30 Days to Social Media Success Rough Draft

  • The use of a mix of weak and strong ties is supported by Martin
  • Intended for people who are not used to social media / web 2.0 in general
  • More for small business owners than big corporations
  • Big proponent of using your voice, not forcing it
  • Building the brand name
  • Pushing for a domestication of social media into every sort of business, not just ones that need to market to global audiences.
  • More social construction of technology vs deterministic because of the way Gail Martin shows how to manipulate social media to work for your needs, not the other way around.
  • The advice itself is interesting
  • Big push for small but consistent steps
  • Incorporates a wide variety of social media
  • Doesn’t go much beyond the 30 day plan
  • Some SNS don’t apply to some people, but a sort of “one business fits all (SNS)” approach is taken

*Comment

The formatting got completely messed up when I transferred from Word…. ><;;

Celebrity – Fan Relationships through Social Media

Before Twitter first launched in 2006, the idea that celebrities interacting with their fans was limited to a simple autograph and maybe a photo. The communication shared between fans and their favorite celebrities was perhaps one of the most limited forms of communication before the rise of social media. An article in The Post Game titled Tebowmania And Social Media Coach Boost Eddie Royal’s Facebook And Twitter Stock explains the rise of sports stars in social media. Especially in America, sports stars are glorified. Feats of athleticism are replayed over and over on Sportscenter and off field antics fill the pages of newsstand tabloids. Unfortunately, the media tends to jump on negative portrayals of athletes much more so than the good.

The article studies the case of the Denver Bronco’s wide receiver Eddie Royal and his huge Facebook and Twitter followings. Royal is not known as a huge star athlete, yet he still has over “100,000 likes and has surpassed 50,000 Twitter followers.” The way Royal does this is “through content, not because of his name or even necessarily his game. And he knows this.” Royal connects with his followers, posting often enough and almost always offering something personal to the fans: a video shoutout, a picture, and the most popular, free tickets to a Broncos game. The article mentions that Royal has a “social media coach” named Jeff Weiner. His motto is that his clients should interact consistently with followers and engage with them on video. The point is not that the communication between the stars and their fans becomes unmediated, that may never be possible. What social media has done for this particular relationship is remove a layer of mediation.

An issue that should be addressed is whether or not the relationship between fan and star is an interpersonal one or not. The way I view it, the relationship between an individual fan and a celebrity is not interpersonal, but the fandom, the collective group of individuals that consider themselves fans, has an interpersonal relationship with the celebrity. The two are cleraly interdependent because one would not exist without the other. Therefore it is the fandom that is benefiting from social media, not the individual fans, although there are cases where celebrities do interact with individual fans through social media. The experience is more equivalent to the “communities” that Baym in her book Personal Connections in the Digital Age. The communities she describes form their own mannerisms and support one another online. In very large communities, individual relationships may occur, but the focus is more on how the group has a whole interacts with one another.

The article presents all this information in a fairly objective way. The author, Steve Henson doesn’t add very much commentary either explicitly or implicitly. However, the information presented is of a positive nature and it comes out feeling as such. I very much agree with the way this story is presented. It shows how technology is shaping society and affecting relationships as stated by Baym. The presentation in the article stands in stark contrast to what was shown in the film   Life 2.0. The film portrayed these extreme cases of interpersonal relationships formed through the online social platform called Second Life. It can be argued that the presentation of the situations of these extreme cases was objective in that there was not an extensive commentary on what was being shown, but the relationships themselves gave a feeling of negativity to the notion of interpersonal relationships being formed online, and in some cases brought out of the virtual world into the real one.

Any statements made in the article I chose were immediately supported by a quote or statistics. A different approach to this article could have been much more subjective in terms of the writer expressing his opinion on the matter. There was no praise or criticism of the actions of these sports stars. If there had been, the article may have been more interesting to read (from the standpoint of a non sports fan), but would have had to been classified as an editorial, not an article. This is the problem I have with Life 2.0. This documentary sells out to the fact that people do not want to watch normal people interact with other normal people on Second Life. Perhaps the article I read could have presented a negative effect of professional athletes interacting with fans.

Interpersonal relationships online can be positive, and they can also be negative. The discourse surrounding this developing phenomenon should represent both sides of the story, not try to portray it as either. No interpersonal relationships are that binary, the writings on the topic should reflect this.

Blog Post 1: Biting the Tail

The definition of “social network” as provided by Boyd and Ellison is split into three parts. First, a social network site (SNS) must “construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system” which is exemplified by Facebook’s “Walls” and more recently the “Timeline” feature. Second, SNS must “articulate a list of other users whom they share a connection” which Twitter does well with the “Followers / Following” lists.  Lastly, a social network site must allow users to “view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.”  Beer has a problem with the way Boyd and Ellison go about analyzing social media sites, due to a variety of reasons.

One of the more major points that Beer disagrees with is the distinction that Boyd and Ellison make between “Friends” and “friends.” Boyd and Ellison say that “Friends” (with a capital F) are friends when they are online while “friends” are the friends you associate with face to face, or with unmediated communication. Beer’s response to this is that there is no such thing as unmediated communication. All forms of communication are mediated in some way, according to Beer, because we filter ourselves depending on situations we’re in.   Once the point that unmediated communication does not exist, the distinction between “Friends” and “friends” becomes much less clear. Even if the communication we have with our “Friends” is slightly more mediated because it is going through a medium that is not as personal as face to face communication, the relationships are founded on the same type of communication. I find myself agreeing with this point.

I’ve been able to experience firsthand this lack of distinction. Finding friends online and building the relationship through the Internet as a medium is just as rewarding or maybe even slightly more rewarding than making friends in person. This is because when you find friends online, it is usually due to a mutual interest, and the rise of fan forums online is a perfect example. Soshified, a fan forum for a very popular pop group in South Korea Girls’ Generation, brings together fans and allows them to communicate with one another. This strong common interest that the forum’s members share allows an easy way to form strong friendships. Often these online relationships become personal friendships through “meet ups” organized through the site.

Beer also thinks that Boyd and Ellison address the situation from the wrong viewpoint. The question should not be how people are using social media. Beer suggests that we should be asking broader questions and using social media as a tool to answer them. From an anthropological standpoint I think that this is a very interesting point. Social media is a huge part of our culture at the present time, so do we analyze it as a part of our identity or do we use it to answer questions about our identity. Beer is suggesting that we use part of our identity to find out more of our identity and I agree, mostly. I think that understanding how we are using SNS is important, not only for the companies running these sites and making money, but also to gain an understanding that I think both Beer and Boyd and Ellison are all trying to grasp. The questions Beer wants us to ask are ones that should come out of our understanding how we use social media. Boyd and Ellison provide the first step to satisfying Beer, and it confuses me that Beer is opposed to Boyd and Ellison because I think that they work together.

For example, a trend in social media that has been rising recently is using social media as a news source or for gathering information. In an interesting article from Social Media Today an example of how the use of social media is helping to ask the right questions can be found. Students and parents alike are using social media to find information on potential college choices. This is leading to the creation of SNS tailored to high school students looking to go to college such as Mytonomy which allows current college students to upload video or written testimonies on certain topics for high school students to watch and read and respond to with questions. With this use of social media pinned down, the question can be asked, “Why are students in America trying to hard to get into secondary education?” Once the question is asked, spawned from the understanding of the use of social media, social media can once again be used to answer the question.