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What Does “Social Media” Mean Now?

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What Does “Social Media” Mean Now?

by Martina Wormuth on May 25, 2012

Social media. The first time that we really heard the term was when Facebook came out in 2004. Before that, it had been thrown around. But it wasn’t a huge phenomenon until about the last 5 years.

I saw an article on Social Times the other day containing this infographic. And I was fascinated by the dozens upon dozens of different social mediums that were listed within the infographic. Isn’t it crazy?

Here are a few categories that I looked at and scratched my head, simply because I’d never thought of them before.

- Social Intelligence. What? At first, I thought this meant that they were investigative sites that you could use to dig up information about anyone. After a little research, I discovered that these are websites (like Google Analytics) that run stats. Basically, tools for social media tracking.

- Social advertising. I used to just call this “advertising.” But this is specifically advertising that targets the person looking at it. Think of your Facebook page, where you get ads that are supposedly based on the interests in your profile. Or the ads you get on blogs that are related to the actual content of the blog. That’s social advertising; it utilizes the social context of the viewer.

- Blogging. I say this on a blog. Why did I find this odd? Because honestly, I used to put blogging in a category different than that of social media. And until the advent of Facebook, it really was its own thing. But now, bloggers have made communities and many followers follow groups of the same types of blogs. Without being like other forms of social media, the creativity and intelligence that flow from like-minded thinkers within blogging communities are absolutely amazing and social media in their own right.

- Social TV. This is something that I never thought about at all, until I looked into exactly what it meant. Social TV, in short, is TV that includes social media aspects (like text/video based communication) within a television context or related to TV content. It also includes the study and research of those who use social interaction and TV. So, websites like the ones listed on the infographic allow for that sort of interaction. Apparently, the MIT technology review referred to it as one of the most important technologies to be coming out during 2010. Hm. Interesting.

- Social Search. I talked about this a bit last week when I talked about Bing bringing in a social aspect via Facebook. I wasn’t aware that it was bigger than that, because of websites like Google that used some sort of algorithm to help with search results. In my opinion, that’s a bit intrusive, but it can be incredibly helpful depending on what you’re searching for.

What do you think of the infographic? Are there companies missing in this big scope of things? Are there categories that you would add or get rid of? Leave some thoughts in the comments, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you here next week!

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