Social media

Burgess, Jean E. & Banks, John A. (2014) Social media. In Cunningham, Stuart & Turnbull, Sue (Eds.) The Media and Communications in Australia [4th edition.]. Allen & Unwin, Sydney, Australia, pp. 285-290.

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In the space of the past decade, the technologies, business models, everyday uses and public understandings of social media have co-evolved rapidly. In the early to mid 2000s, websites like MySpace, Facebook or Twitter were garnering interest in both the press and academia as places for amateur creativity, political subversion or trivial time-wasting on the behalf of subcultures of geeks or ‘digital natives’, but such websites were not seen as legitimate, mainstream media organisations, nor were they generally understood as respectable places for professionals (other than new media professionals) to conduct business. By late 2011, online marketing company Comscore was reporting that social networking was “the most popular online activity worldwide accounting for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online”, reaching 82 percent of the world’s Internet population, or 1.2 billion users (Comscore, 2011).

Today, social media is firmly established as an industry sector in its own right, and is deeply entangled with and embedded in the practices and everyday lives of media professionals, celebrities and ordinary users. We might now think of it as an embedded communications infrastructure extending across culture, society and the economy – ranging from local government Facebook pages alerting us to kerbside collection, to Tumblr blogs providing humorous cultural commentary by curating animated .gifs, to Telstra Twitter accounts responding to user requests for tech help, and to Yelp reviews helping us find somewhere to grab dinner in a strange town. As well as at least appearing to be near-ubiquitous, social media is increasingly seen as highly significant by scholars researching issues as diverse as journalistic practice (Hermida, 2012), the coordination of government and community responses to natural disasters (Bruns & Burgess, 2012), and the activities of global social and political protest movements (Howard & Hussain, 2013)...

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 67125
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: social media, platforms, twitter, facebook, instagram
ISBN: 9781743311639
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Allen & Unwin
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2014 22:53
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 10:28

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