What Platforms and Tools Are Considered Part of Social Media?

Almost Anything!

When one develops definitions of a “something” it is desirable to define what things are included in the definition, and what things are NOT included in the definitions. The less things that are excluded, the less useful the definition, and its meaning because it’s simply too general to facilitate effective communication. Such is the case with social media and social networks.

To answer the question, it appears that almost anything done “online” has been adopted as being under the tent of social media, by social media proponents and activists. It’s good to keep in mind that those who are excited about something, and/or make their livings using that something, will tend to want the definitional tent to be as large as possible.

In any event, Widipedia (itself an example of a social medium) provides the following:

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and bookmarking.

Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo.

Examples of social media software applications include:

  • Blogs: Blogger, LiveJournal, Open Diary, TypePad, WordPress, Vox, ExpressionEngine, Xanga
  • Micro-blogging / Presence applications: fmylife, Jaiku, Plurk, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, Yammer
  • Social networking: Bebo, BigTent, Elgg, Facebook, Geni.com, GovLoop, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Orkut, Skyrock,
  • Social network aggregation: NutshellMail, FriendFeed
  • Events: Upcoming, Eventful, Meetup.com Collaboration * Wikis: Wikipedia, PBwiki, wetpaint
  • Social bookmarking (or social tagging): Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google Reader, CiteULike
  • Social news: Digg, Mixx, Reddit, NowPublic
  • Opinion sites: epinions, Yelp Multimedia
  • Photo sharing: Flickr, Zooomr, Photobucket, SmugMug, Picasa
  • Video sharing: YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, sevenload * Livecasting: Ustream.tv, Justin.tv, Stickam, Skype
  • Audio and Music Sharing: imeem, The Hype Machine, Last.fm, ccMixter, ShareTheMusic Reviews and Opinions
  • Product Reviews: epinions.com, MouthShut.com
  • Business Reviews: Customer Lobby, yelp.com
  • Community Q&A: Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, Askville, Google Answers Entertainment
  • Media & Entertainment Platforms: Cisco Eos
  • Virtual worlds: Second Life, The Sims Online, Forterra
  • Game sharing: Miniclip, Kongregate Other * Information aggregators: Netvibes, Twine (website)

Perhaps the question to be asked is “What is NOT included in the category of social media?

This isn’t just a pedantic or academic issue.

To understand why talking about “social media” is problematic in terms of communicating about it, and making use of it click here, for the next FAQ “Does such a wide definition of social media cause problems?

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