Last weekend, I found out that a guy I had crush on has already de-registered from the Facebook, which means I cannot spy him anymore. That is too bad, since Facebook is one of the best social media platforms for me to get to know a person. Well, I know this sounds creepy but with the development of Web2.0, it is not rare for us to reach people through the Social network sites, which includes loads of information and connect people with each other.
If we compare social media world to an ocean, then Facebook is just a small fish, and besides that there are millions of species. Let’s first check what Wikipedia says about Social Media: ” Social Media is media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.” This can be shortly concluded as four “C” words: Context, Contacts, Communications and Collaborations.
Maybe we can say, from the first moment when you upload a picture on the internet, the first moment when you listen to a song through the internet, the first moment when you read an article from your friend on the internet, you are involved in a “sharing network”, which is the most essential point of Social Media.
Here is a picture clearly demonstrates the social media landscape:
and it is not hard to see that Social Media is more about conversations. All those websites could create conversations between netizens, companies, industries etc. can be considered as social media. And all these tools and services can be divided into different categories, for example: blogs and wikis belong to publications; youtube and flickr belong to sharings; Skype, forums are discussion tools; Twitters, Plurk are micropubliations etc.
No one can really get out of this social media ocean. Every day there are new softwares and websites come out to take part in the development of social media, and they are getting more and more specific, trying to get closer to our daily lives.
Foursquare is a location based service, it connected with mobile devices and people using “check-in” to tell the world their locations, which even brings an interaction between netizens and the environment. Pipl is a people searching engine, which in the picture belongs to the reputation part, although Google can also be used for people searching, websites like Pipl leads to a more accurate result.
Speaking of SMS (Short Message Service), I am a bit doubtful. Is SMS a social media as well? It looks like that SMS entered our lives much earlier than other social media sites, not mention Facebook. When there is no Facebook, we communicate with each other through ICQ or MSN a lot. To some extend, it makes sense that we use chatting tools to share informations so that a sharing network is built, and we can consider SMS as a social media. However, so far I cannot find a related article to support this idea while every one already thinks that SMS is a social media.
But at least one thing for sure is, believe it or not, human beings were born to be social animals. Don’t think that social network is just a outcome of this era. In fact, this sentence came out from thousands years ago, by one of the greatest Greek Philosophers Aristotle. And during thousands of years, there is no such a convenient tool for people to communicate until the invention of internet. Technology helps a social network easier to reach, the growth of social media sites were born to meet people’s demand.
Plus, Social Media now is even accelerating the globalization. A local happening could become a global concerned situation. Isn’t this amazing? I am sure that Aristotle would be so happy if he could see the sharing network today. He would wish he could relive.