The term media space refers to a system that uses integrated video, audio and computers to allow people to work together despite the obvious differences in spatial distribution and time (Wellman 1991, p. 203). Described very acutely by Barry Wellman, the concept of media spaces ultimately redefines the conventional methods of communication, as the unforseen potentialities are endless (1991, p. 203).
Personally I see the term media spaces being much more prevalent in the more ‘present’ attitude that the media holds nowadays. Media spaces hold a type of “physical co-presence” (Cronin p. 61) from participating in shared communication practices, which can essentially aid the process of network-building. Therefore from the amount of presence that a person can demand through media interaction and engagement, media spaces can go beyond a physical space.
Even more so, if we look at the explosion of video accessibility and usage, this has enabled a multitude of ways for people to communicate. Most importantly, it is also critical to note that both private and public accessibility is available in various types of video usage. Hence, there is a greater appeal for such diverse applications of videography in terms of how we utilise it in media spaces.
When travelling overseas, using programs like Skype or FaceTime can enable people to connect back home and literally transcend the obvious physical boundaries. As stated by Harrison (2009 p. 302), video-mediated communication nowadays is in the hands of everyday consumers, as opposed to being limited to large corporations and the world of work. Hence, this ‘private’ usage of videography has been beneficial in my own travels overseas in Europe as I was virtually connected with family on a regular basis to keep in touch (and also maintain the sanity of my mum while absent for four weeks). Furthermore the term ‘private’ illustrates the different uses of videography in media spaces, for example, the public platform YouTube allows individuals to have a much larger audience in regards to who views their own video posting. Hence through the integrated use of video, audio and computers, it encourages interaction in a digitalised manner.
Additionally, this can also go beyond personal usage and adopt a functional purpose in a work environment. As evinced, media spaces can be considered primarily conceived of communication infrastructures for work activities (2000 p. 130). Viewing other employees via a video camera from a distant location has become integrated into professional protocol in any respective workforce. Hence it is supportive of encouraging elaborate exchanges between various members despite the physical separation. Therefore the media space can function as motivating an ongoing communication channel to complement work activity.
Through the multitude of ways that we can access and appreciate media spaces, our presence and awareness will forever be ongoing. By participating in activities like videography, the physical connection can transcend itself into a digital interaction that still, connects. Hence, in whatever manner you choose to utilise videography, whether that be private or public, you are successfully redefining conventional methods of communication.
Cronin B, 2006, ‘Annual Review of Information Science and Technology,’ Information Today Inc., USA, p. 61
Harrison S, 2009, ‘Media Space 20+ Years of Mediated Life’, Springer Science & Business Media, London, UK, p. 302
Sloane A, Van Rijn F, 2000, ‘Home Informatics and Telematics: Information, Technology and Society,’ Springer Science & Business Media, New York, USA, p. 130
Wellman B, 1991, ‘Experiences in the Use of a Media Space,’ Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, USA, p. 203