Communication is enhanced by social media, the information created by people using scalable, accessible online publishing technologies. By interacting with peers and the public, individuals and businesses communicate and influence a large number of people. Most social media networking is done on the Internet and mobile communication networks.
Social media is different from industrial media, which are newspapers, magazines, film and television. Social media is inexpensive so even individuals can afford to publish and access information easily. Industrial media requires substantial cash to publish information and advertisements.
User generated content and consumer generated media are alternative names for social media. Everyday people present information, video, audio and photos through online social communities. People share experiences and stories, refer products and discuss everything under the sun through social media.
Social media and industrial media have the power to reach both small and large audiences. A television show or a blog post might reach nobody or millions of people may view it. Let’s consider some of the similarities and differences between using social media and industrial media.
Both social media and industrial media offer technologies so anyone can reach a global audience. Industrial media is typically owned privately or by the government. Social media tools are available for little or no cost to anyone. To use industrial media, often specialized training and skills are required. Most people find it easy to work with social media. Social media allows instant responses while industrial media is slower to produce. Industrial media is also permanent once published whereas social media is easily edited after publishing.
A major difference between social media and industrial media is the level of accountability. Industrial media is accountable to society regarding the quality and consequences of their content. At this time, social media is not held accountable for its content and publishing. Social media tends to be a true reflection of opinion without conflicts of interests. However, third party ads and ad networks are making social media more subject to bias.
Social media is dependent on interactions occurring between people. Discussions and words are integrated to share using Internet technology as a connection point. Users can share statements for everyone to view and discuss. Communication through social media is instant and takes place in real time. Commenting, instant messaging and editing existing stories are all social media activities.
Examples of social media include blogs, internet forums, podcasts, video, pictures, wikis and more. Activities done through social media include sharing photos, social networking, product reviews, sharing video, microblogging and personal music. A few of the top social media websites include Wikipedia, Google Groups, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. For a list of social networking sites visit Social Networking Sites
With open source solutions such as Joomla and Drupal you can now create your own private or public social network. With the help of extenions such as JomSocial & Joomunity you can quickly establish your own interactive social network which can be used to get the word out on what you have to offer.