How to break the internet:

So I’m a blogger now…

A feared and revered term that I will need to experience for myself as I begin the journey through the murky waters of what it means to be on social media for my Massey University paper, 157.240, Social Media for Business Networks. This post corresponds to the first week coursework and is the first of many over the next semester. My knowledge of social media is limited to personal use of Facebook and Instagram but I am excited to learn more about different platforms and their uses for businesses. Please bare with me on this journey… which will start at the very beginning.


What is Social Media and its origins?

I find it hard to remember what the internet was like before social media existed (age may have something to do with that – hello, I’m your typical generation X member), since its occurrence it seems like all internet users were just nomads roaming (and there is the name explanation, full of cheese) the cyber space aimlessly waiting for the acceptance and community that social media brought us.

Social media is “the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration,” which aids the deeply ingrained basic human psyche for connection and sense of community, as outlined by Jue, Marr, and Kassotakis (2010). Further discussed by Jue et al and also Kaplan and Haelein (2010) is highlighting the origins of social media which seems unclear, however the general consensus is that it begun in the 1990’s with the introduction of ‘friendsreunited’ (similar to facebook) and ‘sixdegrees’ and since then it has been a virtual rollercoaster on the fast track with new platforms constantly popping up. Friendster in 2002 was closely followed by MySpace and Bebo, finally seeing the emergence of Facebook and Instagram from 2006 onwards.

If you are like me and not only have not heard of some of these websites, but your parental permission to be on the internet directly coincided with the time social media began booming (I’m talking around the time where Msn chat was the coolest thing to do after school), this 90 second video will give you a quick oversight to the origins of it all, and also the history of well known social media sites today, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Social media power for businesses today

The most prevalent forms of social media can be categorised as blogs, wikis and social networking, among other categories such as discussion forums, micro blogging, podcasts, web conferencing, virtual worlds, all of which have different uses and capabilities in improving and facilitating business activity (Jue et al, 2010).

Businesses can use social media in many different ways such as; brands connecting to their users on a personal level through relationship/social networking or updating a businesses users in real-time, through micro-blogging media site – Twitter. Which platform and way they use it depends on their unique objectives and business strategies. Olsy Sorokina, blogger for popular social media monitoring website, writes a more detailed description on all the categories of social media and what they can do for your businesses, which can be found here.


Thoughts on this…

These readings and research have left me with one burning question:

  1. What are the negatives of social media for businesses?

As surely there are positives, there must be negatives. I can already think of a few, complete transparency, uncertainty and costs of implementing. But I am eager to know the real trade off of positives and negatives. Please let me know what you think some more negatives may be in the comments below!

– J

References in order of appearance:

Chapter 3, What is Social Media, and How Does it Work?
Jue, A. L., Marr, J. A. & Kassotakis, M. E. (2010). Social media at work: How networking tools propel organizational performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

8 Types of Social Media and How Each Can Benefit Your Business


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