Blog 1: That Office Assistant Named Clippy

It was the year 1999 when I was first introduced to a computer. It was my eldest sister’s, and she was way too selfish to even let me click on the mouse. Also, I was seven then, and card games were enough to keep me occupied. I honestly couldn’t care less about the presence of a computer in my house. My first memory of using a computer was in elementary school. It was compulsory for all students in my school to be enrolled in a computer class that was held every week.

The first icon I ever clicked on was “Paint”. In second grade, every class was spent on learning how to be creative on “Paint”, and most importantly, learning how to “save” and “open” documents. I encountered the process of convergence by putting together different types of data such as sounds, text and images. That was definitely one of my first “Ah-Ha!” moments! “What is this magical thing that allows me to put together colors, text and images, and could actually save my masterpiece and allow me to edit it anytime I want?” Also, the strong quality of this feature (new media) is their huge storage potential. I could store more of my work in digital media than I could in printed media. Besides “Paint,” I discovered not just Microsoft Office, but also its assistant named “Clippy”. “Clippy” was an interactive paperclip that would offer you help with your work on Microsoft. That was a whole new level of new media at that time. Here comes my next “Ah-Ha!” moment. Van Dijk would describe this as interactivity because “Clippy” was a system that exchanged information with the viewer, processing the viewer’s input in order to generate appropriate response. Most of us have that one office assistant named “Clippy.” Did he/she serve you well? How was your experience with “Clippy?”


The concept of interactivity is supposed to be one of the most important characteristics of new media as it has developed from a face-to-face communication to a human-computer interaction. New media is constantly expanding my experiences in this tech savvy life. While new media is sucking up most of my time, I really don’t know what would I be doing now without it. What would you guys be doing right now if you weren’t on a computer? Fortunately for our generation, we have at least experienced life without new media.


By Cheryl Joseph



  1. I remember Clippy, and being confused as to how a computer could “talk back to me” and answer questions I had about the programs. It seemed so advanced at the time, and the idea was hard for me to conceptualize. For some reason, I could understand searching a question in Internet Explorer and getting related results, but not this more interpersonal communication style Clippy brought to the scene. It seemed more real-time, whereas I understood the internet to be more of a database where information was stored and then could be accessed later, when clearly, it is an interactive form of media.

  2. Clippy amazed me! Some people and articles suggest that Clippy was a mistake. However, Bill Gates doesn’t acknowledge the “fact” that Clippy was a mistake. I have to admit that sometimes I can’t take Clippy seriously. Instead of helping you get your things done, Clippy was constantly wiggling on the screen. It is a cool thing to remember now tho.

  3. ahhh yes, paint! how simple that program was compared to all the fancy stuff we have today! it seems like caveman stuff in relation to the apps and programs we have today. anyone can be an amateur profession nowadays, but almost everyone started with simple paint!

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