I was browsing through my RSS reader today and came across an interesting post from Brian Clark, titled Since When Are Blogs Not Social Media?. Here is a quote from it:
I’ve noticed a strange trend lately.
For some reason, people seem to be equating social media with social networking.
At the same time, they seem to be treating blogging as something other than social media.
I found his post interesting because that trend is something I have been noticing myself. It looks like for many people social media is the collection of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
Well, it is much more than that.
Social media are the various forms of user generated content and the collection of websites and applications that enables people to interact and share information online.
Complicated? Well here is a list of things that are part of the social media:
- online forums (e.g., DigitalPoint)
- blogs (e.g., WordPress)
- social networking sites (e.g., Facebook)
- social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg)
- video sharing sites (e.g., YouTube)
- photo sharing sites (e.g. Flickr)
- streaming sites (e.g., Ustream)
- user reviews (e.g., Amazon)
- crowdsourcing (e.g., Wikipedia)
- content aggregators (e.g., FriendFeed)
As you can see, social media is much wider than what some people think. It is also much older. We could say that the first Usenet (a form of distributed discussion system) developed in 1980 was already social media.