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Defining Social Media and Categorizing It

If you’re new to the game, in relations to the social media, have been hiding under a rock, or have just been telling yourself that social media is the work of the devil (thank you waterboy) then obviously something needs to change. Social media is a buzzword, term that has begun to see use in the wider society outside of its originally narrow technical context by nonspecialists who use the term vaguely or imprecisely, that is getting a lot of attention these days. But what is social media? The fact of the matter is, ultimately, there is no set definition for social media. Everyone has a different idea of what it is. In this post, I/we will attempt to determine a valid definition for social media, and if we can categorize it (or not).

Lets first break up social media into it’s two basic words; social and media. Social meaning seeking or enjoying the companionship of others (dictionary.com). Media meaning the means of communication (medium of communication) that reach or influence people widely (dictionary.com). From these two definitions we can conclude that social media is a medium of communication that reaches a wide array of people people who are interacting with one another. I just looked at Chris Cookley’s Blog and he basically did the same thing as me, but I feel his definition may be a little better, which I put below.

“A companionship or relation involving means of communication that reach people widely.”

Now we are getting somewhere. Let’s see if we can categorize social media (what sites/tools fall under the category of social media). I would have to categorize social media sites as sites which allow a vast number of people to interact, collaborate, and share information with a community over an internet medium (Web 2.0).

If anyone disagrees, or has anything add, please post and let me know where I can improve on my categorization.

 

I am a life-long learner, adventure seeker, and front-end developer for @ExactTarget