Social Media to some extent is still the new kid on the block. In the truest sense of the word social media is information that is created and shared by network users. Information is created in networks like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, or shared via bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit or Del.icio.us (of course there are a lot more, but that’s another post). But is that all that social media is to us? Just sharing and creating like some online robots?
Social Media is in fact part of what the techies of today call Web 2.0. Sounds fancy right? It generally just refers to the next generation of internet development and design. Web 2.0 has helped foster the development of a variety of online communities and sharing networks, including blogs and of course our topic du jour – social media.
The networks which we establish, and ultimately in which participate, also foster a community. Perhaps this Web 2.0 business is all that. Of course thinking of “Social Media” as an online community is a bit cliché but that’s just the name of the game. People participate, they share, create, observe, learn, goof off (but not during the 9-5 grind of course), get to know others, find their niche etc. As you become involved in the community, you will also be able to communicate your own visions, thoughts, plans, goals, or whatever you want.
I think one of the goals of anyone’s online communication strategy, whether it be through networks, your blog or your website, should be to build and continue to foster an online community for your users. Use whatever analogy you please, social media is an online community.