Social media is any tool or service that facilitates connection, collaboration and interactivity between people. Social media has people at the centre of everything. Social media platforms include blogs (such as Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, Tumblr), social networking (Facebook, Linkedin), social bookmarking (Delicious, Stumble Upon) news sharing (Digg, Yahoo!, Buzz) and photo sharing (Flickr, Piccassa) video sharing sites (YouTube, dailymotion, Vimeo ). It is crucial to note that each tool has a unique affordance (suitability) in its functionality which means it is best suited to do certain tasks more effectively than the other.
In my workplace, I find staff heavily relying on Ms outlook for official email communication but for their personal email most staff here use either gmail, hotmail or yahoo. I find many staff and learners using facebook for their social interactions with friends. Skype is not used here at all for chatting by staff. Only learners use skype occasionally for video conferencing. Mobile phone sms remain a common way of communication with family and friends. Most learners including staff are not familiar or active users of twitter. I remain to be the person who likes and uses twitter actively for social interaction, content aggregation and sharing with my IT peers who come from all over the world. Most staff that I know do not create blogs except myself where I do it as my writing pad for my reflections on topical ICT issues.
But among my IT peers and friends, twitter, facebook and blogs remain the commonest and most liked methods of collaboration and interaction. At this level, I find my opinions are often driven more by my peers on social media than traditional sources of daily newspapers. Wikipedea remains a major source of reference material by students and staff but very few if any have the capacity to create or edit their own content on Wikipedea.
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