On Social Media - concept, applications, impact

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What is Social Computing?

Social computing refers to systems that support the gathering, processing and dissemination of information that is distributed across social collectives. Furthermore, the information in question is not independent of people, but rather is significant precisely because it linked to people, who are in turn associated with other people. (Erickson, 2012)

What is Social Media?

Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives, and media themselves.

Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. The social media sites typically use tools like message boards, forums, podcasts, bookmarks, communities, wikis, weblogs etc.

Social media has a number of characteristics that make it fundamentally different from traditional media:

  • Social media does not have a finite limit: there are no set number of pages or hours.
  • The audience can participate in social media by adding comments or even editing the stories themselves.
  • Content in social media can take the form of text, graphics, audio or video. Different formats can be mixed.
  • Social media is typically available via feeds, enabling users to subscribe via feed readers, and allowing other publishers to create mashups.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services ” such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies ” which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. The term became popular following the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the web. According to Tim O'Reilly, Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.

Some technology experts, notably Tim Berners-Lee, have questioned whether one can use the term in a meaningful way, since many of the technology components of "Web 2.0" have existed since the early days of the Web.


Wikis, blogs, social tagging, newsreaders


  • wiki software
    • MediaWiki
    • JSPwiki
    • CLiki

.... List of wiki software in Wikipedia


What is actually a blog?

  • a diary on Internet
  • with frequent posts
  • in reverse chronological order
  • open for comments
  • with open access
  • aimed at a particular audience

Blogs everywhere

Some examples

Eric Gordon's Places of Social Media

  • conferences

ECSCW'07 blog

  • literature

The Leaky Cauldron - a blog for Harry Potter fans

  • gossip


How do you do it? Blogging Software

A. hosted solutions

B. downloadable software

How do you keep track of interesting blogs? Aggregators

A feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader, news aggregator or simply as an aggregator, is a client software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing.

Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space. Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. The content is sometimes described as being "pulled" to the subscriber, as opposed to "pushed" with email or IM. The aggregator provides a consolidated view of the content in a single browser display or desktop application.

Examples of news aggregators:

How do you find interesting blogs? Search engines for blogs

Key concepts

  • permalink
  • blogroll
  • comments
  • links
  • trackbacks
  • images
  • search on blog
  • archives
  • embedded audio&video


  • Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually 140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user.
  • These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web.
  • The content of a micro-blog differs from a traditional blog due to the limited space per message. Many micro-blogs provide short messages about personal matters, commentary on a person-to-person level, or a link dump.
  • Twitter
  • Jaiku
  • Pownce

Social Network Services

A social network service focuses on the building and verifying of online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others, and which necessitates the use of software.


  • for business

  • dating
    • Parship
    • Another Friend

For more, check:

Jyri Engestrom speaks about Why aren't they working (pure social network services) and claims the success of other social network services seems to be based on object-centred sociality.

tagging & sharing


Social Curation


  • more
    • Social shopping Amazon, eBay
    • Social citations CiteULike, Mendeley
    • Social guides Wikitravel
    • Collaborative real-time editing SubEthaEdit
    • MMOG - Massively-Multiplayer Online Games - World of Warcraft

Characteristics of Social Media

The History of Social Media

Associated issues


Personal tools