“The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.” So states Wikipedia. Social interaction is further defined as “… a superset beyond social communication.”
At first, this sounds convoluted. Isn’t communication already defined as interactive dialogue? In what way is social interaction “beyond” social communication?
The definition also says that social media “… allow(s) the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”
Maybe it’s the “content” part that begins to make sense of these new meanings. Traditionally, communication is dialogue. But with the internet, communication becomes both dialogue and document. Perhaps the key to the web’s quantum leap in interactivity is “user-generated content.”
Conversation that becomes content is an asset, a potentially profitable investment. A few examples:
- Twitter’s #blogchat
- blog comments
- Facebook discussions
- niche forums
- webinar discussions
- FAQ pages addressing customer concerns
What about content that becomes conversation? Well, that’s what we’re all shooting for, right? The coveted word of mouth that delivers more than any other method. The buzz, the virus that we pray will take hold.
Communication used to mean dialogue. Now, online, it means dialogue as content. Dialogue as investment.