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CHAPTER 8: NETWORKS AND DISTRIBUTING DIGITAL CONTENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter, students should know: 1. The characteristics of digital distribution. 2. What each characteristic means regarding distribution of media content. 3. How the characteristics are challenging traditional distribution channels. 4. The implications new forms of digital distribution have on mass communication and media organizations. 5. About the historical development of telecommunications, from telegraphy to fiber optics, and networks that have created the current status of digital distribution. 6. About the future development and potential problems of digital distribution. 7. How a client/server network model works. 8. How a peer-to-peer network model works. 9. Metcalfe’s Law and the importance of connectivity for network economics. 10. How Napster worked, what happened to it, and why. 11. Three other P2P applications or protocols and what they do. 12. Some of the legal, ethical, and social issues surrounding digital distribution. 60
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CHAPTER SUMMARY/LECTURE OUTLINE I. Vignette: A look at a website created by a Turkish journalist that included pictures and some simple sentences explaining his hobbies and interests, along with his phone number and address and an invitation for people to visit him. Eventually the website was seen by millions, who thought it was a joke. II. Media Quiz: Network Knowledge: Questions focus on telecommunications, Net neutrality, file sharing, and posting content online. III. Historical Influences on Modern Networks: One fundamental change that telecommunications networks have brought to our social and political life is “time-space compression,” meaning networks have “sped up” time and have “shrunk” space. Before the telegraph, communication depended on horses, trains, or ships—at that time the fastest means of transportation. Now, a cell phone call can have an instant effect even when people are in a different place. A. Government and Private Industry 1. The postal system was a government-run service that played a vital role in the colonial era and early years of the United States in disseminating information. 2. To distribute news, early leaders subsidized newspapers by allowing them to be sent at reduced postal rates. 3. The invention of the telegraph in 1837 helped separate information from transportation, as information could travel electronically over wires. 4. The telegraph also laid the foundation for concepts we hear today regarding the information age. An “information railroad” was suggested (the equivalent of today’s information superhighway) to link all towns to the telegraph. 5. The private industry model for the telegraph led to chaos in the early years because companies often required customers to buy equipment that was incompatible with other company equipment. The government-run model built the network on principles of public service and universal access. B. Evolving Technology: From the Telegraph to Fiber Optics
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course JOUR 201 taught by Professor Roberts during the Fall '08 term at South Carolina.

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