Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Do You Want?

What do the following have in common: the receiver in Westley-McLean’s model, Grunig’s excellence theory, the medium in Maletzke’s model, media effects theory and motives in the uses and gratification model? The answer: content.

Content is obviously a crucial component in any model of communication and it becomes even more important for communication online.
  • In Westley-McLean’s model the receiver will increasingly ‘pull’ desired content through online and handheld channels (also see my earlier post: I, Gatekeeper?).
  • To gain mutual understanding in excellence theory, the receiver will only enter into interactive, online dialogue if the content compels them to do so.
  • In Maletzke’s model, the message must be appropriately crafted, designed and delivered effectively for online access and consumption.
  • And meeting the various motives of online consumers (information, advice, insight, news, education, socialization, titillation and so on) means content should be designed for their ‘gratification’.
(On the last point, it struck me that Bookmark analysis (mine include BBC's football , a movie website, Reuters News and a healthfood website) would help our understanding of content use and receivers).

The Internet offers a unique set of characteristics which transcend traditional media constraints such as reach, time, censorship and interactivity. Theory is being rethought. Communication can no longer be thought of as simply ‘push and persuade’. And most importantly, communicators online need to ask, ‘What do you want?’

1 comment:

  1. The characteristics are certainly unique but I wonder about the extent to which those of us doing the demanding have it all our own way? Have you ever scanned your computer using Ad-Aware software? Amazing to see how many hundreds of cookies and other marketing 'probes' are lurking to measure what you are doing. It all seems like a more opaque version of the bar-code/loyalty card mix found in most supermarkets.