Defining Social Media

Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives.Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs to allow users to interact. A few prominent examples of social media applications are Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Gather.com (social networking),YouTube (video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Digg (news sharing), Flickr (photo sharing) and Miniclip (game sharing).

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I took the current description and offered some suggestions based on my beliefs as well as points from other thought leaders. I tried to keep it simple as not to overwhelm, but embrace those read it.

1 – social media describes the online tools that people use to share content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself, thus facilitating conversations and interaction online between groups of people. These tools include blogs, message boards, podcasts, micro blogs, lifestreams, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis, and vlogs.

A few prominent examples of social media applications are Wikipedia (reference), MySpace and Facebook (social networking), Twitter and Jaikue (presence apps), YouTube (video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Upcoming (Events), Digg and Reddit (news aggregation), Flickr and Zooomr (photo sharing), Blogtv, Justin.tv, and Ustream (livecasting), Stickham, YourTrumanShow (episodic online video), Izimi and Pownce (media sharing), del.icio.us (bookmarking) and World of Warcraft (online gaming).

2 – Social Media is the democratization of content and the understanding of the role people play in the process of not only reading and disseminating information, but also how they share and create content for others to participate. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and people.

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