Social Media Definition


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Written by Harman Bajwa
on March 1, 2011

Social MediaSocial Media Definition

It is of no wonder that some of the highest best-selling books are true stories about people and organisations? Isn’t it the same for movies based on true happenings?

Now think of a relatively inexpensive and accessible way that allows you or your organization to publish, share or access information and experiences with just about anyone you wish. The impact of which can be felt right now, all over…and it’s free. Social Media.

Differing ends of the technology spectrum were seen with recent protests rippling from one end of the Middle East to the other – a new generation of men and women with little political freedom –   and no time to wait for justice to happen.  When businessman Khaled Said’s cell phone photos of a battered and bloody face from police brutality were posted on a Facebook page, it became a symbol of unjust oppression of the Egyptian Government. So was in a similar instance of the Tunisian rebellion – suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, an educated college graduate, burning himself to death after being humiliated by the police. Both cases lead to revolutions that invoked great change in their countries. Ordinary citizens turned citizen-journalists – using social media tools as a way to organize, mobilize protests and tell their grim stories to the world.

Today’s technologies are all too many, networks in which everyone is connected but no one is in control. Individuals and organisations want to tell stories because they wish to inform, amuse, enlighten, explain and even create and reinforce social and cultural bonds. Media thus created can be shared in many forms such as forums, message boards, blogs, wiki, social networks, video hosting site etc. All Social Media applications allow groups to generate content and engage in peer-to peer conversation (as on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, MySpace etc).

Social Media Defined

According to Wikipedia, “Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio.”

Any website or web service that utilizes a ‘social’ or ‘Web 2.0′ philosophy allows end users to engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website – in turn driving communication into an interactive dialogue. That means we can copy it, modify it, and distribute it freely. It works not only for companies, but individuals too.

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