The concept of ow has been associated, in media studies, with Raymond Williams’ (1974) characterization of radio and television broadcasting. Especially in commercial television formats, viewers are expected and encouraged to go with the ow – to keep watching throughout commercial breaks and transitions between programs. Figure 9.3 laid out an analytical distinction between different types of ow: the channel flow of each station enters into the super flow of all the contents on offer, whereas audience flows move across the various channel ows (Jensen, 1994). In digital media, the ows of communication are comparable, yet different. The super ow of the internet is more composite and complex than any traditional television market. The channel ow of any site or service is more differentiated as well as more integrated with other channels. And, the user ows, on top of selections from and navi-
gation between channels, include interactivity within the various channels in question. Even more important, digital networks, along with mobile terminals, enable distributed contexts of communication and action that were precluded in broadcasting and other mass communication: interactions with other users about the information on offer in and through a range of channels, and coordinated actions on the basis of such information in dispersed physical settings, integrating face-to-face communication, as well.