Tag Archives: socialmedia

Definition of Social Media

This week in my #digme406 class, we are exploring definitions of Social Media. According to Kaplan & Haenlein (2009) Social Media is

“… a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.”

In other words, it is a digital media form that simplifies online publishing for average users. Web 2.0 as opposed to the original World Wide Web (version 1.0) does not require particularly extensive technology skills. To publish commentary on a web page in Web 1.0, you needed to know HTML and you needed to obtain hosting, among other things. To publish commentary in a Web 2.0 environment, you need to be able to sign up for an account on a service that simplifies everything.

Myspace and Facebook were created around the same time in the early 2000’s. Facebook won out, largely due to its simplified and uniform interface. Both services were free, but Myspace was highly customizable and more akin to Web 1.0. Facebook was easy to use for everyone, so it won out and became the giant social media service it is today.

Other social media platforms have since come along , challenging Facebook directly, or carving out a special niche of their own. There has long been a trend in the technology world for big, successful organizations to gobble up and integrate smaller competitors. For example Facebook now owns Instagram and Microsoft owns Skype, along with a couple of hundred others.

For everything there is a season, and Social Media orgs are no different. Young people have moved away from Facebook and into greener pastures, although plenty still are using it. Time will tell which technologies will be around for the long haul and which will go the way of the dodo. But one thing is certain—it is hard to beat technologies that are simple and easy to use.

Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2009). Users of the world unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003

Post Every Day

The best way to build up an online reputation is through the regular sharing of original content that provides benefit to others. Ideally, you will post every day, or even multiple times a day. Only through regular posting and sharing will you build up a library of stuff you have thought about and problems you have solved that others can see.

This habit of regular sharing has a couple of benefits. First, you might just provide a solution that can help someone else working on a similar problem. Also, you are showing what you can do to people who might have an interest in knowing more about you. An online portfolio of work that potential clients and employers can see is far superior than a resume or printed portfolio because it shows what you are working on right now (Kleon, 2014). If you can discipline yourself to make regular posts about the projects you are working on and problems you are solving, you are making yourself stand apart from the crowd.


Kleon, A. (2014). Show your work. New York, NY: Workman Publishing.

Twitter Pays Off

I’ve been promoting Twitter to students for several years now. At first, they didn’t see the point. To students, social media was merely for entertainment or staying connected with family and friends.

I’ve used Twitter mostly for building a PLN of educators and creative professionals, although entertainment does weigh in from time to time. I think that students often miss the fact that Twitter can have serious uses.

I think that digital media students need to be aware of the marketing potential of the various forms of social media. Most students don’t miss that this is going on. But perhaps they don’t yet see themselves as needing to acquire skills with promoting themselves and their work through this medium.

If they are stuck in the “family and friends” mindset, they are missing out on the opportunity to interact with various brands on Twitter. One of my students recently won a bunch of merchandise simply by interacting on Twitter :

Twitter is a great way to bring attention to problems you may have as a customer. For example, a few years ago on Valentine’s day, I along with thousands of others received an order of flowers that were damaged by cold weather. But with one tweet, I received a voucher for free replacement flowers.  

There have been other examples. For example, Adobe helped me to straighten out an issue with billing by communication through social media that I had never been able to get resolved through any other means.

Social media is great for consumers. It is great for businesses. And it is wonderful for making professional connections. Until something better comes along, I will continue advising students to get involved in serious uses of social media.