Social media (in this online context) could be defined as: “web-based technology and applications that allow the creation, exchange and consumption of user-created content”. That is, platforms which allow users to interact with the aim of exchanging content which they (or others) have created be it pictures, video, comments, blogs etc.
- Dialogue and democracy – equal footing and equal say (in theory; in practice, content is often moderated or discussion is led by an originator such as within a blog)
- User-created content – content is uploaded and shared within the community in order to spread awareness and gather feedback
- Tagging system – user-generated organisation system of searchable terms
- Commenting – other users can comment freely on contributions
- Customisation – users can ‘collect’ information and content that is most relevant to them in order to tailor-make their online environment
- Self-assembling and self-defining networks – marking the tendency of users to ‘congregate’ around an issue, interest or social/geographical factor and within these groups, continue to self-select information to tailor their web environment