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What Lies Beneath Social Media?

As a Performancing reader, you probably blog. You probably have social networking profiles, too, with several friends and groups. Most likely, you are on Twitter, and you exchange short messages with friends and contacts. What are these web apps anyway? They’re social media, right? But what’s underneath social media?

I’d say we have social networks as the foundation of social media. By a social “network” I don’t mean Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace. Those are actually just the mediums that facilitate social networking. Social networks are actual people who know each other, and who talk to each other. In the olden days, people networked by writing letters, posting on bulletin boards, and calling on the telephone. People even met face to face (imagine that!). Later on, we had online services, email, IRC, forums, and the like. Of course, email is a staple, and has become a de facto standard in communicating online.

This is a realization I just had quite recently. Maybe as someone whose job involves social media, I get engrossed in using these online applications everyday that I don’t realize the foundations that are more important. I only see skin-deep. I usually become so focused on using the application rather than connecting with the other people who use the app. I’m no longer socially networking. But I’m just using the social networking app.

This is important, as I’ve also looked into social media apps I’ve used before, but have changed and evolved through the years. Take for instance ICQ. It was the first ever IM client and network I used, back in the ’90s. Now it’s evolved into some sort of social networking, blogging and online dating site. This makes me wonder what of Twitter? What of WordPress? What Facebook and MySpace? Five years down the road, we would probably see a different social media landscape.

But still the social networks would remain the same. People you know would still be people you know. Friends should still be friends (unless, of course, they are only friends by convenience, meaning you are friends because of shared social media apps). By then, perhaps the most basic social mediums would be those that survive the test of time. Like the good old telephone call. Or postcards. Or email.

And maybe one day, we would all get to meet face to face. How’s that for social media?

Author: J Angelo Racoma

10 thoughts on “What Lies Beneath Social Media?

  1. Even though Facebook is just a medium that facilitate social networking. You must agree that it is one of the most popular social networking site’s today. facebook applications maybe the reason why it is so popular. Not only their apps are fun and interesting. Some apps give away cash just by subscribing to it (ex.Mousehunt).

    Great article. be back to read more.

  2. I have a lot of social networking profiles. But, facebook is my favorite. Not only I get a date in the site. I also benefited on it in terms of SEO. And I’m proud to say that I communicate to 50% of my friends there. This is what I’ve experience in social networking. The more friends I have. The more I can promote my website.

    By the way great article. be back for more.

    Thank you for the information.

  3. Social Media and Social Media Marketing have become buzz- words… This is due to the popularity of sites like Face book, Orkut,MySpace, Digg, etc… By social Media can achieve targeted and potential traffic… We can develop an interacting community, facilitate social media marketing or encourage people to link to your website…

  4. The combination of internet network marketing and social media is a perfect attraction marketing strategy to reach potential customers anywhere in the world. Just imagine the social media profits you can have in being able to recruit people from different places. Social media marketing taps into the concept of attraction marketing and helps you build stronger relationships and, as a result of those relationships, establish your identity and build bigger businesses.

  5. I have a lot of social networking profiles. But, facebook is my favorite. Not only I get a date in the site. I also benefited on it in terms of SEO. And I’m proud to say that I communicate to 50% of my friends there. This is what I’ve experience in social networking. The more friends I have. The more I can promote my website.

    By the way great article. be back for more.

  6. It is easy to get lost on the surface of social networking. What it eventually comes down to though is that we are still communicating with people and you have to consider what you are doing. Unfortunately when there are so many things out there to keep up with you don’t have the time to focus on building the individual relationships. Everything is all about the numbers…how many followers on Twitter, how many comments on the blog, how many hits did the blog get to day, how many Facebook friends do I have. It seems that quality has taken a back seat to quantity on the social web. And that isn’t a good thing.

  7. I’d forgotten all about ICQ. There are so many social net works out there, dare I say too many? But in our experience in terms of SEO we’ve yet to benefit from any social networking efforts – relative to other methods such as link building and article writing. Fleur

  8. It’s true, of all the people in my facebook friends list, I would only ever communicate with about 10% of them if not for facebook. That’s kind of the great thing about it, though. I don’t have to keep all of their phone numbers. I see what you mean about truly “social networking” as opposed to simply using facebook or twitter. Cool thing about facebook, though, is that it makes it fun to take a silly quiz and see what your friends’ reactions will be like.

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