Social Networking is Growing

Social networks and social media are poised to play a role in economic recovery according Netpop Research, LLC. Social networks are the people and social media is the platform chosen for computer mediated communication or social networking. I told you this would be a long and involved topic. However, it’s top of mind with texting and tweeting constantly discussed in popular media, and all the embarrassed, sometimes tragic people who made mistakes using social media.

There are 40-million active users of social networking in the United States and that’s an almost one-hundred per cent jump in about three years reports Netpop in their pitch to marketers. I was searching for the first site to refer to humans as social networkers and Netpop wins my award. Social networks have existed for as long as animals, please excuse reference to all species if it offends you. For whatever reasons any species chose to join together or even create divisions among themselves they created social networks.

Today we have social media in the palm of our hands. Hundreds of millions of people can create and consume information, a vast audience we are yet to learn. Netpop’s study of social media, its Connect report and those involved are cited by InsightExpress, another digital marketing concern. They quote Cate Riegner, Vice President of Research, at Netpop who said “Social media will play the same role in this recession that movies played in the Depression… Brands that experiment in social advertising now will be in the best position to leverage these important media channels when the economy turns the corner."

MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are examples of social media but there are hundreds of online social network sites. The portals to social networking also go beyond online. The platforms include email. The friend who always forwards the questionable photos is actually using a form of social networking. And there are instant messages, one-to-one text messages, blogs, micro-blogs, chat rooms, video conferencing and conference calls. Did I miss any examples? How people use these tools to share common interests is today’s definition of social networking.

Tomorrow Broadcast Newsroom Computing examines some ways we use social media to network.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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