There seems to have been a sudden explosion of social networking sites that are all designed to keep people in touch with other at the touch of a keypad. Two of the most notable founders of this new internet media outlet are Facebook and Twitter, both are now billions of dollars worth as a company and yet, mass media is torn between portraying these two as either the dividers or uniting forces of a society that constantly feeds on media innovations.
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A perception that is fueled by their lack of understanding of the constantly growing Social Networking trend. Angela Nielsen (2011) explained that most businesses and corporate leaders still tend to view social media networks as a fad because that is how the others who fail to understand that growing business tool portray it.
According to Susan Guenlius (2011), online social networks are defined by the way they allow users to “…share content, interact and develop communities around similar interests. ” The media is constantly concerned about privacy and tracking issues for the users because of the way these networks use targeted advertising to help generate income for their sites.
Just as the users freely exchange information within their network, so too does the company, like Facebook, have the freedom to pull your personal information for sharing with their business partners.
I will admit to being a Facebook and Twitter user. as such, I can understand the concerns that the security professionals have and continue to warn people about about the way these social networks seem to have become part and parcel of our daily lives. The social networks tend to be a modern version of the Wild-West and can be unruly at times.
But just like the Wild-West, these networks learn from their mistakes and continue to evolve their policies and regulations based upon the demands and comfort of their users.
These social networks have beefed up their security and non-user related information sharing access over time. Facebook (2011) launched this past April their latest security innovation that uses the https to further secure your page and insure that my personal information does not get shared with advertisers whom I have not given permission to do so.
This is part of their constantly evolving rules and regulations governing the use of their members personal information by other parties. Even Twitter already has a function disabling their users location per post software which can be used by advertisers to target consumers.
Facebook and twitter are constantly working on improving their system of service and security for their members. However, the media only chooses to concentrate on the negative aspects of this quest. They seem to have made it their mission to constantly find fault in a service that has become most beneficial not only to the members of the community, but also to the business owners whom they also host and accept paid advertising from.
According to Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes (2011), social networks paved the way for a new business environment due to the fact that; “71% have corporate Facebook pages, 59% have corporate accounts on Twitter, 50% have a public facing corporate blog , 44% say Facebook is the single most effective social networking platform they use.”
These statistics have helped open the door to a new version of mass media which we now call Social Networks which have proven to be highly successful mass media promotional tools.
We can expect that these particular services will continue to lead the way in data security and theft prevention and business marketing campaigns in the future. Television will still be one form of business promotion, but as people spend increased amounts of time online and with the line between television and the internet further blurring, mass media will find itself being more absorbed into social networking.
Dr. Barnes, Nora Ganim. (2011). Facebook Cited As Most Effective Social Networking Tool Among Inc. 500. E-Commerce SEO. Web.
Gunelus, Susan. (2011). What Is Social Networking? about.com. Web.
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Nielsen, Angela. (2011). Still Think Social Media Is A Fad? InspiredMag. Web.