Reflections on New Media

It’s the end of the semester and time for me to deliberate on the knowledge and information I have acquired in each of my classes. This is something I usually do each semester, but this time it is especially important because it might be the last. I’m graduating and entering into the ‘real’ world, hopefully into a history/museum profession. Therefore, the lessons of my New Media class are things I will utilize in my future career. While I still have a lot to learn in some aspects, I feel confident that I have a basic understanding of media projects that will come in handy on the job.

First, you have to realize that projects require a lot of care in multiple fields. When you deal with objects from museums and archives, copyright becomes a huge issue. Not having the appropriate rights of an object could kill a project, although there are some ways to go around certain legal issues. You also have to develop a reliable sustainability plan, which includes funding. If you don’t have the money to fully finance a project you might want to reevaluate if it should be pursued. It is not only startup money that has to be accounted for, but multiple revenue streams. A project could encounter issues that require monetary fixes, however, if you used up the available funds this could spell trouble. Having multiple sources of funding will allow for unexpected surprises. Sustainability also requires a devoted team that will keep the project up to date, this is extremely important when it comes to digital projects. Technology is constantly changing, which means that platforms will need maintenance. If a digital project is completed and then never maintained by the team, it could become obsolete.

Another important aspect of digital projects is the power of social media. Understanding how to use social media for a projects promotion could be detrimental to its popularity and use. Everyone is connected online these days, and this allows for individuals to use sources unavailable to them before. It is not only for promotional campaigns that social media plays a role, but for user participation as well.

Having a basic understanding of different online platforms will also be useful when it comes to creating digital media projects. I now have experience with Omeka and WordPress, which are new additions on my resume. I took this course to gain knowledge in a field I have little to no experience in, and I feel confident that I am leaving with enough information that will continue to grow as I use it in a professional setting.


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