Software Takes Command_Media-independence vs. Media-Specific Techniques

(1). Manovich, L. (2013). Media-independence vs. media-specific techniques. Software Takes Command, Continuum. pp.113-124 [Also available online at:


Answer the following questions – posting your responses to your Blog[1]:

Manovich argues that digital media has brought about a number of “media-independent techniques” which he identifies as “searchability, findability, linkability” – given this, (3) name at least one further technique and (4) argue a case for why you believe it should be included as a further example. Your argument should be at least one paragraph in length. In doing so consider the following: technology affordances of devices e.g. touch interaction; social/culture factors and the use of digital media e.g. establishment of personal relationships; changes in the use and access of media e.g. the concept of “audience”. In doing so try to think outside of the iPhone/tablet “box” – consider this quote from Manovich’s introduction:

Software has become our interface to the world, to others, to our memory and our imagination—a universal language through which the world speaks, and a universal engine on which the world runs.

(Manovich, 2013, p.2).

(5) Describe at least 3 instances of where these techniques are used/occur.

(6) Post your responses to your blog, tagged as “technology-convergence”


A further technique could be customisability, users can change the way their chosen media artefact looks and acts. The aesthetics can be changed in different ways depending on what the media is, if its an image, colour filters can be applied to change the way the image looks, as well as being able to cut parts of the image out and delete them or transfer them onto another image. Film is similar to image in terms of customisability. If it’s a website, it can be be customised by the way it looks and acts by either changing colours or images or changing the actual code to change the way it works. Users can also customise their phones and computers in many ways, some ways being; changing background images, fonts, app or icon layouts and password/passcode access. 

Searchability: This technique occurs when someone uses a search engine, for example Google. This works by asking the browser to find any copies of the word and displaying the results for the user to look through.

Findability: Spotlight, on Mac OS is an example of findability as it enables you to type in a name of a file, application or folder that you’re looking for and it will find it for you.

Linkability: This technique is used for webpages. Buttons are displayed on a webpage that are linked to other pages, either external or internal pages. These buttons use linkability.