The tools of digital media creation are becoming ubiquitous, certainly in the developed world and increasingly on a global scale as well. They encompass such a wide variety of technologies and methods that I could spend this entire volume just talking about the ones you can use right now—and by the time you finished reading, there would be new ones.
So, in this chapter we’ll look in a high-level way at how to make your own media. As always, we’ll extend and amplify at mediactive.com.
It’s especially useful to know the most widely used tools and techniques and to understand why people are so excited about some of the emerging ones. Our teenagers are using most of these tools already, especially social networks and mobile texting, and in many families younger children are being immersed in electronic gadgets of all kinds. (Like all tools, digital ones can be used for good or bad purposes, and with positive and negative consequences for the user; I’ll address that in another chapter.) And if you’re reading this book, chances are you’re using at least some media creation tools.
I’ve arranged this chapter’s sections in order from the most basic to the more complex—that is, starting with the ones you’re most likely to be using already and moving along a path to the tools and techniques that demand more expertise.
There’s no way to list, much less discuss, all of the available technologies and services. I’m focusing here on a few that strike me as the main ones where people are already participating and contributing in trusted ways, including several that require a more serious commitment of your time.
None of these is all that difficult, but I recognize that everyone has a personal limit. So when you reach yours, as you read on, it’s fine to stop there and continue to the next chapter. If you do that, I hope you’ll come back sometime and read what you’ve skipped.