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Over the past few decades, there has been observed great advancement in technology. It has affected the world of computing, mobile communication and the internet services creating a lot of impact on the social and economic lives. Convergence is the interconnection of computing devices, emergent information technologies, communication networks under the platform of internet protocol (Raja & Singh, 2010). The internet evolution has thus turned out to be an inseparable assistant to people in their day to day activities. Currently, internet has become a trusted source of information to people no matter their location in the world provided they have access to it (ITU, 2004).
This innovation has been propelled by the great advancement in technology such that people have efficient access to information in real time. Technological innovation has brought a lot of transformation in the information and communication sector. In the present age, news papers, television and radio among other methods of communication can be accessed online. With the use of digital technologies in communication systems, potential in the digital media space has become unlimited.
Advertising plays a very pivotal role in marketing of goods and services. It aims at generating awareness of a certain product or service so as to motivate customers to buy. Advertising does not make purchase decisions for a customer but instead, it encourages sales through building aspiration. This industry has been dominated by conventional methods of advertising such as use of newspapers, television and radio broadcasting, magazines, billboards among others. However with the onset of internet in the past few decades, focus has shifted to internet marketing, which still holds a promising future (Hotchkiss, 2004). Convergence in advertising is a term that refers to the employment of all conventionally used methods of advertising and integrating them under internet platform (Hotchkiss, 2004). This implies that use of internet has incorporated all the conventional methods of advertising in the converged world.
The shift to convergence in advertising was facilitated by various factors as highlighted below. Discovery of innovative technologies especially on computing devices that allows people to access the internet at anytime and in any place of the world (Sreberny, Mohammadi, & Downing, 1995). Currently, through the use smart phones and other hand held gadgets, people can access virtually every bit of information that is happening in the world in real time (Springer, 2009). Also, the need for mobility and convenience in access of information has contributed to shift from traditional methods of advertising to current and innovative ones. For instance, television advertising requires people to remain attached to the place where the screen is located, thereby limiting the viewer’s movement. In addition, television advertising involves shifting time and skipping of adverts in order to accommodate other information that requires to be broadcast over the same channel (Hotchkiss, 2004).
Currently, music industry provides a good example of the limitless potential that is contained in online advertising (Springer, 2009). Distribution of music is done digitally and therefore, within seconds after launch of a song, a customer can access it and request it through the internet. It is a method that cuts distribution costs and other unrelated costs incurred due to factoring out middlemen and therefore, it is much more effective (Rosen, Rosen, & Rosen, 2009).
All the above reasons coupled with increased global broadband connectivity have fostered the change to online advertising. It is worth noting that with internet evolution, focus has been shifted from interruptive advertising using conventional methods to information searching from the consumer end(Rosen, Rosen, & Rosen, 2009). Therefore, roles have been reversed in this new approach such that end users will be required to search for information at their convenience rather than the way it is conventionally done. Through the use of traditional methods, a consumer is always positioned at the receiving end in transmission of information whereas in the new approach, customers search for information regarding a certain product or service.
In this category, convergence is a concept that refers to the way computing and other communication devices are all interconnected to allow communication over an internet protocol (IP) platform (Raja & Singh, 2010). Great trends have been made to integrate all communication devices ranging from hand held gadgets to computers and the internet, thereby making the world a global village (Eliassen & From, 2007). Technological advances in mobile communications focuses on provision of flawless services for all types of communication technologies irrespective of the type of device (Winseck & Bailie, 1997). It is a concept that will be accomplished through employment of IP-based networks that support portability and interoperability between different networks (ITU, 2004).
Drastic advances made in mobile technology have made the demand for data services through hand-held gadgets to increase tremendously. This implies that services that could only be accessed through a workstation computer can now be accessed through mobile devices. In addition, this has been facilitated by expansion of broadband services which has increased the interconnectivity to wireless internet access (Raja & Singh, 2010). Standardization of technologies by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) such as WLAN, allows people to easily access the internet through their wireless enabled computing devices. Currently, most of the major social venues such hotels, booking offices for buses and trains, waiting bays in airports, hotels among others, are hot spots for internet access (ITU, 2004).
Another innovative wireless technology that provides greater internet access speeds is called WIMAX. It is an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It has much higher internet access speeds than WLAN (ITU, 2004). WIMAX is viewed as the last solution to mobile broadband service. It has the potential to provide internet access to a considerable distance of 30 mile radius. Most of the major cities in the world have WIMAX services and the therefore, this means that most of the people can reap the benefits of the technological innovation. Another innovative technology called 3G allows global roaming services for voice and data (Raja & Singh, 2010). It incorporates wireless internet access through mobile third generation networks, satellite and global roaming services. However, it does not offer better roaming services like its predecessor WIMAX.
Part 2 Q 4: Open questions
These are types of questions that start with what, why and how, prompting a respondent to provide answers from any angle. The benefit of using this method in questioning is that they are usually very flexible to handle. This is because the respondent can answer them according to their exclusive discretion (Zalaq, Ivey, & Ivey, 2009). These questions help to find the genuine perspectives of people towards a wide range of topics. They make interviewees to reflect on the idea being asked and express their views on how they think or feel about it. Nevertheless, open questions demands more time for the respondent, thereby minimizing the number of questions that can be asked. Also, this method of questioning attracts even unnecessary answers. Furthermore, it becomes hard for the interviewer to standardize different views across various questionnaires (Zalaq, Ivey, & Ivey, 2009).
They are questions that can be answered with a yes or no or a relatively short phrase. They are easy and fast to answer, always keeping control of the conversation with the person asking the questions. They are normally used when attaining the conclusion of an affiliation or a discussion. Most of the closed questions have possible responses and the respondent is expected to choose from the list of available alternatives (Zalaq, Ivey, & Ivey, 2009).
The advantage of using closed questions is that they attract simple factual information. They also involve very little effort from the respondent. These types of questions consume less time and therefore, they save on time used (Zalaq, Ivey, & Ivey, 2009). They are best applicable in situations where the respondent is not motivated to provide answers. However, caution should be taken since if the closed questions are designed poorly, they can be misleading and provide unreliable information.
This is a method of assuring the validity of outcomes from research by employing a combination of research methods and approaches in a single study. Through the process of triangulation, weaknesses and biases in results from data collection methods such as use of questionnaires, observation among others, are overcome (Flick, 2009). Therefore, triangulation is used in data analysis to minimize errors. Researchers make use of this method to verify their findings and overcome the limitations posed by employment of a single strategy (Flick, 2009).
There are four types of triangulation approaches, data, method, investigator and theory triangulation methods. Data triangulation factors in time, space and people (Flick, 2009). This means that a research can be done at different times, across diverse cultures and using different people. Investigator triangulation on the other hand, employs different people to collect information on a single occurrence. Theory triangulation uses various theories and models to explain the findings from research. Finally, methodological type of triangulation makes use of a mixture of the above methods to analyze results from a study (Flick, 2009).
Part 2 Q 7: A focus group interview
A focus group is a well organized natural discussion among a relatively small group of people on a certain topic. The importance of using focus groups is that, they give forth to rich information that can be used to find the best way to tackle various issues affecting the group or the society at large (McNamara, 2011). Before conducting this type of a discussion forum, a number of things should be done. The organizer of the event should first draft the questions that will be used in the dialogue. The questions should be tailor-made to address a specific issue. Then, time for the session should be scheduled in a manner that is convenient to most of the people (McNamara, 2011). The agenda of the discussion should be well highlighted to the participants before they arrive.
However, this approach depends on the context of the interview since some issues require brainstorming rather than prior preparation. Another important aspect that should not miss in the session is the use of ground rules. The interview should remain focused on its goal and avoid digressing from the main agenda (McNamara, 2011). Momentum should also be maintained in the forum so that it can remain lively. Finally, at the end of the discussion, a conclusion on the questions should be made to sum up what was being discussed on.
An in-depth interview
This is a qualitative research method that involves carrying out intensive individual interviews on a relatively small number of people to find out their view on certain ideas, or situations. Before having an in-depth interview, a number of factors are considered. First, planning for the session will entail identifying the people who will be involved. Also the kind of required information is identified. The process should be carried out in accordance with the research ethical standards (Boyce & Neale, 2006). Protocol for the session is then developed which will guide the procedure for the interview. An interview guide with a list of questions should also be availed.
Interviewers should be trained on how to collect the relevant information regarding the interview. They should be aware of the kind of questions to ask and at what point of the interview (Boyce & Neale, 2006). This is an interview that targets on getting in-depth information on a certain topic or issue and therefore, proficient skills are required in the process. After data is collected, it is analyzed and deductions made. Finally, a report of the interview process is prepared and distributed to all the program stakeholders (Boyce & Neale, 2006).