Welcome to SocialMedia4Us!

This is a blog about Social Media and will introduce you to some of the many social media tools there are now available.

What is Social Media

Social Media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies which allows the user to produce and share information online using text, images, audio and video with others, who in turn can engage and communicate in interactive social dialogue about the content posted.

Social media can be used as a way to keep in touch socially with your family and friends, creating online connections using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. There are also niche social networking sites which focus on specific hobbies or interests and sites to share and comment on news and current affairs. Others allow people to share photos, videos and audio, both publically or as a closed group. Examples include Flickr and YouTube. A useful network connecting professionals is LinkedIn. In addition there are a growing number of tools that allow users to collaboratively add content such as Google Docs and Wikis.

Social media tools enable user generated content, that is anyone can choose to create an account using a social media tool and add their own content. The social aspect is that it provides an opportunity to have a dialogue about the information shared. In a blog for example you will see a comment box. Readers may choose to leave comments about the posts on the blog, to which the author can respond.

The video below gives a real indication of the exponential growth of social media. This was produced by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics a book that looks at how social media transforms the way we live and do business.

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
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