All media is Social Media, The First Australians proves this!

The definition of Social Media in Wikipedia is wrong!

Definition: Social Media
Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings

Isn’t all media, social?

Definition: Social
Refers to an interaction between two organisms whether they are aware of it or not.

With media one person is producing and another person is consuming. There is an interaction taking place. The only difference with online is; to a third party we are aware of this happening because we can see it. The internet could also be argued to make interaction between humans easier, breaking down barriers.

HOWEVER Social Media is not primarily internet based tools, all media is social.

This point came to me while watching The First Australians (if you have not watched it, you should!) on Tuesday night. It was during the following excerpt about the newspaper John Patten set up.

The Abo Call helped to give the aboriginal people a voice for their plight to be heard, it also prompted to let people know that they were not alone. It helped to bring a community together.

Media brings people together to form communities. The more interactions the stronger the community.

Media is great in aiding the formation of communities.

Communities in my eyes are interacting organism sharing a social object (wikipedia suggests an environment).

My aim is to create interactions between organism (brand-consumers, consumer-consumer) who share a common social object. So am I really doing Social Media Marketing or am I performing something else?

For more infromation on the Marketing of the SBS brand or any of their shows, you should check out the blog 'The SBS Brand' written by Jacquie Riddell the Marketing Director of SBS.


Kate Richardson said...

Jules, Jules, Jules...
I cannot help but think you are being deliberately provocative here...and perhaps a bit literal? I like that you've been able to include the word organism in a post

Daniel Oyston said...

Jules, I always struggle with a pure definition social media. The lines are being seriously blurred and the more we explore specific definitions (by relying on the literal definitions) the worse it gets.

I think I loosely agree with the thought that all media is social but if that is true then surely the use of ‘social’ becomes redundant? Then, if it does become redundant, then how do we distinguish between what ‘we’ consider and understand to be social media and traditional media? aaaahhh

I think if we work along the lines of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” then we decide what social media is. In other words, social media is what we make it and as it evolves we can help determine what is and isn’t social media – allow them (the tools) into the circle of trust! (anyone follow that movie ref?)

Not sure if many of your readers have seen this, and I only did yesterday, but this is great and is entitled “WTF is social media?” sorry if people have seen it before but I recon it is worth another look.

Unknown said...

Social Media is very in its infancy, change is going on constantly until it grows into its full form.

Only when it has matured and academics get their hands on it, will be finally have a set definition.

Also, Kate is spot on, you did do well working organism into a sentence...good for you

Zac Martin said...

I think you're right about the Wikipedia definition being wrong, lets fix that up.

Much like a brand, a definition is what ever people perceive it to be. And in this case, for the sake of consistency, you're better off with the majority of people's perception.

And their perception of social media marketing is using Facebook, blogs, YouTube etc.

Beside, I wouldn't say all media is social, just like I wouldn't say every interactions is social.

User said...

Jules, I don't think you read the Wikipedia page on 'social' all that carefully!

"In the absence of agreement about its meaning, the term "social" is used in many different senses"

When we talk about social media, I think we mean some sort of combination of these definitions:

- relations between people (social relations) generally, or particular associations among people;
- interactions between people (social action);

Social media is media designed to facilitate relations and interactions between people (and by people, I'd say this generally means individual people, rather than collective people). Traditional media is broadcast, it is one way. One-way communication cannot really be considered 'relations' or 'interactions'.

Otherwise, you're gonna need to come up with a new word to describe what we currently use social media to describe!

Daniel Oyston said...

@ Rick - I don't agree that traditional media is one way. It is just that the recipient chooses for it to be one way.

For example, you read the newspaper but choose to not communicate back. Some people do, they write a letter or email and thus the two way communication commences.

For social media I think that some thought needs to be put into the elements of
A) ease of two-way communication, and
B) Speed at which communication occurs.

User said...


Yes, it can be two-way, but mostly it isn't.

Another hugely important factor which I alluded to is that traditional media is broadcast to the masses, whereas social media is communication with individual people whom you know or otherwise have relations with. It can be more than one person at a time, but generally speaking they're all your 'friends'.

Gavin Heaton said...

I like to think of social media as facilitating many-to-many conversations rather than having conversations being channeled around a hub (ie a broadcaster).

One of the important aspects is the concept of agency -- who is able to initiate change? Who can publish and on whose terms?

Daniel Oyston said...

Good point Gavin. I can go to a blog and then connect with others, like you guys, and have conversations either at that blog/space or take it somewhere else.

ZGambit said...

Jules :)Finally great minds think a like with the term social and media as channel of communication.

I would describe media as a mass of multiple communications which spread around content i.e. media. So therefore it is Social because in all truth if a person watched a news article and sent an SMS to a friend I would believe that is spreading the message and interacting between consumers and the content.

Therefore Social cause it is creating discussion :P Simple

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