What is Social Media? Is a question I often hear which might not turn out to be as easy to answer.
According to the search results in Google, Social Media is:
- Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. ...
- A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or My Space, social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, social news sites like Digg or Simpy, and other sites that are centered on user interaction.
- Online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.www.tvb.org/multiplatform/Multiplatform_Glossary.aspx
- Social media are works of user-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, wiki or video hosting site.
- An umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words and pictures. ...
- Software tools that allow groups to generate content and engage in peer-to-peer conversations and exchange of content (examples are YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, MySpace etc)
- Social Media is the collection of tools and online spaces available to help individuals and businesses to accelerate their information and communication needs. [Axel Schultze]
Sounds confusing? Maybe a Little. In any case, would it be safe to say that Social Media is not a medium but the use that users give to digital media?
If you had to describe in just one word what Social Media is, what would you say?
A few days ago I had the opportunity to participate with @idibuidi and @edgarmontano recording the first podcast (or poscas as they named it) for their blog zinkho.com/blog, in which we had a very interesting conversation (its in Spanish though so make sure you have someone who can translate for you) about how to describe Social Media. And we arrived at the conclusion that the best word to use is: COLLABORATION.
And even though there are a lot of reasons to describe it with this one word that we shared during our conversation, here are a few others to do so:
Conversation: if you really want to leverage this great platform you have to join the conversation, you need to listen closely to it, learn from it and contribute to it.
Objectivity: there are many different points of view and you need to be objective to comprehend what others have to share.
Loyalty: to your values, principles and ideas. It’s not that you cannot change your point of view, is just that you should not do so and compromise your principles just to please others.
Leisure: joining the conversation and sharing your thoughts with others should always be fun, even a way to give leisure to your thoughts, so there, enjoy!
Attention: if you are to become part of the conversation you better be ready to pay close attention to what others share with you, so make a real effort to understand what they are saying.
Bulk: of so much information that everybody searches for every single day, and not just in Google…Every day there is more and more people sharing their information and knowledge through different sources like Twitter, Wiki, etc.
Obligation: to participate with others. SM is not about being an observer, each and every one of us who participate in SM, have the responsibility of contributing to each other.
Respect: to all opinions and thoughts that are different from yours
Authenticity: if there is one clear rule among all the participants of the conversation today is that you have to be authentic and not pretend to be someone else.
Thoughts: are very valued and cherished in the conversation, so don’t be afraid to share yours.
Ideas: never before had it been so easy to have your ideas reach the ears of people around the world who can help you make your ideas become a reality.
Organization: you just need to take a look at FaceBook or Linkedin to realize the huge capacity of people to get organized in groups where they share their knowledge and even resources to work towards a common end.
Networking: when had it been so easy to establish a great network and even friendships with people living across the world and whom you have never seen before in your life? Up to a few years ago your network was physically limited to those people you met in person, but now your network can reach hundreds of thousands of very talented people!
Do you want to listen to other reasons why we say that Social Media is Collaboration, don’t miss listening to podcast at www.zinkho.com/blog