Social Media: Bane or Boon?

Topics: Sociology, Social media, Web 2.0 Pages: 8 (2929 words) Published: November 30, 2012
SOCIAL MEDIA: BOON OR BANE?
Roberto M. Macatuggal, Ph.D.

Web 2.0 has enabled web-based services, such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, etc., that emphasize collaboration and sharing among users. This platform (Davis, 2012), described simply as the read/write web, allows users to be both consumers and producers of online content. It is an interactive two-way web; a place where everyday folks with Internet access can create and edit stuff. Davis compares Web 1.0 and Web 2.0: Web 1.0 was a place to go and get, while Web 2.0 is a place to be and do. Gregory (2011) clarifies further that Web 2.0 allows for participating and sharing in the production of resources. It is about communities, participation, and peering. A social network (Wikipedia) is a theoretical construct that is used to study the relationships between and among individuals, social units, or even whole societies. Georg Simmel pioneered in early structural theories in Sociology and Jacob Moreno is credited for having developed the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships. Web 2.0 social networking working capabilities have spawned the development of social media tools. What is social media? According to Parker (2011) social media are the uses of Web technology to spread messages through social interaction that happens online. Rean John Uehara (Webdesigner.com) defines social media as a combination of human interaction through web applications where people produce their own content, mold their own experience, and define their online presence. A loose definition of social media is that it’s like a country, people gather and interact with massive amounts of people from their area and abroad. It’s really a broad place, both wonderful and terrible depending on its use. Two of the most popular social media are Facebook (visited at http:// blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post =287542130) which claims to have more than 400 million users and Twitter (http://blog.twitter.com/2010/02/measuring-tweets.html) receiving around 50 million updates a day from users, which is an average of 600 tweets per second.

Parker (2011) differentiates the following social media tools: 1.Blogging – an informal conversational medium for writing and publishing content online on regular basis. (e.g., Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress). 2.Microblogging – a short form of blogging where posts are usually limited in length and format. ( e.g., Twitter, Friendfeed) 3.Social Networking – a way to engage and interact with a specific online community by way of a fan or profile page. 4.Social Bookmarking – a central location for posting links to useful resources which can be seen and shared by other users. (e.g., Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious). 5.Multimedia – Sharing rich media such as video, images, and presentation online. (e.g., YouTube, SlideShare, Flickr). 6.Reviews and Opinions – a way for customers to share opinions and reviews of products and services online. (e.g., Yahoo! Answers, Epinions, eHow). 7.Wikis – a central repository designed to be edited by a group rather than one person. (e.g., Wikipedia, Wikia, Wikitravel, Dealipedia, Wikimapia). What are the benefits of social media? Nakul Arora wrote in his blog that in today’s fast growing world, social media is the latest thing which has made its presence felt virtually across all the sectors. Facebook and Twitter are two big players having majority control within social media. Thus, it becomes very important for any organization today to be present in some form or the other on these networks so as to connect with the wide following these networks have. These networks have also taken individualism to another level altogether with each person having a considerable say over his friend group. Thus if any educational institution at all succeeds in winning over a student to avail of its educational services, the chance of influencing his friends also increases. According to...

References: Arora, Nakul. 5 Ways Educational Institutions Can Use Facebook and Twitter For Studies And Coordination.
Davis, Cheryl Ann Peltier. (2012). The Cybrarian’s Web. London: Facet Publishing.
Gregory, Vicki L. (2011). Collection Development and Management for 21st Century Library Collections: An Introduction. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.
Parker, Catherine .(2011). 301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Prateek, Shah. Use, Misuse and Abuse of Social Media. Posted at http://greensmyles.com/2012/06/the-use-and-misuse-of-social-media/
Uehara, Rean John. Social Media Misuse That Could Cost You Big Time. Webdesigner.com.
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