Several readers who are new to blogging have asked me to explain what social media and social networking mean, and how to use them to promote their blogs.
I have used some resources in this post to define the two and explain how bloggers can join the melee, participate and use them in effective ways to promote their blogs.
Social Media is a shift in how people find, use and and share news and information and other content prompted by access to the internet. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, that transforms one-to-one communication into one-to-many communication. If you’re new to social media please consider the definitions that follow:
1. Social media describes the online tools that people use to share content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself, thus facilitating conversations and interaction online between groups of people. These tools include blogs, message boards, podcasts, micro blogs, lifestreams, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis, and vlogs.
2. Social Media is the democratization of content and the understanding of the role people play in the process of not only reading and disseminating information, but also how they share and create content for others to participate. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and people. — The Definition of Social Media
Social Media in Plain English
A simple story that illustrates the forces shaping social media. This video comes in an unbranded “presentation quality” version that can be licensed for use in the workplace.
Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals. While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed, the unparalleled potential of the Internet to promote such connections is only now being fully recognized and exploited, through Web-based groups established for that purpose.
Based on the six degrees of separation concept (the idea that any two people on the planet could make contact through a chain of no more than five intermediaries), social networking establishes interconnected Internet communities (sometimes known as personal networks) that help people make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met otherwise. In general, here’s how it works: you join one of the sites and invite people you know to join as well. Those people invite their contacts to join, who in turn invite their contacts to join, and the process repeats for each person. In theory, any individual can make contact through anyone they have a connection to, to any of the people that person has a connection to, and so on.