Social Media – The Definition

What is Social Media?  Why is it important?  How is Pricefalls.com using it to gain brand recognition?  Why do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw for starting off a blog post with a question?  Why do I now want a cosmopolitan and to shop Manolo’s?  *Shakes head vigorously*

Moving back to the original question!  Social media can be defined, very basically, as ‘any type of website [or internet based service] that utilizes a ‘social’ philosophy (social philosophy here meaning the act of a public marketplace of ideas) including blogs, wikis, social news or networks, etc.’ (webtrends.about.com).  These websites/networks ‘act as tools’ to create, maintain and monitor individual-to-individual or individual-to-large group communication and grease the exchange of content to a lightning fast degree.  A 5 second old example of this is as I look at my TweetDeck, a facilitator to multiple social media networks simultaneously, I can see that an individual (in this case the twitter representative of Entertainment Weekly) has made an announcement to a crowd of thousands.  The post reads that “’American Idol’ opens new auditions on MySpace” along with a link that takes you directly to more information.  This information will be passed for person-to-person via word of mouth, or in this day and age as I call it ‘word-of-type’ (copyright pending) until this little piece of information has reached an audience of millions, in a way and to a number that even just 10 years ago would take days or weeks to duplicate, or, given this information was needed, 20 years ago, years.

Before I made the trek to the Nevada desert I made sure to flex my social media muscles in order to be able to take the weight of being a social media intern/consultant for a 17,000 Alexa.com rated (like the Nielsen ratings for internet) website.  I freshened up on my blogger (which I have since traded for WordPress) my Twittering, Stumbling (StumbleUpon), and Digg-ing, to just name a few. I also did a lot of comprehensive research on Pricefalls.com’s internet footprint to make sure I was ready to jump right into my jobs.

However, as can be shown throughout history, while the tools will subtly change, their purpose will be different each day.  For example, this blog is itself a form of social media that I am using to share information regarding what I am up to and how working on communication at www.pricefalls.com is going, while the person sitting next to me may be using the same program to write about the economic impact of the Dutch auction platform.  This only goes to prove the vast amount of use these tools get and if I am to stay on the up and up, I need to be on my toes.

Until next time buyers, sellers and friends!

Josh “the Intern” Weaver

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About Josh Weaver

Joshua Weaver was born and raised in Plymouth, Michigan and attended Western Michigan University. He received his Bachelors of Arts, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science, in May of 2010. After working as a public speaker and advisor he then accepting a consulting position at Pricefalls.com, a Dutch Auction website based out of Las Vegas, NV. Upon completing two months of consulting he was offered a job as Director of Public Relations and accepted. He now spends the majority of his time researching trends and executing social media tactics to draw traffic to the site.
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2 Responses to Social Media – The Definition

  1. K says:

    Social media has no strict definition. I guess you could say social media is media that is social, but that’s being redundant for the sake of redundancy. You’re much better off calling it a complex trickle-down web of communication, where a hub releases news and it spreads through the web (branching at many points) based on the importance of said junction. The hub is the news source. The junctions are web influencers. The message forwarders are participants in social media.

    At the same time, social media is not just about word-of-type as you refer to it. It can serve as quick message distribution, but it’s also valuable for its idea aggregation (these comments, Wikipedia’s articles, Yahoo! Questions, et al.), individual empowerment (we no longer look to large organizations for updates and opinions), and much more.

    An issue with social media is the signal-to-noise ratio. Information comes out of a faucet the width of a football field. There’s so much of it, the entire medium is devalued. The next stage of social media needs to focus on finding real quality, real influencers, and the most authoritative news sources. Tools exist (like Technorati) and popular opinion can force quality to stand out (see Wikipedia pages), but this is a nebulous arena. With too many people “experimenting” without really taking a hard look at what they’re trying to contribute or elicit from the services, this medium is doomed to failure.

    As they say, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. I need only point you to YouTube comments to verify that.

  2. Thnks says:

    @ K-

    Very insightful thoughts. From one metaphor to another (referring to your comment on the signal-noise ratio with social media), “you hit the nail on the head”. There is simply too much “junk” being disbursed on social media platforms that it makes it terribly difficult to efficiently locate useful information . That being said, everyday there is indeed invaluable information being distributed by individuals across the web. For instance, your mentioning useful tools such as technorati could really benefit someone who happened to come across this blog. I second your thought that somehow there needs to be a better way of aggregating insightful information presented on the numerous social media platforms in order to efficiently filter out the fluff. I’ll keep following this blog as I enjoy following personal experiences with start ups such as Pricefalls.com. Furthermore, the authors approach is awesome and he seems to be a great catalyst for stimulating discussions. Thanks Josh “the intern”.

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