Everyone has probably heard the term Social Media in the news lately. Social media means different things to different people, but the term is basically used to describe internet-based technology that enables a group of users to communicate and collaborate on ideas.
Types of Social Media:
Blogs: The term blog is short for weblog. Blogs are basically a collection of diary-type “posts” that cover a particular topic – much like a web-based news article. After a blogger posts an article, readers have the option to comment on the article and provide input on the topic. Popular blogs include The Huffington Post, a news media & political blog, and TechCrunch, and tech-based blog. There are also literally millions of other blogs that cover niche topics like personal finances, sewing, and biking.
Wikis: Wikis are web-based collaboration tools that allow users to create the content. One of the most popular wikis in the world is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that is created by users. Wikis basically work like this: users create pages on a subject and then allow other users to add and moderate the pages and subjects. It’s a self-policing model that works remarkably well and provides great information.
Micro-Blogs: Micro-blogs are similar to blogs, except that you are limited to a set number of characters (usually about a sentence worth of words) for posts. Microblogging has become quite popular in the last couple of years due to its ease of use and ability to reach a large audience quickly. The most popular microblogging site is Twitter. Other popular microblog web-sites include identi.ca and Tumblr.
Social Networking Sites: Social networking sites integrate several features into one platform that enables users to connect with one another. Key features typically included in social networking sites include the ability to post photos, instant-message with each other, and provide short posts similar to micro-blog posts. The giant in this group is Facebook. MySpace is also very popular but has been losing market share over the last few years. LinkedIn is another popular social networking site that is focused on developing professional relationships. Video sharing web-sites, like YouTube and Vimeo, also share many attributes of social networking sites.
Social Media has become increasingly popular over the last few years. As online communication and collaboration becomes more popular for business and personal use, expect to see more of social media applications on the market.
[Image Source: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]