Home > Social Media > What is Social Media? Why Do We Care?

What is Social Media? Why Do We Care?

Social Media. Hate it or love it, everyone talks about it. And has an opinion about it.

While everyone is exposed to it daily, how many people really know what it is?

You, being a self-selecting audience, would likely be able to provide an informed response. Others, however, might simply blurt, “Facebook!” as if that alone explained all.

For my first blog post, I wanted to consider the basics of what we’re discussing. Together, the words “social” and “media” form fabricated jargon which appeared sometime after the advent of Web 2.0, as explained on Wikipedia:

…web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.

Social media became inextricably tied to the internet sometime after 2004. Nonetheless, I argue that social media has existed as long as mass media has reacted to reader submissions and/or called readers to action. Media being a tool for information delivery; social defined as any form of interaction between two entities, corporations or individuals. Reprinted letters to the Editor? Social media. Paper flyers for organizing protests? Social media.

Communication + Collaboration = Social Media

Continue reading article at Social Media Week.
Originally posted  17 January 2012

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