In my social media and journalism class, we are reading Engage! by Brian Solis. So far, I’ve really enjoyed reading it and I recommend it for others who are interested in learning more about social media. This post will focus on Chapter 3, which is called “The New Media University”.
Although this chapter is only five pages, it discusses a lot of useful information for anyone that is interested in understanding some of the basics of social media better. I really enjoyed reading the sections about the definition of social media and “when words lose their meaning”.
The Definition of Social Media
Solis wrote that “Social media is 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” (Solis, 21).
I highly agree with this definition. Social media is a continuous process of being able to reach millions. It is a way to develop relationships with others that you normally would not have any way to interact with. Social media allows users to create the content that is shared with others (an example would be this blog 🙂 ).
This type of communication is quite an amazing process. Something that I post can be read on the other side of the world instantly!
In this section, Solis said “As with anything, words become meaningless if overused and underpracticed. Words that define the essence of social media are often misused, misinterpreted, undervalued, or thrown around as bragging rights” (Solis, 21).
It’s amazing how many people think they know social media but in reality they can’t even define it.
When something new becomes a hit, such as social media, people tend to “jump on board” so as not to feel left out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this but when a person “jumps in” without any real knowledge of what they are getting themselves into, it can cause quite a problem.
The problem would be that the user, who has the power to influence other users, is highly uninformed. This false sense of knowledge leads to a lot of people misusing the communication medium (which can damage the chance of that specific type of social media from being able to expand and grow for its original, intended use).
***Here is the works cited information for Engage!:
Solis, B. (2011). Engage!: The complete guide for brands and businesses to build, cultivate, and measure success in the new web. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.