Thursday, May 26, 2011

Social Media

What exactly is social media? To begin, I think a video from The Common Craft Show, Social Media in plain English, is a good place to start.



As you can see, the implications of Social Media are huge, and they continue to grow. The ability to share reviews, comments, and suggestions with friends about various forms of media is a powerful tool indeed.

Whether you're just getting started with social media or you've had experience with it, there are always new sites to explore and new websites to go to in order to share and comment on news, entertainment, pictures, and videos. Here are a few common and uncommon social media sites that I use on a regular basis.

  • IMDB.com, or the Internet Movie Database, is a great place to check out old, new, or upcoming movies. I've found the discussion boards there to be both entertaining and a great resource for casual movie-goers and film critics alike.
  • Instagram [iTunes link here] is a picture-sharing iPhone app for the photographer in all of us. It can be used to share your own pictures, or simply to view your friend's masterpieces. While you need the app to use Instagram proper, Listagram is an online client that doesn't require the use of an app.
  • On the topic of pictures, Flickr is a great place to store and view photos. Widely used by professionals and amateurs alike, Flickr is the perfect place to upload the pictures of your family vacation to share with others later.
  • YouTube is probably one of the most popular uses of social media. The ability to upload and share personal videos is powerful, not to mention the wealth of information that other users have uploaded in video form. You can do anything from viewing the new music video of your favorite band to learning the guitar on YouTube. Perhaps Bo Burnham explains it best in his "Welcome to YouTube" video.
  • Blogs are an extremely useful form of social media. Blogs may even be considered the foundation of social media, the element in its purest form so to speak. If you're new to blogs, or don't know what they are exactly, this video is extremely helpful. If you want to start your own blog, WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are great places to start.
  • I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to mention Facebook as one of the most powerful uses of social media to date. Facebook is a social networking site with a vast base of users. On Facebook you can create a profile, add pictures, and post status updates. The power of Facebook comes as you begin adding friends and expand the reach of your posts. Whether you're looking to promote a business or just find old friends from middle school Facebook is an extremely powerful tool.
Are there social media sites you've found helpful that I didn't mention here? Drop a note in the comments and let me know!

Colin

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