Proposed Evaluation Heuristic

As I propose this evaluation heuristic, I have little new insight to add to the discussion. I think these things are important when considering new media in our age, and I have attempted to nest the lesser criteria inside the greater criteria:

1. Does the media have a clear purpose that is effectively communicated?

  1. Is the purpose demonstrated by the media’s aesthetic?
  2. Is the purpose significant or thought-provoking?
  3. Is the purpose novel?

2. Does the audience have appropriate participatory power?

  1. Is the work benefited by audience participation?
  2. Can the audience participate, and does the work encourage participation?
  3. Does the audience have control over the organization of the media’s content, and message?
  4. Does the audience have control over the media’s aesthetic?

3. Does the work make effective, and less necessarily, novel use of the media?

  1. Does it use the media in a particularly effective or notable way?
  2. Does it use the media in an original way?

I have listed it like this because I think it’s fairly safe to say that the three rudimentary questions are essential in a discussion of new media evaluation; new media is typically characterized by what it’s trying to do, what the audience can do about it, and what the media platform contributes to those two phenomena. The inner criteria are not all essential; answering affirmatively to even one, in most cases, should be sufficient.

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