged individuals come second in the popularity rank. A significant number of middle-aged individuals are popular users of this product because of the fact that they are in the active stages of their careers. Thus, they are more experienced with media practice and access it for key information relating to working operations and new trends in the working environment. The web practice is less popular among old individuals, those above 70 years. This is because most of them have retired and prefer keeping off active tasks. Most of them are also weak and cannot stay on the internet searching different information.
The popularity of web practice differs between male and female populations in society. The web practice is more popular with the male gender compared to the female gender. Statistics indicate that about 78% of the male gender are active users of the internet in society. This is because of their enthusiasm and the need to maintain their ego in society. They are always eager to understand and utilize newer technologies before the female gender. The female gender’s popularity of the web practice is about 75% indicating that they are closing in the gender gap. The utilization of the web practice is increasing at a faster rate between both genders because of increased access to education and other technological aspects. Individuals are also going an extra mile to seek other sources of information instead of relying on television news and newspaper news.
Education plays an instrumental role in exposing individuals to technology. It enables individuals to determine the best means of carrying out different operations in society. More so, education motivates individuals to seek newer opportunities in society. Therefore, individuals with the highest level of education are more familiar with the web practices. Most of them utilize the internet for education and research and new purposes. They also perceive it as a quicker way of accessing huge amounts of information that could not be derived from any other place. Küng, Picard & Towse (2008, p 79) observes that individuals who possess middle levels of education have moderate understanding of the web practice. This is because of the moderate exposure that they get in relation to web services and advantages. Web practice popularity is lower among individuals with lower levels of education because of the limited knowledge that they have in the utilization of this product. They also get limited exposure hence utilize web practices sparingly in the performance of their activities. The web practice is not popular among uneducated individuals. Individuals without education do not understand what the web practice entails and do not have the skills to use the product. This means that the product is not popular among such individuals as they do not utilize it.
Urban Social Group
Urban centers are associated with emerging technologies and trends all over the globe. More so, they are associated with individuals who are enlightened and motivated towards prosperity in life. Individuals in the urban centers always have easier access to technological devices such as computers hence easily access information on the internet. Nicholas & Price (1998, p 107) reiterates that web practice is popular among many urban dwellers compared to rural dwellers who do not have easier access to computers and even internet-enabled mobile phones. Additionally, individuals in urban centers are always in continuous search of better means of accessing information that is accurate and timely compared to most rural individuals who would prefer to depend on other media products such as the television. Therefore, urban residents are in a better position to access information compared to those individuals living in rural areas. The higher accessibility to the web by urban residents is boosted by higher educational levels in these areas compared to those in rural areas. The web product could be spread among the rural population through continued education and enlightenment of individuals in these areas. People in rural areas could also be taught on the significant means of using the internet for different purposes in order to boost web practice popularity.
The web product is utilized by individuals for different purposes such as educational purposes, work purposes, socializing, advertising, and even research in different field.
There is no immense gender difference in the use of the web. Both the male and the female gender use the web for different purposes such as educational and research. Both genders have the urge to utilize the web for accessing news on different issues that surround their environment. This plays a significant role in giving them knowledge about the happenings of the world that they live in. Both males and females use the web for educational purposes such as searching vital information relating to the different assignments that are given. This is facilitated by the belief that the web has a wide variety of information that facilitates information. On the other hand, the female gender is deemed to use the web more than the male gender in matters of social networking. Picard (2005, p 101) asserts that women are more active in the usage of the web compared to the male gender because of the fact they have the capacity to express all their feelings unlike the male gender which is known for withholding some key feelings.
Youthful individuals in society would always utilize the web for social relationships and educational purposes. Notably, most youthful individuals utilize the web for practices such as interacting with others on facebook and twitter. They also research on vital areas of education and the completion of their assignments. This usage is enhanced by the belief that individuals need to stay connected at each moment. Most individuals in the middle age use the internet for purposes of work and research in different fields. This is because most these individuals are focused on their jobs and dedicate most of their web usage to improving the quality of their work in their various fields. These individuals also use the web for seeking clarification on different pieces of information which could be vital for the understanding of how affairs are run in society. Old-aged individuals, especially those above the age of 70 are not common users of the web because of the fact that they experience reduced activities in their lives. Therefore, the utilization of web products among old individuals is always aimed at satisfying their need to access vital news and other happenings in society.
Web product utilization differs among different classes in society. It is vital to note that the society is divided into upper class individuals, middle class individuals, and lower class individuals. These groups of individuals put the web product to different uses as they pursue different ambitions in society. High class individuals would mostly use the web product in accessing information relating to business opportunities and business dealings. This is because the group is composed of many business individuals who are opportunity-seekers. More so, individuals in the upper class utilize the web product in accessing various pieces of information and news which could play an instrumental role in driving their activities. Middle-class individuals use the web product for the performance of different jobs and access to news. They consider news as a significant source that helps in driving them as they pursue different courses of action in society. The use of the web product is commonly spread among middle-class individuals because of their large numbers. Lower-class individuals are not common users of the web product. This is because most of them have little or no knowledge about the web product. In fact, most of them have lower levels of education hence do not understand how to use the web and its different applications.
Various ethnic groups use the web product for different purposes. Zotto & Kranenburg (2008, p 99) affirms that whites are common users of the web product and use it for seeking social connections, education, and news. Ethnically, the white population is using the web product rampantly because of the higher rate at which most of them can access technological devices. The Black population is also common for use of the web product. Most individuals from this category utilize the web for purposes of news, socializing, and research. The use of the web is picking up at the fastest rate possible all over the globe due to the emerging trends in the world of technology.
Interpretations of the Web as a Media Product
Different social groups interpret the Web differently. This particularly concerns what the groups use the Web for as, various uses of the Web as a media product abound. Various uses of the Web abound such as content sharing, networking, marketing, and entertainment. Thus, various categories can be employed in explication of the web interpretations that abound. These include culture, whites, and the middle-class conservatives.
The contemporary culture significantly varies from the ancient culture. Currently, many people treasure new developments and want to identify with it as soon as it gets into the market. This also applies with the web. Biagi (2011, p 78) asserts that ever since its discovery in the early 1990s, many people adopted it, and it has currently become widespread making the world to become like a small village. This is blamed on the many things that the web has facilitated such as communication, entertainment, sharing of information, and even marketing. However, it should be noted that the web is most popular amongst the urban culture. Many people in urban set up believe the use of the web makes them appear as up to date with the current trends. The urban culture is also more popular with the web because of the language that is employed. Many sites on the web employ the use of slang, which is popular in urban areas than amongst the rural population. Notably, urban areas comprise of people under different age groups. These range from the young, middle age, and the old. The web is more popular amongst the young and middle age population because it was discovered recently, which availed the population enough time to become acquainted with it. The old in urban areas are not more familiar with the web because they were acculturated in an environment that did not have the web. As such, the modern culture interprets the web as a way of life because many people use it for entertainment and socializing purposes.
The whites as a social group can be used in ascertaining the interpretation of the web. A 2004 report by the Vanderbilt University Study indicated that most students who lacked computers went online many times than those had PCs. However, this is narrowed to the white student population only. In comparing the number of white and black students who owned computers at that time, the report concluded that more than 70 percent of white students owned computers as compared to the 30 percent represented by the black students. This was particularly blamed on the income differences between the two groups (Castendyk, Dommering & Scheuer, 2008). In addition, educational opportunities available for black students were limited as compared to those available to whites. Thus, this contributes to a difference in the way these two social groups interpret the web. The indication that white students have higher chances of accessing the net proves their interpretation of the web as they become more acculturated to it and end up working in firms entail the use of the internet. On the other hand, African Americans end up interpreting the web as not a necessity for their future careers, and this explains why most of them do equal their counterparts in terms of income.
The middle-class conservatives represent a group of people that have the potential to own computers or access the internet, but have a negative perception regarding the web. According to research, the middle-class conservatives believe that the web has brought in new ways that have corrupted the way people should conduct their normal life activities. According to the middle-class conservatives, people used to interact on a face-to-face basis in the past days and they are of the opinion that this should be promoted in the contemporary world because it improves the bonds between people. In addition, the middle-class conservatives believe that the web has resulted to the erosion of morals as many things such as pornography and vile language are conveyed via the web (Strattford & Faber, 2005). Thus, the middle-class conservatives have distance themselves from the use of the web through avoiding the purchase of computers, which are essential for using the web.
The social group formed by businessmen employs the use of web for purposes of marketing. The contemporary world is competitive in terms of business, which requires that businessmen adapt to the latest ways of marketing. Dines & Humez (2002, p 87) assert that the web forms one of the contemporary methods of buying and selling. Thus, many businessmen are more familiar with the web as it facilitates them to create online groups and websites, which their customers identify with so that they can be informed in case of new developments in the market. Besides advertising, businessmen use the web for making contacts with their fellow sellers in the marketing chains. The web facilitates businessmen to purchase goods online or make orders for certain products.
Theories of Mass Communication
Various theories of mass communication abound that try to explain the variable popularity, uses, and interpretations of the web among different social groups. Contemporary audience theory plays a significant factor in this context. According to Gizzi, Gladstone-Sovell & Wilkerson (2007, p 67), various models abound under the contemporary audience theory that help explicate why the web is popular and unpopular among different social groups, why people use it, and how it is interpreted. The models under contemporary audience theory include the effects model/ hypodermic model, uses and gratification model, and the hypodermic needle model. All these models have traditions under them, which aid in the explication of the uses of the web and how it is interpreted in different social groups.
Hypodermic Model/ Effects
This model stresses the effects of the mass media on the people that utilize it. This model asserts that the mass media has a significant influence on individuals that utilize it. Notably, the web and film have more influence on individuals all over the globe. In line with this theory, it is essential to note that totalitarian states believe in having power over the mass media (Kellerman, 2011). They always aim at ensuring that they take full control of mass media activities as this would favor them. For instance, Fascism utilized media power in spreading propaganda and ensuring that it was favored all over by citizens. Considering what this model explicates, we can derive variable popularity, uses, and interpretations of the web among different social groups. Firstly, it would be vital to note that the web is popular among tyrants because they employ it in spreading propaganda against the government. More it is popular amongst the elite because they utilize it in spreading information regarding what is happening in their country, which can be in favor or against the government’s policies. Leiss, Kline & Jhally (1990, p 56) assert that this is why governments utilized the mass media for controlling people. Governments control the web with the aim of filtering the content that can be visible to people. For example, in some Middle East countries, the web is not fully developed because their governments believe that it aids in the spread of foreign culture, which is undesirable amongst them.
Uses and Gratifications Model
This model emerges as one of the recent models under contemporary audience theory. According to the gratifications model, a high number of active audience exists, which makes the use of the mass media for various reasons. This model asserts that individuals use the mass media include entertainment, identification, and for information purposes. This model varies from the hypodermic model because it assumes the person using the media has power over it because the person can decide the type of content that one can read or watch. This model has some connections with Maslow’s’ hierarchy of needs model. From this model, we can observe that the web is popular among youths because they want to identify with technology. Statistics indicate that many youths have subscribed to social networks on the as they consider it a vital trend. In most instance, the youth use the web for social purposes. Stanley (2009, p 45) affirms that the web is also popular among the high class because they deem it as a lifestyle. These two classes interpret the web as a need because it helps them to keep in touch with their friends and caters for their entertainment needs. Thus, the web continues to grow into a basic need as many youths and high class individuals use it.
This tradition considers the mass media as a magic bullet that has an effect on its audience. Research asserts that the makers of the media messages target their audience to respond the way they want them to. Thus, from this approach, it can be deducted that the web is popular among the youth and urban elites because it carries the message that they require. The message carried by the web varies from blogs, music videos, social networks, and information. Youths are more familiar with blog sites, social networks, and the sites, which facilitate listening and viewing of music videos (Merskin, 2010). This also abounds as the use of the web among these groups. In addition, the web is used for passing of information regarding different issues. The web is particularly popular amongst students because they use it for research. Thus, these groups interpret the web as an essential tool in achieving their particular needs, which include entertainment, research, and socialization.
Diffusion of Innovations Theory
Despite this theory not ranking amongst the contemporary audience theories, it is also significant in explicating the variable popularity, uses, and interpretations of the web among different social groups. Ritzer (2011, p 56) affirms that this theory of mass communication entails the transfer of a new idea through a certain channel. This theory also involves how people adopt a new technology and how the technology affects their minds. Therefore, from the definition of the above theory, it can be concluded that the web is popular among the urban elite because they value channels of communication, which enhance faster communication. Research asserts that the web plays a crucial function as a channel of communication. The web is also popular amongst the urban elite because they like adopting new technology as soon as it gets into the market. The urban elite use the web for various purposes according to these theory although the significant purpose been the spread of information
In conclusion, a media product could be defined as a practice that is used for the achievement of different purposes. This means that a media product can be recurrently learned through experience and from others as they engage in its different uses. This essay examined the web practice as a media product because of its wide usage in the globe. Age can be utilized in determining the variable popularity of the web. It is significant to note that the web practice is popular among the youthful population. Statistics indicate that approximately 90% of individuals aged 15-35 years utilize the internet in their daily lives as they perform different activities in their lives (Rossiter, Danar, 1998). Education can also be utilized in determining the variable popularity of the web. Education plays an instrumental role in exposing individuals to technology. It enables individuals to determine the best means of carrying out different operations in society. More so, education motivates individuals to seek newer opportunities in society. On the other hand, gender, age, class, and ethnicity are used in determining the uses of the web. Regarding interpretations of the web, culture, whites, middle class conservatives, and businessmen form the social groups that can be used in determining its interpretations. Contemporary audience theories are also essential in explicating the variable popularity, uses, and interpretations of the web. Various models arise under the contemporary audience theory that help explicate why the web is popular and unpopular among different social groups, why people use it, and how it is interpreted. The models under contemporary audience theory include the effects model/ hypodermic model, uses and gratification model, and the hypodermic needle model. Schneider (2010, p 68) asserts that hypodermic/ effects model stresses the effects of the mass media on the people that utilize it. This model asserts that the mass media has a lot of influence on the people that use it and among the media that have a lot of influence on people include film and the web. When discussing this model, it is essential to note that totalitarian states and dictatorships believe in having power over the mass media. Uses and gratifications model abounds as one of the recent models under contemporary audience theory. This model suggests that a high number of active audience exists, which makes the use of the mass media for various reasons. Amongst the reasons outlined that people use mass media include entertainment, identification, and for information purposes. Diffusions of innovations theory is also instrumental in explaining the variable popularity, uses, and interpretations of the web amongst different social groups.