Over the last year, I have had to explain how social media works to diplomats, defense officials, and academics and students focused on fields as diverse as international affairs, management and sociology. I have found that first-timer find social media confusing because of two reasons. The first reason is the excessive focus on specific social media tools. Many first-timers are introduced to social media via specific tools. Many ’social media experts’ who are practitioners rather than thinkers also focus on specific tools. Since social media encompasses many different types of tools, and each tool has specific characteristics and a steep learning curve, a toolkit approach can quickly become overwhelming. Blogging (Wordpress), microblogging (Twitter), video-sharing (YouTube), photo-sharing (Flickr), podcasting (Blog Talk Radio), mapping (Google Maps), social networking (Facebook), social voting (Digg), social bookmarking (Delicious), lifestreaming (Friendfeed), wikis (Wikipedia), and virtual worlds (Second Life) are all quite different from each other and new and hybrid tools are being introduced almost everyday. Mastering each tool individually seems like a lot of work and a lot of people give up even before they begin. The second reason is a clear definition of what social media is, even within the social media community. Different thinkers and practitioners use different terms to describe similar tools and practices.
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Entries in Social Media (25)
TalkTalk is a provider of digital communication technology services in the UK mainly. The recently teamed up with the University of Kent to research peoples' attitudes and behaviours towards the digital world. The aim was to go beyond traditional rseearch to determine how techonology fits into our lives.
Six stereotypes were identified - the Digital Extroverts, the Timid Technophobes, the Social Secretaries, the First Lifers,the E-ager Beavers, the Web Boomers, full descriptions of which can be read from the full report Digital Anthrolopogy.
Fancy seeing which tribe you belong to...Take the quick quiz to find out.
Expect the Groundswell to continue, in which people connect to each other –rather than institutions. Consumer adoption of social networks is increasing a rapid pace,brands are adopting even during a recession,so expect the space to rapidly innovate to match this trend. Clients can access this report, but to summarize what we found, in the executive summary we state: Today’s social experience is disjointed because consumers have separate identities in each social network they visit. A simple set of technologies that enable a portable identity will soon empower consumers to bring their identities with them — transforming marketing, eCommerce, CRM, and advertising. IDs are just the beginning of this transformation, in which the Web will evolve step by step from separate social sites into a shared social experience. Consumers will rely on their peers as they make online decisions, whether or not brands choose to participate. Socially connected consumers will strengthen communities and shift power away from brands and CRM systems; eventually this will result in empowered communities defining the next generation of products.
Social media is not new. Media has been leveraged for sociable purposes since the caveman's walls. Even in the realm of the Internet, some of the first applications were framed around communication and sharing. For decades, we've watched the development of new genres of social media - MUDs/MOOs, instant messaging, chatrooms, bulletin boards, etc. Social media is the latest buzzword in a long line of buzzwords. It is often used to describe the collection of software that enables individuals and communities to gather, communicate, share, and in some cases collaborate or play. In tech circles, social media has replaced the earlier fave "social software." Academics still tend to prefer terms like "computer-mediated communication" or "computer-supported cooperative work" to describe the practices that emerge from these tools and the old school academics might even categorize these tools as "group-work" tools. Social media is driven by another buzzword: "user-generated content" or content that is contributed by participants rather than editors. But for the last few years, everyone's been abuzz with the idea of "social media." Right now, those who want VC backing need to bake the "social" into any Web 2.0 app they create. There are many new genres of social media that have gained traction here: blogs, wikis, media-sharing sites, social network sites, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, microblogging sites, etc. These tools are part of a broader notion of "Web2.0." Yet-another-buzzword, Web 2.0 means different things to different people.
David Meerman Scott "...Measuring success by focusing only on the number of times the mainstream media write or broadcast about you misses the point. If a blogger is spreading your ideas, that's great. If ten people email a link to your information to their networks or post about you on their Facebook page, that's amazing. You're reaching people, which was the point of seeking media attention in the first place. But most PR people only measure traditional media like magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV, and this practice doesn’t capture the value of sharing.
To create a World Wide Rave, forget about sales leads and ignore mainstream media. Instead, focus on spreading your ideas. Make your information totally free, with no registration required."