Today, I was working with a colleague to develop a “social media” policy for a large organization, and she asked, “What exactly is social media anyway?” Well, I was able to give her some examples, and tell her what social media meant to me, but I’m not sure she really got it from my explanation. Just so happened, later this evening, I’m reading Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, and authors Chris Treadaway and Mari Smith gave the best definition I’ve seen so far:
The term “social media” refers to the collection of technologies that capture communication, content, and so on across individuals, their friends, and their social networks. Examples … include social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogging technologies like TypePad and WordPress, crowdsourcing products like Wikipedia, photo and video sharing sites like Flikcr and YouTube, and others. These technologies help users easily create content on the Internet and share it with others. Social media is the infrastructure that helps users become publishers of content that is interesting to them and their friends.