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Social Media

Nina Haferkamp and Sabrina C. Eimler


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The term “ social media ” is one of the buzzwords that emerged after 2005, when O'Reilly's postulates on the next generation of the → Internet came into focus. To this day, there is no generally accepted definition of the term. Thus, “ social media ” is best used as an umbrella term, comprising various digital services whose specific characteristics make it possible to distinguish them from other forms of media ( Lietsala & Sirkkunen 2008 ). In its core meaning, “ social media ” is closely allied to the terms Web 2.0 and social web . Two key characteristics are user-generated content (UGC) and produsage ( Bruns 2008 ). Both terms connote the idea that people are actively participating in social media ; they are generating and sharing content themselves. UGC emphasizes that it is not only professionals who are creating content, but mainly ordinary people, who need only access to the Internet. All types of mass media – including social media – have a specific audience, but only social media allow sharing, copying, and generating content without having specific professional qualifications or expertise. Thus, the traditional roles of recipients on the one hand and producers on the other vanish (→ Journalism ; Journalists' Role Perceptions ). Another central feature of social media is → interpersonal communication . Obviously social media ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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