Monday, October 24, 2011

Social Networking

'Networking is useful when real, yet distracting when fake' 
 - Seth Godin

In our modern world, social networking has become the norm, not only for people to connect with friends and family but also for every institution to be involved within it. It's normal for companies to have Facebook - it helps to link people. Social networks link people and people make things happen.

The amount and range of social networking sites is never ending, now a days there's not just sites for keeping in touch with people, but there's sites dedicated for businesses for example.

Red Bubble
This is a place where people, art, design and writing all come together. It's a marketplace and a meeting place. It's a place where you can sell your work, yet not have to deal with all the manufacturing, shipping or customer service. This site does it all for you and you would get a small percentage for selling a piece of work.

Linked In
This is a platform for a business directory which offer skills, services and expertise in many different areas. You are able to put up your own work alongside a CV to promote yourself and people you know can recommend others to you if you require a specific skill from someone. This site goes by testimonials and recommendations - word of mouth/experience is far more valuable and reliable than just an ad in a paper or a phone directory.

They started as the forerunner to Facebook, however they didn't achieve what they were set out to do. However they did find a niche for their site, and that was for musicians. Most musicians today will have a Myspace page where they will post up their tracks for people to sample, along with tour dates, a bio and photos.

I could spend all night talking about all the different types of social networking sites, but there are so many now, how do you keep up? I myself have Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, MSN, Skype and Youtube - some of which I never really use. The main ones I seem to use these days are Facebook (to keep in contact with friends and family), Twitter (recieve news and information) and Blogger (mainly to work alongside my degree).

The video above was shown in our lecture and I found that it really opened my eyes to how much social media has taken over not only our lives, but the whole entire world.
'We no longer search for news, the news finds us...' - I find this very true, in the last week I set up and RSS feed for the purpose of having relevant news come to me. A much easier and quicker way to obtain and read useful pieces of information.

We as a population have got to the point where social networking is such a huge part of some peoples life. I wonder sometimes, what if social media ceased to exist as we know it? Would we loose all forms of contact with people we know? Or would we not have the means to express ourselves anymore in the forms of blogs, social networking or sharing sites?

In relation to film, games and animation there are ways in which social media has expanded its audience by using the internet. Youtube for example can be a way of showing any sort of film or animation you have produced, people are able to give you feedback and you can get a wider range of opinion from across the world using just one site. Social games and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) connects people from around the world using the media of games. Take World of Warcraft for example, In addition to just playing the game, the players have produced fan art and contributed in discussion forums where people are able to share their views with one another. It has become so popular that "As of January 22, 2008, World of Warcraft has more than 10 million subscribers worldwide, with more than 2 million subscribers in Europe, more than 2.5 million in North America, and about 5.5 million in Asia."

To me I find the whole social networking landscape pretty normal - I have grown up in an age where technology has always been progressing really fast which in turn as that 'grows up' so have I. Yes it is useful, whereas before you would have to send letters to people around the world, now with a click of a button you are able to talk to them face to face in real time. I am finding that blogging is becoming a big part of my life, everything I find on the internet, or read about in books/magazines that is interesting to me I end up producing a post about. In a way I have found that it is helping me to express my opinions about things, that I am now more inclined to share things I find with other people. With Twitter, there is so much useful information I am finding through people and organisations. 'Concept Art World' is a massive site which is a directory and blog for concept artists. There are so many artists here that I found it hard to filter through, however with Twitter, they post links to specific artists which makes things so much easier.

'Social Media isn't a fad, it's a fundamental shift in the way we communicate...'

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