Social Media – Just what is it ? Wiki (my fav of all fav source for info) describes it as – Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.
A few years ago it was an unheard of term. Then came the likes of Facebook and it exploded in the digital arena. Soon we had a host of different formats from facebook to twitter to linkin etc. Each having an unique place in the digital world.
Its like the old bonfire in the good old days where friends would gather and share info , jokes or just interact except this time its instantaneous and one has the ability to easily share media such as photos or video’s. Its also a great platform to voice opinions and market ideas or products. For some its a soap box to stand on and have your say , in the old days many people would be way too shy to do this but with the security of a keyboard and the safety of a PC we find people being more and more brave to voice opinions and share ideas.
Its also a great place to get a peek into others lives , some celebs have thousands of followers on twitter which is a great platform as unlike Facebook just about anyone can follow anyone , there is no need for friend acceptance , you just search for whom you like to follow and then simply click follow , as easy as 1,2,3. Its a global phenomenon and if the last decade was the era of info then the next must surely be the era of knowledge.
The biggest contributor to social media for me though was not Facebook or twitter , for me the biggest contributor was the introduction of web2.0 , it meant that communications was now a 2 way street , social media became interactive and it opened new avenues we have not thought about before. You can for instance check in a hotel and read what others thought about their stay , this gives valuable feedback not only to the customers but also the owners of the hotel , how can they improve ? the Answers are right there.
To measure the true growth of Social Media you just have to look at the amount of jobs that suddenly became available. Headlines read social media experts required or Social media intern. The other day I saw a ad for a social media champion and thought wow , look how quickly the field has grown into a specialty.
I must admit I don’t have the time or energy to be active on all social media platforms , I basically stay with the tried and tested like Facebook , twitter , linkin and once and a while google+. The rest while valuable for many just don’t offer me much more than what I listed.So tweet away , poke friends on Facebook and continue to fuel this amazing global phenomenon.