Social Media. What is it?
We often hear the term “social media” used around the world today. Social Media is “the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.” and believe it or not, Social Media was around back in 1997. Funnily enough it was what I am taking part in at the moment! Blogging! However, this was in a more basic form to the blogging we see in today’s world. In 1999 we saw the start of Friends Reunited which could possibly be seen by some as the original Facebook. A couple years on Friendster made its debut where at its peak have more than 100,000,000 users. 2003 saw the beginning on MySpace, Flickr and LinkedIn. Then in 2004 we saw the beginning of the largest social media source. Facebook. In 2005 Bebo and Youtube kickstarted and in 2006 we saw Facebook takeover Myspace with the amount of users they had, and that was just the beginning. Facebook now has over 1,000,000,000 users! In 2008/9 we saw the beginning and the end of many new forms of social media. We saw the likes of Tumblr, Pintrest, Google +, WordPress and Instagram appear on our screens, but we have also seen some original sites disappear or rebrand. Bebo and Friends Reunited were rebranded but they were unable to keep the fast growing pace of Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. We recently saw Friendster shut down completely for the same reason.
Social Media in Business
We see Blogging used as a way for the employer to reach the employees with a personal touch, rather than just another plain, boring email in the inbox. We also see the use of Wiki’s. Wikis are a way for multiple people to collaborate to create work together by easily adding/editing content on a site. The use of Wikis in Business allows for collaboration at a much larger scale. The other way businesses use social media is through Social Networking. Social Networking are sites that allow for information to be shared about themselves, giving and receiving information and a way to make new relationships. We often see businesses use social networking for project work and various forms of management.
What is Socio-technical theory you might ask? Well, it is an approach for organisational work design that combines people (Socio) and technology (technical) in the work place. Hence the term Socio-Technical Theory. Some examples of this theory are the use of Social Networking sites, Wikis, Blogs which I have mentioned above and also Web 2.0. However I will save that for future posts!