Social Media #myintro

September 7, 2011

As an avid social media user, taking a step back and looking into the reason why I choose to be actively involved in social media is an exploration. Traveling through a realm that I use instinctively and analyzing started with Brian Solis’ book Engage!.

Solis defines social media as the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversation between authors, people and peers (p21).  Using this definition of social media and Solis book as a baseline, I will be exploring the effects on individuals, corporation and government. With the aid of authors Jay Rosen, Charlene Li and Danah Boyd, we will look at how social media impacts us as a new form of media, in corporations and individuals versus social media.

I believe that social media has become an extension of the human being for an upcoming generation with the assistance of new technology. Social media developed from a technological savvy generation that has thrown traditional methods of communication out and created a new form. Solis mentions that the new media evolution is the most dramatic in decades.

This information becomes important when looking at the legality of social media as discussed by Danah Boyd. Boyd questions the enforcement of social media by Congress and law enforcement agencies with what is privacy in the internet?

I do agree with the Boyd assessment that the focus should be “about what happens as the data flows across networks and as the data is networked together.” Looking into how the information is being used is a serious issue rather than what is private. In the college classrooms, students are being told that before their job interview a lot of companies are searching the internet to see what their potential employee internet image is. Most job seekers don’t use caution with their virtual image and don’t realize that one of the reasons someone else got the job was because of what is found online. Their personal persona did match with what the company would like out of their employees. I believe this brings up ethical questions about whether or not a person life needs to be connecting to their professional work. I understand political or members of the royal family, who are in a public role the line between person and professional lives being one and same. For me, a person trying to work their way into a professional job is it really necessary to be cautious. When companies like Google are now asking for a cellphone number to be attached to an email address, for me becomes an invasion my use of internet. I believe there is a place and time for everything. I am not open about all aspect of my life virtually. That’s why some of my accounts are private. I would encourage others to use caution especially when looking for J.O.B.

I have struggled with my younger brother and cousins about the information they put on social network sites. I have tried to explain that even though the account they have on a social network is personal to a larger extent, it is public and can have a negative and potential to hurt more than help. They are a generation younger than I, they think that they are immortal and can’t be harmed or hurt by the internet. As Boyd wrote “they think it’s possible to have privacy on Facebook”.

Boyd article mainly focuses on teenagers and their lack of control plus privacy. Explaining how through social networks like Facebook, they have managed to establish control and privacy from their number one stalker: parents. Parents often forget that their children are growing up and that they will be the future lawmakers. They are a generation growing up on actively consuming media in all its forms.

Business follow the saying that “consumer is king” have learned to adapt their ways to communicating.  In my crisis corporate communication class, companies were seen as intangible human being. They exist legally and behave like humans without the body. So for Kroger to have their products on social media is humanizing themselves. Solis explains that social media has caused advertisers, marketers, business, and public relations companies to look for the best way to speak with, and not at people (p 5).

Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead by Charlene Li

Charlene Li wrote in her book Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, shared about how Red Cross hired a social media manager, Wendy Harman, after Hurricane Katrina hit. Harman revamped the internal policy of social media. She also created network accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and blogs. With adding these social network accounts, a company etiquette manual was distributed to all employees so that they understood what the company. The success of this was illustrated when the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Red Cross raised $793 thousand from the campaign.  The power of open communication is in important part of social media. Having a corporate voice is a strong tool for companies in media, especially social media as it allows them to speak to their customers, shareholders, employees, and general public. Red Cross has embraced the uses of social media and creating a liaison has created a trend for other companies to follow.

This practice is not limited to non-profit organizations. On June 26, 2006, the New York Times reported that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign hired Peter Daou, one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation, to help disseminate her message in a forum that has not always been that hospitable to her. Online media has the potential to build a reputation but also destroy the reputation. Social media has given companies the ability to establish corporate image and protect their reputation.

Jay Rosen illustrates how new media has allowed every person to be empowered with someone becoming a videographer by picking up a camera, or a journalist by writing a blog. Looking at the individual uses of media, a quote from Rosen’s article that explains what new media is by Rupert Murdoch, told American newspaper editors about us: “They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it.” This would be a description of individuals currently using media. Rosen says “The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, and less predictable. You should welcome that, media people. But whether you do or not we want you to know we’re here.”  I believe that the statement speaks about the generation growing up with all the different forms of media available at their fingertips. Web sites like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace have allowed the stay-at-home mother to be redefined as an advocate just one example.

Why do I care?

patiently waiting and observing time on “new” media

Research says human behavior is predictable. Yet social media has allowed marketing and communication strategies that were once predictable obsolete. Over a century of research redefined by new technology and we are still evolving. The internet has become the modern printing press of the digital world. Empowering individuals to do more than they previously thought they could do. Businesses are trying to find the “magic bullet” in making a profit and reaching their customers, while lawmakers struggle with the legalization and enforcement of information. The evolution of society is continuing with internet being the catalyst of bringing together what was once divided. My recommendation with the current social environment is to keep watching and listening as more change is on the way. With technology continually developing, this is going to continue breaking down conventional definitions of enterprise and expanding through the barrier known as countries. We are in a global community and heading towards where one law dictates the use of information and data through the internet.

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3 Responses to “Social Media #myintro”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Katie Le said

    Hi Twambi. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts, and I completely agree with you that some of the next steps in social media is to listen and watch the changes that takes place.

  3. Just a logistic point, your first paragraph cuts off right before your picture. I think it embedded in the middle of a sentence and cut it off. Just so you know.

    Great breakdown of the readings. I really like how you presented them individually but intertwined the concepts. One thing I would suggest is tailoring your writing now to a more conversational tone since now our assignments are going to be blog posts. It’s a lot more relaxed and I find to be easier to write since it’s not so academic and it’s also more fit to the blog atmosphere.

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