The term "new media" was coined during the late 20th century as a way of differentiating digital media from traditional media. Thus, the term "new media" can be applied to any form of media that is spread digitally. Online new media refers specifically to media that is projected through the Internet.
Before the mid-1980s rolled around, media was largely restricted to print and analog formats such as newspapers, radio broadcasts, magazines, and television broadcasts. When the Internet was invented, the ways in which various advertisements were spread began to change. As a result, print and analog media was termed "old media," while any form of spreading data that took place digitally was termed "new media."
As a whole, online new media has changed the way that the world communicates. While old media only allowed for certain people within certain countries to view an advertisement or public announcement, this is no longer the case. The Internet now allows people from all over the world to view, comment on, and consider different public announcements regardless of location.
In addition to changing the way that the world views certain topics, issues, and advertisements, online new media has also changed the way that consumers interact with advertisers. Prior to new media, consumers were not able to comment openly on an advertisement unless a letter was sent to the advertising company -- even so, these letters often went unread and unacknowledged. In modern times, consumers can not only comment on advertisements, but they can also tarnish a company's reputation through discussing an advertisement on the Internet.
Likewise, consumers can now act as free advertising tools thanks to online new media. As soon as a person, or group of people, comments on a particular advertisement, this advertisement is often posted and passed around the Internet. Whether or not the comments related to the advertisement are positive, within moments one advertisement can reach millions of people around the globe. In this manner, online new media has changed the face of advertising a great deal.
Advertising aside, online new media has also changed the way that social groups spread opinionated messages. By creating a website, posting a blog, or adding some comments to a social networking site, any social media group can impact the thoughts of others. This type of social media networking has proven to be highly effective throughout the globe. Even though some people believe that online new media is detrimental to marketing, there's no debating the fact that this form of media has altered the way that the world thinks and acts as a whole.