Media Taxonomy

For my taxonomy, I added a few parameters that are related to the medium's relation to the world around it. These additions— "motion," "relation to receiver," "relation to 'immediate,'" and "relation to other media,"— all have to do with differentiating media by orienting them in relation to the situations in which they are used. The advantage of the spreadsheet is that one doesn't need any special skills to create one. The disadvantage is that it's very "flat," and since any account of media is an account of relationships (since media are intermediaries), one way to get around the flatness of the spreadsheet is to include parameters about relationships as well as about aspects of the media that are more contained (such as the script of an individual manuscript, or the materials that make up a video tape). Other parameters that didn't fit on my spreadsheet could include, for example, spatial orientation (a television sits in a livingroom, sometimes in a bedroom, or in a classroom; people sometimes sit too close to it, etc.). I included the "type of information conveyed" at the top because it's a very basic aspect of media, and it might be interesting to track how conveying different types of information might foster different kinds of relationships.

Michelle Yacht
Department of English
Winter 2004