I’m Qi from Beijing, China. I’m a second year master student in HCI programme at Uppsala University. My bachelor major is in industrial design. Although product design was my key areas, I was more interested in interaction design. My bachelor degree project was a design of a social network website about home decoration. In my spare time, I enjoy music and movies, especially horror movies. When I have time and enough money, I like to travel. I have already travelled a lot over the world but I still dream of exploring more cities.
Now let’s talk about social media! From the literal meaning, I understand social media as a kind of media which is socialized in an interactive way. In Baidu Baike (a Chinese Wikipedia), social media is defined as an online media which provides large opportunities for user participation. Thanks to Web 2.0, social media makes it possible for everyone to publish and share information on the Internet. Content in various media is created by all users, instead of only by professional individuals or groups. The information flow of social media is two-way, or even multi-way communication, replacing the original one-way flow.
Following Kaplan and Haenlein (2010 61-64), I summarize some features of social media distinguished from traditional media:
– Participatory and collaborative: Social media can inspire users to be active in contributing content. In this way, it blurs the boundaries between media and audience.
– Public and accessible: Social media is generally available to the public at little or no cost. In addition, it is also possible that some content is only accessible to a selected group of users.
– Communicating and community-based: Instead of broadcasting, social media make content spread between media and users in multiple directions. Users tend to join online communities according to their interests and communicate with each other. 
There are some main forms of social media:
– SNS (social network service)
In short, we nearly cannot do anything without social media in these days. For this reason it is important to deepen our exploration and understanding of social media.
 Baidu Baike. The term of Social Media.
 Andreas M. Kaplan, Michael Haenlein. “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media”. Business Horizons (2010) 53, 59—68