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What is a social media network

Updated on July 23, 2011

social media explained

Almost everybody these days has signed up for one or probably more than one, social media websites like Facebook or Twitter but maybe not many users of these sites know or are able to give a definition of what the social media network is. Many probably haven’t even realised that they are part of it or can’t answer to the question. Ironically enough, the social media term is what everybody is talking about today and it is the big thing that is changing once again the internet, like Google in the early days and not only that, even the way people are doing businesses (for the few of them that are using it or are, at least, aware of the benefits).

So what is social media? My friends and I exchange conversations on Facebook and I love sneaking on other people walls to see their photographs or knowing what they are doing even which people they talk to. So at one level social media is conversation with people that you know. Initially your friends have to accept your friend request even if the person you are asking to talk to has been your friend for 25 years . Join him/her on Facebook is like taking your mutual conversation to one different level, entering in a sort of virtual home, their page is another expression of themselves. Twitter is another opportunity of having these conversations in real time: you are in Chicago and your Friend Chris in  Los Angeles  and without calling him, you know exactly what he is doing right now. Even better, while in Facebook you have to be invited to join the “party” or ask permission to enter in your friend’s page, in Twitter you just decide who to follow and you are instantly connected to his/her messages/page.

People give important information about themselves, they can upload photos, videos, articles that they are writing or stuff that they have found on internet. These information circulating on the internet put people in contact and enable them to share all those things. So social media becomes a way to share information, news, and an excellent way to teach and learn from one another. There are sites that allow you to share these bits of information like You tube to upload videos, Flicks for photos, metacafe ecc. Each of us is an expert in some sort of field, each of us has a passion or have cultivated a particular knowledge and expertise in something. It is so easy today to be a blogger , anyone can do it. Sites like Wordpress or blogspot allow their users to distribute the content of what they are creating in a very simple way and most of the time for free or with a minimum investment. All this information on the internet can be indexed and rated from the users themselves, long gone are the days when you had to book all your favourite sites on your computer. Now you can use a site like Delicious and index your favourite blogs and websites but also see what sites other people are storing. Let’s say you are a Maths teacher you can collect your favourite teaching websites and share them with other people and see what other websites your colleagues are using.

So what is Social Media network in shell? Conversation, sharing, distribution of content, rating and tagging. People that are part of a social media website interact within the network establishing a connection that involves one or more of the activities listed above. It is not just a way to stay in contact it is more than that. With social media people can engage with each other giving something out and taking something in. You have new opportunities to communicate and to share things that really matter to you to an amazing audience. Talking about business, it is the old word of mouth technique being global. And it is an extraordinary human experience the fact that millions of people can engage with each other no matter the distance that separate them, no matter the time, no matter that fact that they have never met . You don’t need to be in Rome to learn Italian or even go to your local class in Anchorage Alaska . You just drop few words in Google and the world will come to you. Awesome!!!


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