* "Only connect. . ." E.M. Forster, Howard's End

Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Media – No Longer A New Concept

Unless you've been stranded on a remote island for the past five years social media is a phrase you will most likely be familiar with and a large majority of you will be users – sounds like an intro to an AA meeting – and it could be argued that it is addictive but what exactly is Social Media?

The best way to define social media is to break it down and go back in time. Good old fashioned Media is an instrument on communication, like a newspaper or a radio. Social media then is a social instrument of communication.

It is an umbrella term that defines the various activites that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words pictures videos and audio. It's also a fancy word to describe the zillions of conversations people are having on line.

In Web 2.0 terms, Social Media would be a website that doesn't just give you information, but interacts with you while giving you that information. This interaction can be as simple as asking for your comments or letting you vote on an article, or it can be as complex as Flixster recommending movies to you based on the ratings of other people with similar interests.

Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter.

Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.

Essentially, social media incorporates the online technology and methods through which people can share content, personal opinions, swap different perspectives and insights into world issues and generally discuss the evolution of media in itself.

Social media website content can come in many shapes and forms:

Text - text is often used to put across opinions or write blog posts.
Images - images and photos can display anything from holiday photos to shots by professional photographers.
Audio - social media lets you create podcasts for users to download.

Video - video sites mean that you'll be able to record a video of your graduation for friends all over the world to see.

The most popular types of social media websites are huge at the moment. A few examples of these social media websites are:

Social networking - websites that allows you to create a personal profile about yourself then chat, discuss and share information with others such as friends and family. Prime examples of social networking sites are MySpace, Bebo and Facebook.

Wikis - wikis are websites that allow you to create, edit and share information about a subject or topic. Wikipedia, for instance, is one of the world's most popular wikis.

Video sharing - video-sharing sites allow you to upload and share your personal videos with the rest of the web community. A perfect example of a video sharing website is YouTube.

Photo sharing - photo-sharing websites allow users to upload pictures and images to a personal account which can then be viewed by web users the world over. Flickr acts as a great example of a successful photo-sharing site.

News aggregation - news aggregators provide a list of the latest news stories published by users from a range of different websites. Digg, for instance, is one of the web's largest news aggregators with one of the most dedicated communities.

Social bookmarking - social bookmarking sites allow users to publicly bookmark web pages they find valuable in order to share them with other internet users.

Online gaming - online gaming is often based around communities. World of Warcraft is prime example of online gaming.

Presence apps - these websites allow you to post micro blog-like posts to announce what you are currently doing. Twitter is a good example of a presence app.

There are many more types of social media sites available on the internet. And because the social media front is moving so fast, even if it was possible to list all the varieties of social media websites that exist, it would likely be out of date by the time you read this article as new and innovative social media sites spring up nearly everyday.

There is no doubt that this is changing the way we communicate, and who we communicate with. More than just a social factory, as with all areas of life, money makes the world go round and so business' are using social media as a marketing strategy. This is being done in a number of ways: from self promotion through content marketing in blogs, fan pages on FaceBook, Twitter follows etc. As well as this business' are buying ad space on social media websites, ads that become sales leads and in some cases are also interactive.

So many questions arise from this form of Social Media from: Is traditional advertising dead? to: what will the new generation who grow up with Social Media bring us in the future?

Only time will tell......

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/social-marketing-articles/social-media-no-longer-a-new-concept-4852020.html#ixzz1O8EIZr1m
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