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Social Media

Web 2.0 and social media are commonly used buzzwords to describe the Internet today. But what do they mean?

Wiktionary defines Web 2.0 as
The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static web pages to dynamic and shareable content

Wikipededia defines Social Media as
Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words ...

As accurate that the above statements are, they do not explain the explosion of sites that allow both business and the individual to share information over the Internet. Maybe the best way to describe in a business sense is that the Internet has become the new "golf course" where you can find new business and touch sides with your existing business. And for the individual: the local pub (or cafe) where you can meet new friends, socialise with old friends and catch up with your lives.

And this happens, seven days a week, twenty fours a day, not just during business hours. So how do you use this "magic"?

There are a great many Web 2.0 applications out there, we will look at some of the more popular ones and their potential use to business.

Facebook.

Facebook is an Application that allows you to stay in touch with your friends. Every message, photo that you post on your Facebook will show on your friends Facebook and vice versa every thing they post will appear on your Facebook. This part of Facebook is personal, it is a great way to keep in touch with your children overseas. In order to use it for business, you need start a group.

This is a good way to spread news fast. It work in the run up to the US elections and gave Barak Obama an edge over his rivals.

Flicker

Flicker is an online photo album. It is used by both amateur and professional photographers to show off their photos. You have a choice of making it private and restricting who can see your photos or you can make it public. But your photos are also tagged (labelled) making it easier to find when searching.

Picassa (Google)

Picassa is a similar application, the difference is that whilst you can show your photos online, Picassa also allows you to download software (free) that allows you sort your photos out into albums as well as some basic editing.

Twitter

Twitter allows u to send a short (140 characters) quick message to any one following your tweets. You do not even have have your internet browser open.

Podcasting

Podcasts have become popular recently. This a pre-recorded radio show/talk distributed over the Internet. it is a could way of getting information over as they can be downloaded and listened to on a mp3 player as well as a pc.

Video

YouTube is the most popular free video distribution service on the Internet, but there are other. Video is a good way to get your message across. You can easily take a break to watch a short video and then go back to what you are doing . Good videos tend to go viral as friends will often forward the link to a good video that they have enjoyed.

There are many ways to spread news quickly, do not use just one application, because you will limit your audience, however do not go overboard.

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