‘Digital’ surrounds us – to the extent that it we no longer know what to describe as digital and what not. What is the difference? And when is it appropriate to describe technology as ‘digital’? Or telecommunications? Or marketing? Or the process of your toddler at home tapping on plastic piano keys? If living in, communicating for and doing business with a digital world has become the norm, how do we best take advantage of the opportunity that digital media presents to us?
But let’s take a step back, and look at the impact that digital media has had on our business, communications and personal worlds. Born from the dots and dashes codes of electrical telegraphy, then developed into the transistor and later the computer, binary code has allowed us to transmit and reproduce information quickly, over vast distances, and without deterioration of quality.
Since the development of the Internet, the transfer of data for all kinds of applications has had a huge influence on our commercial, social and personal activities. Research from the Computing Productivity Report (Brynjolfsson & Hitt) indicates that “digital technologies have significantly increased the productivity and performance of businesses”. On a personal level Yvonne Wong in her book Sovereign Finance and the Poverty of Nations suggests that “by enabling greater interconnectedness, easier communication, and the exposure of information that in the past could have more easily been suppressed, society demands a whole new level of freedom of speech”.
And as digital technology continues to expand into mobile telecommunications, interactive media and screen based communications, new entrepreneurial and employment opportunities have risen for those able to devise entrepreneurial concepts, generate content and leverage projects for digital media.
But when the whole area of digital media seems so broad, where do you start to get a handle on it all? The answer lies in the combination of:
- developing broad-reaching knowledge about information and communication technologies;
- learning to think outside of the box to generate ideas for digital media projects for digital applications that may not even exist yet;
- and managing digital media projects in any one or more area of specialist technology – whether that be word, screen, mobile, interactive, marketing or data focused.
The digital analytics firm comScore recently reported that “time spent with digital media has grown exponentially, increasing 49 percent from 2013… and mobile consumption has increased by 90 percent over the last two years”.
“In the future, every business will need to have a person who can create digital content,” says Chantal Abouchar, Founder and CEO of Australia’s first Media Accelerator THE STUDIO as she took part in Macleay College’s series of industry advisory panel consultancies in order to develop the new Diploma and Bachelor of Digital Media courses.
Macleay College’s new Bachelor and Diploma courses in Digital Media combine conceptual development skills and strategic thinking with management and digital production skills in DIGITAL VIDEO, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS, INTERACTIVE DESIGN and DIGITAL MARKETING and an ability to adapt to changes in industry and technologies that are bound to come.
Ian Thomson is Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty for Macleay College’s campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.