What is social media?


 Many people have heard of Blogs. Facebook, YouTube, Bebo and Web2.0 and these are frequently grouped together under the term ‘Social Media’, but what exactly is it? And what is the opposite of Social Media?

 Firstly the ‘Social Media’ should be contrasted not with ‘Unsocial media’ but with ‘Traditional’ or ‘Mass’ media.

How does Social Media compare to Traditional Media?

  1. Reach. This is the same for both traditional and social media, with both able to scale and reach a global audience.
  2. Access. Traditional to traditional media is restricted to businesses, governments and organizations because of the printing or broadcast costs. Social media tools are generally available to anyone at little or no cost.
  3. Accountability. With traditional media the producer of the media is accountable for the information within it. With social media the line of accountability is less clear and this may adversely affect the accuracy of information within it.
  4. Ease of Use. Traditional media production typically required skills and training.  By contrast most social media does not, so anyone can contribute to the distribution.
  5. Delivery Time. Traditional media have a longer time lag between production and delivery, whereas social media is virtually instantaneous.
  6. Permanence. Traditional media once created cannot easily be altered whereas most social media can be altered almost instantaneously by comments or editing.

Examples of Social Media Include:

  • Blogs such as Blogger, WordPress or Vox
  • Internet and website forums and discussion groups
  • Microblogging such as Twitter and Jaiku
  • Social Networking such as Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, LinkedIn
  • Collaborative websites usch as Wiki, Wikipedia
  • Social bookmarking and news such as Reddit, Digg, Delicious

← Back to Index

Email usTel: +44 (0)330 555 4680

Our site uses cookies to help provide you the best experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Find out more about cookies and how to change your cookie settings in your browser.