Haddon’s core argument within the text ‘Research Questions for the Evolving Communications Landscape’ argues that it is necessary to investigate mediated communication in general and analyse their relationships with other communication technologies in order to gain a greater understanding of audiences communication practices.
The key concepts explored to further this argument are the limitations of object study, the historical context, factors influencing audience choice and the long term dynamics between audiences and mediums.
Haddon argues that to fully understand communication related practices researchers must explore the boundaries of the communication technology that is being researched. This theory can be placed in the context of the audiences’ use of email. Researchers should consider who is provided with the email address and how the consumer moderates their usage. Other factors such as the types of communication (i.e. language style and content), and practices such as having multiple email addresses for differing purposes should also be considered.
The historical contexts of mediums are explored through their continuities. Haddon contemplates whether mediums which appear brand new are really technologies evolved from older forms of communication. Haddon argues that information surrounding the old mediums usage can be used to explain the patterns of use for the current medium.
The different factors which influence an audience’ choices is argued in the text to be another crucial aspect of investigating communication technologies. This can be illustrated when analysing the decisions surrounding why a person may choose to use a mobile phone. For example there may be social expectations surrounding the medium as well as the features which the technology itself offers (i.e. mobility, storage capacity, personalizability and the amount of people it allows its user to simultaneously communicate with).
The long term relationship between audiences and particular mediums is explored throughout the text. Haddon argues that it is necessary to understand why people may choose move to new technology or remain with older communication devices and why people may move toward using newer technologies despite first being presented with difficulties. The text explores ideas such as changes of circumstance, societal changes, increased and varied options and promotions as well as the movement of entire social networks from one medium to another.
I agree with Haddon’s argument as there are many reasons which certain people choose to use specific communications mediums which effect the information which is collected by researches. For example there are many external factors which contribute to my younger brother’s use of his mobile phone and MySpace. These relating to the key concepts discussed by Haddon in particular factors influencing his choice such as the technological capabilities of each medium and the fact that these mediums are predominately used in his social network.
Haddon, Leslie ‘Research Questions for the Evolving Communications Landscape’ From Ling and Peterson, Eds, ‘Mobile Communications’ Springer, 2005, p 7-22