So many questions …

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Not the least of which is how on earth do you decide what to do with Social Media?  What is its purpose?  What are the benefits to be derived from it?  What’s in it for me?  Let’s start with …

What is Social Media?

Reading through our course material, collaboration, connection, and communication are definitely recurring themes:  Social Media enables us to collaborate with others quickly and easily, connect with others 24/7, and – if we would like to – communicate with others – all without having to leave the comfort of our own home/office/couch/bus/train…

History

How did we get to that stage in such a short time – bearing in mind that Twitter, for example, was founded in March 2006 – that’s right – just 10 short years ago!

 

twitter

twitter.com

In the beginning, there was SixDegrees.com – founded in 1997, it was one of the first sites which allowed users to customise their experience by creating profiles, inviting friends to join, and organise groups, etc.  The first to really put the “Social” into a Social Media site.
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digitaltrends.com

SixDegrees.com ceased to exist early in the new millennium.
While SixDegrees.com focused on the supposed six degrees of separation, friendster launched in 2002 with a similar concept, but refined it to a “circle of friends” approach, embracing the networking aspect to encourage people to create their own communities.
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digitaltrends.com

 

See the-history-of-social-networking for more fascinating information.

2003 saw the launch of LinkedIn, which positioned itself as a professional’s networking site.  Today LinkedIn boasts 414 million users and is now the go-to source for employers looking for background information about potential employees, and vice-versa.

In the intervening years, numerous Social Networking platforms such as MySpace have had their moments of glory.  In 2016, Facebook and Twitter are the reigning superstars:  Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users and Twitter has an astonishing 300 million users logging in monthly.

For more mind-blowing stats, visit expandedramblings.com.

Quick fact:  one of the readings for week one of our semester was dated 2010.  It quoted quite a few statistics from Forrester’s North American Social Technographics Online Survey.

It says that in 2010, Twitter’s Rank #1 was held by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh who had 800,000 followers.

At the time of writing, singer Katy Perry currently holds the #1 position – with a little over 84 million followers!

What a difference 6 years makes in the world of Social Media!

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Socio-technical systems

I am still looking for further readings on Socio-Technical systems/theory.  At this stage my understanding is that a socio-technical system is comprised of technical systems and a human component and takes a more holistic approach than in the past with interaction between people and technology being at the core of the system.  A socio-technical website represents the interface between the technical domain of, for example, software and the human interaction.

References

Jue, A.L., Marr, J.A. & Kassotakis, M.E. (2010). Social Media at Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organizational Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

digitaltrends.com/features/the-history-of-social-networking

expandedramblings.com

linkedin.com

twitter.com

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