What is Social Media?

Social media is simply a dual-headed vehicle for communication on the web – the fusion of information sharing and human interaction.

Social media is a broad umbrella covering several smaller social elements, like social news, social networking, social wiki, etc. Any website that puts up postings, articles, photos, videos, images, etc and asks for active participation from visitors is classified as a social media site.

Many of these social media exists as websites with distinct traits (think DNA). For examples:

  • Social News:: Readers are given a chance to vote on news articles and opened to put their views and comments on them. (Digg, Propeller, Reddit)
  • Social Bookmarking:: Websites are tagged (or termed bookmarked) and listed in bookmarking directories.(Blinklist, Simpy, Del.icio.us)
  • Social Networking:: Interaction through a network of friends, group discussions and profile commenting. (Facebook, Hi5, Last.FM)
  • Social Photo and Video Sharing:: Interaction through sharing of videos and photos and commenting on them. (YouTube, Flickr)
  • Wikis:: A large collection of articles with interaction through contribution and editing of contents (Wikipedia, Wikia)