Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How does social media work?

Social Media allows people to connect, communicate and collaborate online.

This isn’t necessarily a new development, since communication has always happened between individuals and small groups. But Social Media facilitates a global society that previously either didn’t know each other or couldn’t stay in contact. It therefore makes the job of interacting across time and distance that much easier and for many users it becomes second nature.

The three stages of end user participation online:
  1. The first stage of the Internet was as an organisational publishing medium (e.g. private industry: newspapers, public sector/academic: research)
    - The end user is merely the recipient, its all about what they see
  2. The second stage was when the Internet became a proper transactional medium (e.g. eCommerce such as Amazon took off, Google/pay per action grew in prominence, etc.)
    - The end user is the recipient and the operator (e.g. the purchaser)
  3. The third stage happened when the Internet became the platform for community – where people essentially ‘live’ and develop, where User Generated Content became what people expected, not what was the exception.
    - The end user then becomes the recipient, operator & creator

At what stage is your company at?