Panel abstract:

Although the full range of new media has yet to be defined, traditional media such as journalism, music, film, photography, sculpture, theater, the written and spoken word, performance and installation art are all morphing as digital, socially networked technologies present new opportunities. Hybrid new media objects and environments are emerging that blur distinctions and pose new challenges to information science researchers. The immense scale and rapidity of the transition to digital spheres is clear but the multi-modal consequences are only beginning to be explored.

Media Informatics is the study of how humans seek, use, share, manipulate, store, retrieve, and organize digital multimedia. Closely related to Informatics and to Media Ecology, Media Informatics studies the behaviors and practices related to new media objects and environments including social, political, entertainment, communication and information aspects of new media content in order to design and develop tools for media access, retrieval and storage. The intent of this panel is not to argue for the establishment of media informatics as a formal discipline in need of its own association, etc. Instead we argue that media informatics is the direction to which traditional informatics is evolving and we make the case for greater affinity with media ecologists as collaborators in this evolution.

This panel will present an overview of media informatics including theoretical frameworks, tools, methods and research applications in current use. The first presentation outlines the background, scope and methodology of media informatics, while each of the subsequent three presentations deals with a specific new media informatics research project.