We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” --Herman Melville
Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. (Wikipedia)
Social Networking applications (Facebook, MySpace, Linked In, Twitter)
Chat applications, instant messenger
Text messages alerts
Citizen Journalism Websites
Content Aggregators (Digg, Reddit, Fark)
Citizen review sites (yelp)
It provides word-of-mouth of influence:
In 1977, 67% of those surveyed said they were moved to do action by word-of mouth influence: In 2003, 92%.
It harnesses the power of the web via blog swarms and viral content.
Coveted by employers hiring media professionals
A fundamental component of multimedia knowledge….
Social media is a burgeoning field without a defined hierarchy where being young is an advantage
“ Years from now, anthropologists may look back on the early years of the blogosphere as the greatest experiment in social self-organization ever attempted. Millions of writers of all ages, interests, languages and motivations are together forming a set of shared principles, operating standards and behaviors without any kind of central coordinator”—Paul Gillian, The New Influencers
The blogosphere skews towards young, liberal, agnostic, tech-savvy, Mac-loving, Microsoft-hating, pot-smoking, Ron Paul-obsessed males. However, it is diversifying everyday, as technology becomes more accessible to different demographics.
The blogosphere is rebellious and anti-authoritarian. It is a subculture that rejects conventional structures and values and prides itself upon its own self-governance.
It revels in its power to check the power of corporations , politicians , the media and other powerful figures.
Wikipedia- a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
But, this definition is extremely fluid. The blog is currently being adapted to serve a number of different purposes and structures.
1989: English scientist Tim Berners-Lee merges hypertext with the Internet, creating the worldwide web.
1996: Microsoft builds a free Web browser(Explorer) into Windows
Services like Angelfire, Tripod and Geocities make it possible to build websites for free. Extremely cumbersome and ugly.
Early online interaction takes place in chat rooms and discussion boards (Usernets). Though popular, Usernets are impersonal, difficult to regulate and plagued by spam messages
By early 2000 many Usernet service are completely overrun by junk content
On December 17, 1997, programmer and philosopher Jorn Barger coined the term “web log” to describe his website Robot Wisdom, which consisted of a short entries and links to other sections.
In May 1999, website developer Peter Merholz coins the term “blog.” “I’ve decided to pronounce the word “weblog as “wee blog” or “blog” for short he wrote.
Computer software for which the human-readable source code is made available under a copyright license that permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form.
Makes users collaborators, allows entrepreneurs to cheaply release products into the market, allows companies to release beta (incomplete) editions.
Responsible for blow up in web publishing applications
Gave bloggers access to Google’s massive network of advertisers for free.
Bloggers can sign up in minutes, copy and paste a few lines of code to their sites, and be earning revenue the next day
Google profits by taking a %
They also matched advertisements to content of site to increase sales
1985: 1 MB costs $15
1995: 1 MB costs $2.50
2005: 1 MB costs .05 cents
Digital cameras are mainstream
Photo sharing websites like Flickr allow users to easily upload, organize and share their photos
Personal Blog- Similar to a diary. Rarely gains major authority in blogosphere
Corporate blogs- Used for marketing purposes, external/internal communication, PR, branding. I.E. Boeing Delta Google
Topical blogs- Politics Fashion, Technology) Pop-culture, sports, etc. These are the blogs that have the most influence in cyberspace . They are most successful when they claim a niche.
Question blogs, Vlogs, linklogs, micro-blogs
The first political blogs were mostly composed of short comments and links to other articles
Instapundit , founded in 2001, was one of the initial political blogs. It’s founder, Glen Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, has been called the “blogfather”
Extremely hawkish, his blog has been called a war blog and prized by the National Republican Senatorial Committee
The 2 nd iteration of political blog, which is still the most common today, was quoting or citing news articles from the mainstream media and providing commentary on them
Additionally, many blogs now take a more community based approach with a larger emphasis on diaries/ comments, Daily Kos
The Huffington Post ( The Daily Kos
CNN Political Ticker
The Caucus NY Times Blog
Political blogs need to incite discourse to be successful. Comments are often just as important as the post.
As expected, the blogosphere can never get enough news about developments in the technology sector.
Some of the most popular blogs in the early days of blogging were tech blogs.
4 of the top 5 blogs as ranked by Technorati are tech blogs:
Gizmodo- the ultimate gadget blog
Tech Crunch-covers the entire tech universe
Arts Technica-Intersection between arts and tech.
Also popular are blogs about blogging like:
“ While some enthusiasts produce a stunning volume of output, their motivations are often driven more by the desire to share than to influence markets or make money.”—Paul Gillin
738 blogs about knitting
794 about Apple
42 about pug dogs
12 about the Hummer SUV
3,000 blogs about blogging.
Content aggregators can on small-scale operations where they tailor content to a specific population, much like a blogger would
Websites such as Technorati and Blogpulse rank blogs based on their authority or their citations.
On Technorati , authority is measured by the number of original blogs that have linked to a blog within the last 180 days.
Blogpulse uses the term citation, which measures the same thing. Their ratings are for a single day though.
Brevity: The sweet spot is usually between 200-300 words
Transparency: All revisions should be done in future posts. Posts should only be deleted in exigent circumstances
Incite Comments: Don’t be a total know it all, leave room for your readers to toss in their own input:
Link like your life depends on it, because the success of your blog does
“ Links are the currency of the blogosphere”
It’s how bloggers differentiate between content that’s been stolen or used properly.
“ Links are the manifestation of the culture of attribution that pervades blogging. You can quote, elaborate upon, annotate and comment upon someone else’s writing all you want, but you must always attribute and link to the source”
--Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers
Those who steal content, will pay .
Search engine web crawlers factor in the amount of quality links when indexing pages for relevancy
Links bring new readers to blogs
Links from a well-established blog elevate a blogger’s credibility
When you link to a blog, the proprietor of that blog is notified.
Those bloggers will likely read your blog and possibly link back in the future
A link from a A-list blog can create a monsoon of traffic for a smaller blog
By linking to smaller blogs and large websites, A-list blogs reinforce their value in the community
A recent study done by ProBlogger.com showed:
49% earned under $100
23% earned over $1000
16% earned over $2500
9% earned over $15000
Matt Drudge, Drudge Report.com 1.2M
Perez Hilton, Perez Hilton.com $450-800K
Darren Rouse, Problogger.com, $360K
" Meet people/ social interaction/ for catharsis /to promote social change/Vengeance/ Start a writing career/ receive feedback/ love of something esoteric/Have a voice/INTERACTION/MAKE A CONFESSION.
The relationship between the blogosphere and the mainstream media is a symbiotic one.
For the most part, bloggers don’t report breaking news, and are dependant upon the mainstream media for material.
The mainstream media uses the blogosphere for tips and feedback.
“ Blogs are the future of journalism. Journalists don’t like to hear that. They say that nobody validates blogs. I say what do you mean? Two million people are doing the fact checking that newspapers aren’t doing any more because they can’t afford the people to do it”
--Larry Weber, public relations executive
They can break and update news much faster, often updating one narrative post numerous times.
They are fiercely independent and without corporate paymasters.
Mainstream media is moving more toward tabloidism and ignores stories it finds politically undesirable
(Minneapolis riot coverage)
The blogosphere has eyes and ears everywhere, it finds stories that conventional journalists will never find.
The blogosphere is a medium that allows young, talented journalists to abandon the ritual of working their way up the corporate ladder.
It is the ultimate tool for journalistic entrepreneurism
How long would Stephen Glass (New Republic) and Jason Blair (NYT) have lasted If they had been working as independent bloggers instead of print journalists?
Many fear the accuracy of bloggers as information sources. However, their level of transparency is much higher than that of mainstream journalists. They can also correct their mistakes much faster and in a much more public way than print journalists.
Bloggers operate in packs and primarily reference each other
They often single-source stories
They gain value by being partisan and outspoken
Blog posts can be written with impunity
Some argue that the chronological narrative platforms of blogs are inferior to a newspaper platform due to a lack of indexing space. ( Malakin )
Others point that the flexibility blogs offer—such as embedding video and audio—make it a superior medium than print newspaper when it comes to immersion journalism . (Journalists interact with community)
Information in a digital platform is also much more portable than print news.
However, longer narrative journalism, and investigative pieces are not as conducive to digital production, and would have to be thoroughly altered to survive online by themselves
Many print newspapers have integrated bloggers into their web presence.
Hybrid forms such as yourhub.com use the web to harvest free content for their print publications
Niche web communities are providing original news content to compliment social networking structures
Bloggers are slowly transitioning into reporting roles ( Face the State ) (Talking Points Memo)
Blogging is more complex than just writing a post. To be successful a blogger must find an audience that is active and engaged with their subject matter.
So, how do bloggers create audiences…..
Bloggers flock to content aggregation websites, like Digg.com , Reddit.com, Propeller.com, Mix.com, Fark.com , StumbleUpon and others in order to promote their work.
These websites have taken on their own subculture (power users) and have an incredible amount of influence over web traffic
Users submit content to the community, and community members can either vote it up or down.
Getting to the front page of one of these websites can mean a huge influx of traffic for a website.
Most blogs have integrated sharing applications into their websites to allow users to promote their content for them
Bloggers utilize social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked, Twitter and others to promote their work.
But these websites aren’t just good for the promotion of blog posts; they benefit all forms of social media.
Ad agencies, PR agents, political candidates, journalists, models, musicians and everyone in between can utilize social networking platforms to their benefit, including YOU
In the digital age, many are wary of sharing their personal information. But by ceding privacy, one can cash in on a number of resources.
“ The only worse thing than being talked about is not being talked about”—Oscar Wilde
Nobody wants to hire or hang out with someone who’s lame. Don’t be lame. If you’re an interesting person, make sure your social networking profiles reflect this.
Friend everyone, join groups, network virtually.
Be personable, achieve intimacy with a large group of people.
Blog, Blog, Blog. If you have something interesting to say—whether it’s about beer or underwater basket weaving—say it.
Enter into the social media conversation. Find a niche and dominate it.
The future is not bright for those hoping to avoid social media and the blogosphere. But for those ready to embrace technology and the myriad new platforms associated with it, the possibilities are unlimited:)