Generativity refers to "a system's capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences." (Zittrain, p. 70).
I chose the iPhone as a communication techonolgy we have discussed in this class. We discussed this techonology in lecture this past Monday, April 13th.
Part II. Assess each of the features of generativity for the technology (as discussed in pp. 71-73). That is, assess the technology in terms of its:
The iPhone has a very strong power to influence people and their decision/actions. The applications on the phone substitute other technologies that users would have to use if they did not have an iPhone. For example, the iPhone has an internal GPS system. If it did not, users would have to use a map or another source of directions, such as Mapquest. Another example is that an iPhone is many older technologies pulled into one. So, instead of people needing to carry around an iPod, a cell phone, and a GPS system, they can just have their iPhone. The iPhone definitely makes difficult jobs easier.
The iPhone is highly adaptable. Adaptivity deals with how the system can be built on or expanded to broaden its range of uses. New applications are available for download on an iPhone every hour. These downloads allow users to do new things off of their phone. New things that would otherwise require a certain type of different technology other than the iPhone.
* Ease of Mastery
The ease of mastery of a technology is how easy it is for users to know how to use it. When cell phones first came out, they were very basic and did not have applications such as the iphone has now. The basic cells phones were much easier to master. However, even though cell phones are more complex than they were when they came out, more people have them! Cell phones are now pretty much self explanatory and easy to use.
It is not hard for a person to obtain access to an iPhone. Also, it is not hard to obtain the information and tools necessary to master it. Some things that might stop consumers from getting an iPhone is the price of one. However, if the single costs of all the technologies in an iPhone were added up, the total would surpass the price of the single iPhone. Also, another thing that can possible stop a consumer is that they have to pay for the internet on their cell phone.
Because the iPhone has close access to the internet, it possesses a very strong transferability. Any changes in the technology can be easily and very quickly shared with the internet and be available to share with others. Also, downloads or updates for the technology can be available through the internet.
Part III. For the most part, technologies are becoming more generative. Competition between companies and such increases the consumers expectations and technologies become more generative.