There is no question that social media is changing the way we use the internet. What is in it for you though? How will social media improve the quality of your everyday life? This article will explain how social media is very beneficial for anyone who is surfing the web in the 21st century.
Traditionally, social media has been used to keep up with long-distance friends and find out more information about new acquaintances. In recent years however, social media has become not only a place to store biographical information, but also a place to share all types of knowledge- from news articles to popular restaurants.
The ability to share knowledge through social media has been made possible through features such as the Facebook “like” system, the “digg” effect, tweeting (of course), the ability to “like” websites on StumbleUpon and many other features of social media sites.
Digg.com is a perfect example of how social media is beneficial to everyone. Traditionally, people navigate to a specific source to receive their information. They make look at the headlines on CNN.com, check out social media updates on Mashable , or watch some world news videos on BBC.
No matter which source the user(s) chooses to receive their information from, they are presented with a biased opinion of which particular news stories are the most important. CNN.com is going to promote all of their stories because they have a stake in every single one of them.
Sites like Digg.com eliminate the problem of readers being told what is the most important article to read. Instead, readers can now read articles based on the opinions or recommendations of other readers.
Receive News Through Social Media
Digg.com is a news site that contains news articles from sources all over the internet. If a reader thinks an article is interesting they can “digg” the article. The more “diggs” an article has, the more valuable it must be to those reading it.
If CNN releases two articles, one of value and one that is a complete waste of time, and we use the traditional method of finding news, then we will most likely end up reading both articles before realizing that the second one was not worth reading. If we find our news through Digg.com then we will never be presented with the option of reading the second, worthless, article.
The Future of Social Search
Search engines have already begun to use data from social networking sites in their search results. This is something that will become continuously more prevalent in coming years. Search engines like Google and Bing will partner with social networking sites to gain valuable social data. This is a topic all on its own so if you’d like to learn more I suggest you read my article, “Google May Be Bowing Down to Bing in the Near Future“.
Although some people may fear that these implementations may encroach on their privacy, I believe that the benefits of using social data to deliver information outweigh the risks. If you don’t want people to know something about you, then don’t put it on the internet. It is that simple.
Let’s face it, for the past 10-15 years we have been relying on search algorithms based completely on logic, keywords and in-links to deliver our information. Although Google works pretty darn well, I am definitely open to the idea that information I am presented with will not only be based on logical algorithms, but also the opinion of real human beings.
Many people still use social media only as a tool share and explore biographical information. Those of us who run blogs, work with social media or just love participating in the online community understand that when an article is “dugg” or “liked” it actually means something.
Participation Creates Value
The more people who participate in these features of social media, the more valuable their opinions will become. Imagine if every single person who read an article online had the option of “liking” or “disliking” the article. Now imagine if every single person who read an article online actually participated in the system of “liking” or “disliking” articles. We would have a pretty accurate picture of what articles are the most valuable and what articles are the least valuable wouldn’t we?
That being said, I implore all of you to start “liking” articles if you find them valuable. Create a Digg.com account and explore the most popular articles to see if you think it is a valuable source of information.
The future of information sharing will not be decided by solely logical search algorithms or giant media and news companies. Instead it will be decided by you and the entire online community of readers, contributors and regular internet users!