I chose to do my research paper on social media because I have an interest of the many different ways people can interact with each other worldwide. Whether you live in the United States of America, or in the Middle East, there are many ways we can communicate with one another, with social media being the most popular way of doing so. In this paper I will discuss the meaning of social media, as well as the different types of social media one can use, the purpose of using it, the effects it can have on us, and lastly, who owns these social media sites. Social Media can be defined as websites and applications used for social networking and interactive forms of media, that allows users to interact with and publish to each other, generally by means of the internet. It is the act of creating and posting content in any and all of the following hosted environments: online, mobile, virtual. Social media is online media where we can talk, participate, share, network, and book mark online. Most of the social media services encourage people to discuss, give feedback, vote, comment, and share information from all interested parties. It expedites conversation and allows readers, viewers, and listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content. It is more of a two-way conversation, rather than a one-way broadcast like traditional media. Social media is the idea of staying connected or linked to other sites, resources, and people. So now that I have covered what social media is, let’s move on. There are many different types of social media that an individual can use to interact with others. The most common types are social networking, media sharing, microblogging, social news, bookmarking sites, blog comments and discussion forums. While these are the 6 different types of social media, there can be an overlap among the various services. For instance, Facebook has microblogging features with their status updates. Also, Flickr and YouTube have comment systems similar to that of blogs. Social networking sites are websites that are used to connect people. In these online communities, people can join, usually for free, and create a page with their own profile. The most popular sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, is where members can share comments, links, photos, videos, and much more. For a professional networking site, LinkedIn offers sections for jobs, recommendations, and questions. Social networking sites make it easy for members to connect with others who have similar interests and establish contact networks. Also, many Web 2.0 tools such as Flickr (photo-sharing) and FourSquare (location updates) use social networking features as well. Media sharing has become a major part of social media. Photos and videos can now be easily shared on popular sites such as Flickr, Instagram, and YouTube. These sites allow you to upload and share various sources of media. Most of these sites also have additional social features such as profiles, commenting and so on. Microblogging is a type of social media service that focuses on extremely short blog posts, kind of like text messaging, that are pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive their updates. The most popular of these at the moment is Twitter, which lets its users post updates up to 140 characters long. Users can then read these messages online or have them sent as a text message to a cell phone or other mobile device. Once there is a set amount of people you follow and people who follow you, it's an ongoing conversation you can participate in whenever you want. The people you interact with can provide you with information online, give you links to check out, share new ways of thinking, and offer responses to questions you ask. Social news allows people to post various news items or links to outside articles and then it allows it’s users to vote on such items. The voting is the social aspect of these sites, as the...
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