My name is Paulina Rajkowska but online I mostly identify as Milly. I am currently a second year student of a master program in Digital Media and Society at Uppsala University, Sweden. Originally, I come from Warsaw, Poland where I used to study sociology at Collegium Civitas. I’m really passionate about video games and online media and that is why I chose my current path of studies.
Back in 2004 to kill some of my spare time I became an online journalist and as such I was blessed with the opportunity of observing the rapid changes of informational landscape. As a game reviewer, I have been a part of the process of integrating and managing online communities between the classical website forms and new possibilities offered by social media platforms. As a sociology student I decided to take those practical observations and further develop them by participating in a course on social media.
What social media actually means to me?
I think that’s something that needs to be discussed as a base for understanding all of my future posts on this blog. I had a bit of trouble determining this one. My main concern was what type of approach is closest to me: technological or social? To some extent I agree with Kaplain and Haenlein who say social media are “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.” (Kaplain, Haenlein 2010). That definition falls into the category of technological as it focuses on the technical possibilities that social media offer us and is very generic. Using it, we could pretty much call any website that offers user feedback a social medium. The fact is though that it’s mention of ideological principles of web 2.0 is quite vital. I therefore decided to look for a definition that would incorporate both the new solutions offered us by social media platforms as much as their unique, socially oriented feel. The best resource I managed to find was a blog article called “30 Social Media definitions” (Cohen 2011). The short text contains a variety of definitions authored by people from fields such as sociology, marketing and more. The one I liked the most, was the one created by the author of the blog Heidi Cohen. As she says “ Social Media are the platforms that enable the interactive web by engaging users to participate in, comment on and create content as means of communicating with their social graph, other users and the public.” (Cohen 2011). She also adds that social media have other important characteristics such as their multi platform and multi format character or the fact they offer different degrees of involvement. I like this definition in particular because it is well balanced and contains a greater amount of details. It incorporates the technological upgrades just as much as the importance of interaction with our own social groups which satisfies my needs as both a geek and a sociologist.
Over the next couple of week, as our classes progress I will most likely see if my choice was a practical one so if you are as curious about the topic as me come back for our weekly blog updates.
See you soon!
Kaplan, A. M., M. Haenlein. 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. “Business horizons” 53.1: 59-68.
Cohen, H. 2011. “30 Social Media Definitions.” Heidi Cohen, actionable marketing expert. May 9. http://heidicohen.com/social-media-definition/