Apple and Pears? – The relationship of popular social media networks and professional knowledge sharing networks


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Legions of social media consultants try to convince us that a project’s success today relays on a good integration with the popular social media networks (SMNs): Everyone and everything has to be on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Co. – be it you as a professional, your grocery store at the corner, and of course your company or NGO. These popular SMNs work fine for marketing, fundraising and sharing personal stories. However, does this hold true for professional knowledge sharing networks like the Local Government ICT Network (
Building up on the “functional building blocks of social media” (Kietzmann et al. 2011), we will argue that the popular SMNs favour specific functionalities, which are not in the main focus of professional knowledge sharing networks. Furthermore, we will discuss a range of different impediments from connectivity, different audience and content as well as access controls (closed groups). We will suggest a set of recommendations on how to address these challenges. We will argue that successful use of social media does not equal the presence on the popular SMNs, but rather means making meaningful use of adequate elements social media consist of.

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  • Bulletin Board SystemFirst chat-system 1974FidoNet 1984 worldwide
  • 2002Until 2004 biggest social Network worldwide
  • Most important: TwitterFacebookyoutube
  • Identity refers to the ways users can reveal or conceal themselves online. Conversations refers to the extent that users can communicate with each other. Sharing is the potential for users to exchange, distribute, and receive content. Presence refers to a user's ability to know when and where other users are active. Relationships refers to the fact that users associate with each other because they share values, goals, or activities. Reputation refers to the extent that users assign a social standing to other people, and understand their own place in the social hierarchy.Groups refers to the ability for users to form communities of like-minded people. Different social media platforms prioritize these seven building blocks in different ways to attract different groups of people. For example:The business people and professionals who flock to LinkedIn are most concerned with identity, though they also consider relationships and reputation important. YouTube users focus mostly on sharing, and then on conversations, reputation, and groups. Facebook users are concerned with relationships, and also with presence, conversations, identity, and reputation.
  • Prosumer (Alvin Toffler 1980)User-Generated-ContentUser-distributed-Content (sharing)
  • Did we loose sight of our Target/focus group?
  • Quality/Maturity of Content
  • Connectivity, broadband, policies
  • Work-life-balance
  • Just reposting is not enough. But perhaps a start.
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  • Apple and Pears? – The relationship of popular social media networks and professional knowledge sharing networks

    1. 1. Relationship Identity Presence ConversationsReputation Groups Sharing