What is Social Media and How is it Changing our Lives?

This article explores the extraordinary phenomenon called social media and its influence on our lives. I will give you some definitions from relevant sources, as well as my own definition, and I will highlight examples of its influence on our day to day lives. One of the arguments I am making in this article is that social media facilitates collaboration, social change and social influence.

Part I: The Definition of Social Media

In order to define what social media is, I feel it is necessary to define what it is not, due to the many misconceptions people have about it.

Social media is not defined as

  • Forums for socializing online (chit-chat, gossip, opinion, personal stories/images).
  • A place to sell your products and services to millions of people.
  • The latest fads in online communication technology. Continue reading

It’s Time for Accountable Content on Blogs

Frustration, by Sybren A Stuvel

Frustration, by Sybren A Stuvel

Information Overload

We live in what is called the ‘information age’ and the world has been called the ‘Content Nation‘; people are now able to create content at rates that were truly unreachable even 20 years ago, and share that with people on the other side of the world.  It’s amazing–and very overwhelming.  Pete Cashmore (of Mashable) predicted that ‘content curation’–organization and sharing of the ‘best’ content online–would be one of the biggest web trends of 2010. Continue reading

Twitter for Beginners: Exploring your Interests & Making Connections

Learning & trying new things can be intimidating

Oh the Places You'll Go, by Bandita, on Flickr

Late last year, my friend Rebecca, an artist in Vancouver, told me that I needed to join Twitter because it would connect me with all sorts of people who are passionate about the things that I’m passionate about.  I had been a user of Facebook since 2007 and I enjoyed it, but I looked at Twitter as an application for 18 year olds, and ‘online addicts’.

It was around that time that I discovered Alex Samuel–one of BC’s most influential women in 2010–through some research I was doing on social media for work.  Her blog-post “10 Reasons to Stop Apologizing for your Online Life” was a breakthrough for me, and it helped me to stop criticizing myself and others for being active online and to view my online life as real, meaningful and empowering. Continue reading