The Blog Where We Keep You Posted
a person's attempt to make sense of his surroundings

COM125 POST #2: Some thoughts on Social Media

Wikipedia defines Social Media as ” the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue”.

Social Media

A display of various technologies that make up the social media phenomenon.

Take a simple example: Wikipedia is “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” Just fifty years ago owning an encyclopedia series would cost a fortune, and the rich could afford it. Fast forward today: Just by signing up for a free account and using an internet-enabled device (you do not even need a computer anymore), you have Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia that has over 19 million articles written by contributors.

Sites such as Kickstarter have harnessed the power of social media, where normal people can pitch any business proposition. If the basic idea is sound, other people can pledge money to the project, and tweet or share the project to their friends on Facebook. Thus a new method of funding is born.

Even fashion stores have incorporated Social Media as part of their business strategy. Some online blogshops (websites that sell apparel on the internet) actively encourage their customers to “review” the products bought, by taking photos and adding their remarks on online forums. This enables an interactive dialogue between the business and the consumers, as the blogshops can see which products are reviewed more favorably and order more similar products, and the consumers are able to give credence and express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the products.

Unfortunately, there is always a dark side to everything. Websites that rely on user-contributed content such as wikis are prone to being abused by several mischievous internet pranksters. For every page that contains accurate information (such as the many different species of birds that belong to the Corvidae family), there are also reports of Wikipedia pages being hijacked by spammers and vandals (as in this report on the World Cup Wikipedia page being defaced).


What an EXCELLENT SAVE BY the goalkeeper of the Corvus Brachyrhynchos team!

The relative anonymity of the internet can also mean that some people be paid to review a product positively, even if they have never even tried the product themselves.

As long as the end user approaches the internet with a grain of salt, social media can be a very powerful tool for communication indeed. As a communications major, I await with baited breath at what possibilities the future may bring.


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