Month: March 2014

What is Social Media?

I’m not sure I’ve ever taken the time to sit down and think about what social media really is. Considering all the forms of social media I use, I guess I’d have to say it’s a system of groups and communities that communicate through a primarily internet based method. Social media is a way for us to share our ideas, thoughts, secrets, news, or just have a pointless conversation. We do this in blogging platforms like Blogr or Word Press, microblogging platforms such as Twitter or Tumblr, and through other various forms from internet based chat rooms and forums.

I think my favorite social media is the forum, by far. Forums are one of the easiest ways to find like minded groups of individuals to have conversations with about any topic. Reddit is a great example of a well-done forum. It’s set up with a simple system of up and down voting to illustrate how much people are appreciating any given post. One of the most interesting aspects of Reddit is it’s system of ranking individuals based on their comment history and posting. This is the social aspect of social media, working at its best, and achieving a hierarchical system that fosters a community of great conversations (most of the time). I certainly feel that a blog is a form of social media.

Blogs may actually be the most important (not my favorite) aspect of social media today. Through blogs we consume much of our news and opinions alike. While forums are my favorite, I certainly spend a hefty share of my internet time browsing through my favorite blogs and absorbing their information. I think that the basic structure of supply and demand that a blog creates with its passage of information is one aspect that qualifies it as a form of social media, but were you to expect a more “social” reason, you’d have to look no further than the comment section of a blog. Having the ability to interact with other people that are reading and contemplating the same thing you are is the most social of activities. These gems of insight, hidden at the bottom of most blog posts, are where new opinions are formed, minds are change, and values are created and destroyed.

In some ways, I think a blog may provide a larger social benefit to the consumer than a conversation with a person directly in front of you. The veil of the internet allows a feeling of relative anonymity (even when you post under your own name) which often leads to more honest and open discussions than many people are comfortable having in person. Social media has a wide ranging defintion that encompasses most of Americans daily activities. It will be interesting to see how social media changes in the future with the advent of Virtual Reality headsets that are ready to roll out this year. Facebook just purchased Oculus VR for 2 Billion dollars. Oculus has been widely touted as the next big thing in communication, and Facebook has promised to bring virtual reality to social media. Through a headset you can, with incredible results, experience a virtual world where every move of your head is made within the virtual expanse you’re plugged into. Will this be good or bad for us? I’m not really sure at this point, I’m inclined to say bad. While I love my social media, too much of a good (feeling) thing is not always that good, is it?


What Is Social Media?

In my own words I think I would describe social media as communication.  Social media allows you to connect with people all over the world in the blink of an eye and be.. social.  Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook are all the kinds of social media that I am most familiar with.  Growing up in today’s age we grew up with these technologies and websites so it’s very easy for kids my age to get on a social media site and communicate with someone.  Social media has also become a way of promotion as well.  So many businesses these days have on their ads “Check us out at facebook at….”.  But back to my main point I would say communication what drives social media.  I know for me I get a lot of my news from twitter, or someone will post a picture of their friend on instagram because it’s their birthday so that’ll remind me to reach out to that person.  Or I have friends that live all over the country but with facebook I’m able to keep up with what they’re doing or chat with them whenever I want, and that’s really the main reason I even have a facebook at this point, to stay connected to people. Overall social media has become the modern day way to communicate with friends, family, potential consumers of a product, and the over all masses, all in the blink of an eye.

What is social media?

Social media is a method of communication. People use social media to advertise and communicate ideas, opinions, and thoughts. Businesses can use social media to update customers that are interested. Celebrities can use social media to communicate with their fans. Regular people use social media for big to small purposes, they can use it to get attention for whatever goals they are trying to pursue, or they could use it to simply communicate with their peers, friends and family. Blogs are social media because they are used to share and communicate ideas.

What is Social Media?

Social media consists of anything website or host website on the Internet that uses it as a catalyst for promoting social interaction between individuals.  The most popular today are websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit; they allow the users to interact with people from all over the wold.  In my opinion, social media makes the world a much smaller place because not only are we able to express our own ideas, but others world-wide have the ability to join in on the conversations.

I definitely think blogging is a form of social media. Each blogger usually has a specific niche they’re writing about and by tagging are able to link their posts to a larger subject.  If a blogger likes what another blogger is posting about, they have the ability to follow each other and track new content that the fellow blogger is sharing.  And of course there is commenting! Like Facebook where you can comment on nearly anything if you’re friends with the person, the same goes for most host blog sites. If you follow someone, you can show support by commenting or liking a post that the blogger has created. This whole kind of interaction creates a virtual community which, I think, is the objective of social media as a whole.


Social Media

I think social media is a space in which people can interact via the internet in various ways. It is a way of interaction that doesn’t involve any sort of physicality and it can take place on a level of different mediums. I am not entirely sure if blogging is completely considered a form of social media. I could see why it would or wouldn’t be considered under those guidelines. For one, some bloggers don’t host to any sort of audience at all. Some are used more as personal journals or even blogs that are completely hidden from either families or friends in order to conserve privacy of thought. However, if you are putting something on the internet whether intended to reach an audience or not–the possibility is always there that you are reaching out in some form for someone’s eyes to happen upon it. You cannot truly control that. So in other cases, your blog might develop a viewership in which you may not even know or recognize any of the people reading the blog but you are still interacting–therefore I think it falls more towards the medium of social media. As soon as an interaction begins to take form or have shape, it becomes social as well. I think the parameters are so loose that as long as you are communicating on the internet, it becomes more and more grounds for social media.

Annotated Bibliography # 5

Bickerstaff, Susan. “‘I Am The Rock Goddessof Lyrics’: Writerly Identities Of Adolescents Returning To School.” Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 56.1 (2012): 56-66. Literary Reference Center. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.


This article covers the relationship between kids who dropped out of school and how blogging has in many ways helped developed their writing skills even as they spent time away from school. Now returning to education, many teachers are impressed at the level of skills that have continued to develop despite the lack of a formal education. The accessibility and connection to the blogging universe has kept and enhanced certain skills. However, it was also shown that other mediums such as strict social media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and other related websites have in fact shown a reverse in writing skills. Spelling and grammar have taken a backseat on social media platforms whereas the blogging universe has shown great improvements as well as attracting a completely different hosts of readers–thus making the writers have to match up and keep to par for their viewership.

Annotated Bibliography 5

Rouhani can take steps to improve Iran press freedom” CPJ Committee to Protect Journalists. July 8 2013. Web. March 30 2014.

This article is quite interesting as it speculates on the differences that new President Rouhani, in Iran, may or may not make with concern to journalists in their country. For a very long time, journalists and bloggers have been prosecuted and destroyed for their writing and they are all extremely hopeful that Rouhani will actively bring about a change in that pattern. The biggest problem faced is that Rouhani may be President, but the judicial and governmental sides of Iran work separately and in the end it is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who really has the final say, and all the power. Rouhani, after first elected, did admit that it was not his choice alone whether he would lift restrictions on already prosecuted figures. It seems like the first thing people are interested in, is either the release or better treatment of jailed journalists. After this, they would like the reinstatement of banned publications etc. Rouhani, being a man elected with the support of a lot of the rogue journalists that have fled Iran to escape the persecution of their kind, seems to owe these constituents something in the way of freedoms, but it doesn’t seem as though he intends to stand behind any of the processes of information freedom that he platformed on. While this article is a few months old, I now have a great direction for my next bibliography. Now that I know Rouhani has platformed for the rights of the people when it comes to sharing information, it will be interesting to see what, if any steps he has taken since then to right many of the countries previous wrongs. I have a strong feeling he hasn’t done much of anything, and I’m sure that this article has opened up a great direction for my final paper.

Replay Web

In the post Life as Instant Replay, Over and Over Again, by Jenna Wortham, we are immediately thrust into an example of her point that is likely familiar to us all, spoilers. Using the idea of a “Breaking Bad” spoiler and how it can travel through and be obsessed over in various forms of social media, for days, and sometimes weeks after it’s air date, Wortham reminds us all that the web is consistently focused on the past.

She breaks the web down into two distinct categories. The replay Web and the real-time web. This was quite interesting to me as I’d always just thought about the information we process on the Web as all being the same, news as being the news, etc, no matter when I received it or how. If I received something via a Reddit post or an old article shared over Facebook, it always SEEMED the same. However, I see now the importance of making a distinction between the “replay Web” of past information found on Vine and Facebook etc and the “real-time web”  sources like Twitter.

Wortham points out that most of the time, the most fun and interesting information about a topic comes from the commentary and reactions of everyday average Joes like you and I. I couldn’t agree with this more. I’ve increasingly found myself over the years spending twice as much time reading through the comments of any news article than I spent reading the article itself. I can get lost on Reddit for hours reading through peoples opinions on relatively silly subjects that were only briefly covered somewhere “important”.

I have to say that I am glad that we have this replay dynamic going on. Whereas a decade ago (just throwing out a relatively short number) we would have had trouble with the pace of information flow that we are working at now, we have built a system that can catalog and make easily available at the search of a Tag or Keyword, any bit of information that has crossed the web. We’ve made it possible to have a slew of information cross our path without having to absorb it all, and depending on the topics that you are interested in, the “replay internet” makes it possible for you to go to one spot and have all info on  your favorite subjects translated, and thought out for you.

For instance, Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea. You see this headline in the news and quickly read through the article. It’s interesting enough, but it’s new news and they know very little. Minutes, hours, a day later they are onto something new and even though you’re still interested, it’s over. Or is it? Flip to Reddit and you’ll find thousands of discussions on the topic just minutes after it’s initially reported. These commentators have brought together the combined facts of a multitude of resources, have taken the time to think out their ideas (many of them of course are just jokers) and have done a lot of the information processing for you, leaving you with distinct understandings, opinions, and facts to form your own opinions on. This is incredibly important to someone like me who values information very highly. I love to learn and the more information I can absorb, the better.

I’ve felt over the years that while I’m learning so much, I’m not actually learning anything. I struggled trying to figure out why this was, but this article made it clear. I’ve been absorbing so much real-time web, but it’s just surface content. It’s the replay web information that becomes what’s important, and the place where you can actually get most of the facts in one place.

The idea of Present Shock that Douglas Rushkoff is attributed with, where people are stupefied by the “never-ending onslaught of status updates…” is actually the perfect term for what I think I’d been experiencing the last few years. Always trying to find what is new, and getting lost in that rather than what is actually important. The news hasn’t changed, the constancy and availability of it has. Now that we get to know about EVERYTHING rather than just what a news network has deemed important, it’s increasingly harder to pick out the important. Until, of course, you switch to the replay web.


Annotated Bib 5

Sugars, Brad. “10 Tips for a Strong Start” Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Feb. 10, 2010. Web. Mar. 30, 2014.

10 Tips for a Strong Start is useful because it describes what businesses need to succeed. It is important to know basic things about business before focusing on why businesses should use blogs. This article details small things that all businesses should do. It also gives examples; one of the tips is to focus on sales and marketing and it goes into a little detail on what you should do and why you should do it. By using this article, I can further emphasize the importance of blogging. By learning things that businesses were already doing before blogging and the internet, it will be easier to imagine a business with a blog.

Replay Web


22-BITS-popupIn her article, Jenna Wortham discusses the phenomenon of  “replay web”.  There is no set definition of replay Web, but Wortham describes it as the manner in which the internet is able to replay events/moments that have occurred at different times and with different significance and sometimes even with commentary. Replay Web allows people to relive moments and share their opinions and commentary with everyone else.  Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook along with blog sites such as Tumblr are the perfect go-to example when speaking about replay Web.  Whenever a big story breaks, you can definitely expect it to be covered on every one of those sites with different opinions and meanings to each user.

Throughout Twitter and Tumblr you will immediately find witty tweets, pictures, and memes of any big event that has occurred despite the time period it happened. A huge favorite of the replay Web has to be everyone’s obsession with the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar. You can immediately find witty memes and commentary from people throughout the country and perhaps all over the world giving their input and poking fun at the significant amount of years in which DiCaprio has been nominated, but has never won. Another perfect example of replay Web is the social app called “Vine”. Vine has been around for almost a year and a half now and is still keeping up with the success amount that Instagram and Twitter has kept.  Within the Vine app users are able to record short six second looping videos onto their Vine account and connect their account with any other social network sites in order to allow more people to see it. Vine allows users to share any skits they have created, tricks, or anything else that comes to mind at any given moment with other people.  These social networks have been vital to the installment and creation of replay Web in society.  They give ease to being able to access prior events whether its social, political, personal, and etc.

Wortham continues to explaining how this phenomenon defines the direction in which society is headed in regards to digital media.  She says that our obsession with staying up to date with social media.  As a college student, it is extremely apparent to me that we are all glued to our cell phones and laptops.  The majority of students keep up to date with blogs, social media, and digital prints of magazines/newspapers in order to keep our daily lives moving along while still being in touch with whats going on and what everyone thinks about the big event that happened.  Many people enjoy reading op-ed pieces written by others and being able to agree or disagree with them through comments.  As Wortham stated in her article, “Perhaps the replay Web, by allowing us to constantly revisit and reconsider the recent past, can help us find new meaning in it. While we change its contours with new interpretations, visual signatures and instant analysis, there is always a new present to step into” by commenting and sharing our thoughts and ideas about virtually everything through the web we are constantly creating new ideas or adding onto already existing ideas.

In conclusion, it is really clear that replay Web is an interesting phenomenon that is utilized by people in order to spread their ideas and opinions with others about social, political, and worldwide events.