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Social Media

“social media” is all the buzz, with more and more individuals and companies embracing it as a way to communicate. But what exactly is it?

Although social media tends to reach a wide audience, it’s not “mass media.” With mass media – for example, television, radio and newspapers – there are few opportunities for social interaction. A television show may let you vote for your favourite singer, a radio program may have a call-in show and a newspaper may have personal classifieds, but on the whole it’s hard to jump in and have your say.

Social media, on the other hand, is all about social interaction. Using social media software and the Internet, anyone can broadcast a message. You don’t even need to know how to code a web page. It’s easy to join communities that share specific interests, read what others are posting and then post replies in real time.

Social media includes blogs, podcasts and Internet forums – but some of its most famous incarnations are Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn. All three are accessible on both computers and mobile devices (such as smartphones), so they can travel with you wherever you go.

FACEBOOK

Launched in 2004, Facebook (facebook.com) had its origins in a Harvard dorm room. The founders opened it up to Harvard students, then to students at other universities and, eventually, to everyone aged 13 and up. In six years, it has attracted 500 million users worldwide. It has also inspired a movie, The Social Network, released in October 2010.

Profile

Every Facebook user has a “profile,” where they can choose to share information about themselves, their education, work experience and interests, as well as photos.

Wall

An important part of the profile is the “wall,” where you and your friends can chat back and forth about everything from world politics to the weather. You can also use the wall to post links to news stories and videos and comment on them. The default home page in Facebook is the “news feed,” where you can quickly skim through everything posted on your friends’ walls. status updates

“What’s on your mind?” is the question Facebook asks every user at the top of their wall. That’s where you enter a “status update” that tells your friends (or, if you choose, every Facebook user) what you’re thinking and doing. For more private communications, Facebook offers a “messages” feature that works more like email – sent only to the people you choose.

Friends

Facebook wouldn’t be a “social media” site without friends. You can use a search tool to find out if your real world friends have Facebook profiles, and then send out friend requests. Once a friend has accepted your friend request (depending on their privacy settings), you can access your friend’s profile and post to their wall.

Twitter

A day of brainstorming at podcasting company Odeo led to Twitter’s creation (twitter.com) in 2006. Today, this tool – originally developed as an internal service for Odeo employees – sees traffic of about 65 million tweets every day. That’s 750 tweets every second. With more than 100 million users, growing rapidly, Twitter has also made headlines for enabling communication during significant political events, such as the 2009 election protests in Iran.

Tweets

Messages posted on Twitter are called “tweets” (or “retweets” if they’re posted again by someone else) and they are limited to 140 characters in length. To help squeeze more information into that limited space, a number of websites (such as bit.ly and is.gd) have sprung up offering URL shortening services that enable people to tweet website links.

Followers

Friends, family, businesses and favourite celebrities may all have Twitter accounts. You can search for people and, when you find someone whose tweets interest you, you can become their “follower.” Their tweets will show up on your Twitter home page, with the most recent tweets appearing at the top of the list. In return, people can choose to follow your tweets.

# and @

Sometimes Twitter seems to have a language all its own. The # symbol followed by a topic is a way of indicating your tweet is about that topic. The @ symbol followed by a Twitter user name is the conventional way to refer to someone else.

Trends

Check out topics that are currently being discussed by a large number of Twitter users in the “Trending: Worldwide” section of the home page. There’s also a new feature that lets you set your location and see “Local Trends.” Then – because Twitter is “social media” – you can join the conversation.

LinkedIn

Designed primarily for professional networking, rather than socializing, LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) was launched in 2003 and has more than 75 million registered users. The site allows its members to build a contact list of people they know and trust, and to introduce people within that contact list who may be interested in doing business together.

Profile

A LinkedIn profile spells out the user’s credentials, including education, past and current positions and, perhaps most importantly, recommendations from other LinkedIn users. It’s designed to be a resource for employers looking for potential job candidates, so many profiles are as detailed and businesslike as resumes.

Connections

A contact on LinkedIn is known as a connection – and users are expected to invite only those they actually know to become their connections. Users are, however, encouraged to ask their connections for introductions to their connections – people one degree of separation away who may become useful business contacts. You can also join groups to expand your circle of connections – for example, alumni groups, groups maintained by
professional organizations or groups of people with similar interests.

Jobs

From a job seeker’s perspective, LinkedIn allows users to search job postings, review hiring managers’ profiles and find key information about a company, including current employees and new hires they may be able to connect with through existing contacts – all free of charge. LinkedIn will even suggest jobs you may be interested in based on your profile. Employers can post jobs and engage LinkedIn’s more sophisticated hiring solutions – for a fee.

Network Activity and Inbox

Like Facebook’s status updates, LinkedIn has network activity updates that enable you to share opinions and interesting links. And like Facebook’s messages, LinkedIn has an inbox that allows users to exchange personal messages.

An InterActive experience

Social media – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – is an interactive experience that enables you to engage in dialogue on any topic imaginable with people around the world. It’s a new way to renew friendships and make connections, for business or pleasure, and it truly is changing the way people communicate in the 21 st century. •

Gadget Corner

Here are some gadgets for the techies on your gift list:

• Freeloader Portable solar Charger (www.solartechnology.co.uk): Collect energy from the sun, store it and then use it to recharge cell phones and iPods.

• spot satellite gps Messenger (www.findmespot.ca): send an sOs to emergency services in areas where cell phones have no signal thanks to 100 per cent satellite technology.

• Metallic lighter secret Agent spycam (www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/security/dc78): Imagine you’re James Bond with the first HD-capable spycam that looks like a cigarette lighter.

• safeDriver Wireless vehicle Monitor (www.lemurmonitors.com): Track your teens’ speed, distance travelled and sudden braking with this tamper-proof device installed in your car.
Policy Wording

Facebook to vanish in by 2020

The prediction of Facebook’s demise comes just weeks after the social network’s troubled IPO.

Although many financial analysts had expected the company’s stock to rocket from the initial offering price of USD 38 a share to USD 50 or even USD 90 a share, the stock never popped.

At the market close today, Facebook’s stock price was down to USD 25.87, well below its initial offering.

The world without Facebook sounds unbelievable, but after its sliding stocks a hedge fund manager has predicted that Facebook will “disappear” in five to eight years.

According to Eric Jackson, the founder of Ironfire Capital, said, “In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared.Yahoo is still making money. It’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it. But it’s 10 per cent of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”Jackson noted that so far there have been three generations of Internet companies. Yahoo, a Web portal, is a great example as an online pioneer.Facebook’s February IPO filing revealed that the company had more than 425 million monthly active mobile users during December 2011, or about half of its worldwide user base, analysts said.But while that number might be impressive, those users aren’t making Facebook any money at this point.Facebook has moved to address concerns that it isn’t doing enough to satisfy mobile users, buying Instagram for USD 1 billion, and hiring the development team behind the Lightbox Android photo app.”Facebook can buy a bunch of mobile companies, but [it is] still a big, fat website, and that’s different from a mobile app,” he said.”Look at how Google has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile,” said Jackson.

Facebook Unleashing Timeline on All Major Brands

Facebook is going to introduce some cool new admin capabilities.Page administrators have new options . An admin panel hides or expands on command, meaning you don’t have to navigate to a separate page to make changes, updates or improvements. On the new Facebook brand timelines you will be able to select pieces of content and keep them on your timeline as sticky posts for seven days. This is getting marketers excited everywhere, as it allows you to keep those important posts in the public eye. Twitter is also doing this with their new brand pages, but you need to spend $10,000 a month with them to make it happen. Facebook is bringing the timeline feature to brands, much like they have for personal profiles.However, the branded pages timelines have a couple more features to get us social media marketers exciting.Facebook had made this announcement on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 but the full roll out will not be live until March 30, 2012. The new Facebook brand timelines will look really similar to personal profile timelines. It will have the large cover photo and the prominent display of photos at the top.

friendsheet can damage pintrest or not? | Facebook Pintrest

Why spend all the time on Pinterest when you can just migrate your network over with a simple login?So does this completely destroy any chance of Pinterest ever being successful? No, no, it doesn’t (at least in my opinion). Our decorative, visually obsessed friends and family will still enjoy the Pinterest product.When you log into Friendsheet with your Facebook login it takes all of the information in Facebook and reformats it to look like Pinterest, except you are at Friendsheet.com. This is really cool, as it takes all the existing content in your Facebook network and slaps it into a Pinterest format.  While this is the case, Friendsheet does offer a welcomed new format for viewing Facebook content. Furthermore, it keeps all the same features as Facebook, so you don’t need to learn any new terms. You can share, like and comment away you feel like.