Visualizing social media

Social media, the newest powerhouse phenomenon to spring from the Internet, is the ultimate people’s platform, built on the Internet’s unique characteristic as a many-to-many medium. Some social media sites, like Facebook and Flickr, have established themselves as mainstream players in citizen media; others are little known outside of their own group of users and some are still springing into being. The conversations, interactions and transactions swirling through these sites can be useful to journalists in many ways – including getting information, tracking opinion, finding sources and obtaining photographs, audio and video. But social media is a living, shape-shifting chimera and it’s hard to get a handle on it, let alone figure out how to plug it into the process of finding, assessing and packaging news. Here’s a place to start – a “conversation map” of social media sites (below).   Larger Version

Although PR executive Brian Solis says he created the chart primarily to help marketers and PR people track what’s being said in citizen media about their brands and organizations, it could be equally helpful to those who want to track what’s being exchanged in the citizen mediasphere about newsworthy subjects and issues.