Seeing how big and popular Social Media has become the last few years and that nittyGriddy is an example of such a site [not the big and popular part – at least not yet ;)], I thought it only necessary and relevant to post a brief 101-style piece on the subject.
It’s very probable that many of you have been using Social Media for years but just didn’t know it. So, if you know exactly what Social Media is and does, then go ahead and zap this post. But if you don’t, aren’t sure or are the least bit interested, then reading on won’t hurt you!
As we can see today, Social Media has completely transformed the way people connect and communicate with one another. Moreover, it has altered the way in which companies market their products.
As explained by Wikipedia,
“social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction… social media uses the internet and web based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many).” “It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.”
These sites are places where people can share news, personal experiences, favorite websites, reviews, etc…with other people.
This group of relatively new online media includes 7 different kinds:
- Social networks – the biggest being Facebook, MySpace, Bebo…
- Blogs – probably the most popular, they are a form of online journals.
- Forums – these came about before the term ‘social media’. they are areas for online discussions.
- Wikis – theses sites allow people to add content or edit the information on them acting as a type of communal database. the most famous is Wikipedia.
- Podcasts – audio and video files that are usually available by subscription through services like Apple iTunes.
- Microblogging – social networking combined with bite-sized blogging where online updates are distributed. the best example is Twitter.
- Content communities – communities that organize and share content. the most popular being Flickr for photos, del.icio.us for bookmarked links and YouTube for videos.
In general, Social Media will share most if not all of the following characteristics:
- Participation – feedback and contributions from people
- Openness – content accessible to all
- Conversation – traditional media is about broadcasting whereas social media is based on two-way conversation
- Connectedness – excessive use of links, resources and people
- Community – social media allow for communities to quickly form and communicate
Social media sites are not just a fad; they are here to stay and evolve.
There you have it; a brief introduction to Social Media. Check again soon for more information and statistics about this revolutionary form of online communication.
[image credit: FredCavazza.net]