The Real Definition of Social Media
Citizen journalists aren't breaking the news. And we're still looking to mass media to generate content. Tom Foremski doesn't see how any of this can be "social media."
Foremski writes "we seem to have convinced ourselves that we are living in the age of 'social media.'" As he sees it, social media means citizen journalists/bloggers should be writing the content and breaking the stories.
I think it all boils down to how you define the term social media. Foremski points out that social media is just amplifying mass media, citing that "people seem to prefer clicking a 'like' button, or retweeting someone else's content."
Despite the fact that traditional media is still doing the lion share of original reporting, Foremski fails to touch on conversation, community building, or user-generated content.
Hasn't he left out a big part of the picture?
When you 'like' or tweet a news article or blog post it can turn in to a conversation on your own personal network. Commenting on a story can turn into a worthwhile debate that has users interacting with your content on your website.
What about user-generated content? People who are engaged with your content are happy to contribute complementary content to your brand. A sense of ownership and community is imparted on users.
People are still consuming mass media, obviously. Foremski would rather forgo the term "social media" in exchange for the "social distribution of media." However his article focuses squarely on distribution.
There's more to social media than a 'like,' Mr. Foremski.