What are social media?
The term ‘social media’ generally referes forms and tools of network communication which use information technology, and where anyone can produce and receive information. Social online communication is networked by nature. These networks may, depending on the service, be based on friendship or interests.
Depending on the service, registration to a social network services takes place with your own name or a nickname. By registering in the service, the user can utilise all the properties of the service and begin using its networks. However, many social media applications can also be used without registration.
Typically, social media are web applications designed to serve a specific purpose. These may include sharing your thoughts, opinions, or interesting news among friends; or sharing e.g. photos or videos among a certain group of people. Social networking services are among some of the most popular services on the web, and you should get to know them even if you don’t want to register as a user.
Some types of social media are listed below:
Blogs are a bit like public diaries. The subject of a blog can be anything! The possibility to comment and link items makes blogs social and interactive forms of communication.
Media services are sites where registered users can share photos or videos to desired groups and comment material shared by others. These include e.g. Youtube and Flickr.
Sharing links and news
Services that the users can use for sharing links, discussions and news items that they find interesting.
Microblogs are small blogs in the form of a text message. Anyone can start a microblog, but especially celebrity tweets in Twitter are popular.
Social networking services
Social networking services are based primarily on friendship and other networks, and discussions and news that take place in them. Some of them are differentiated, such as LinkedIn that is popular among business professionals, whereas others combine all of the above mentioned forms of media, such as the very popular Facebook or Google Plus.
Wikis are very popular means of reference book type of communication, but what makes them especially good is that they are encouraging people for multilateral content providing and process writing. The free encyclopedia Wikipedia is a good example of wikis, but it is not the only one.
Good to know
Subscribing is an essential part of many services. Subscribing may function differently in different services, may have different names: e.g. liking in Facebook is basically the same thing as subscribing. By liking or subscribing an item, you are expressing your interest and you will see interesting updates in the future.
Always remember the netiquette, data security and privacy protection when using social networking services! These things can be influenced by your own operation but also by getting to know the rules and settings of the services. More information can be found in the data security section in the ICT driving licence main material.
Naturally there are many other forms of network discussions. You can find more information about it here.