TECH621 Assignment: Social Media Sites Classification

Instead of coming up with some kind of classification system myself out of nothing, I did a search about some existing classification system. I found this article very interesting, and I agree with the classification system it proposes, at least for this time being. This seems the most widely accepted classification system by now, unless we come up with something else within our brilliant minds in our brilliant Tech621 class 🙂

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59–68.
This is the classification in this paper (please click and zoom in to see clearly):

I think Content Communities and Social networking sites took a large part of the social media sites, at least the 20 social media sites each of us in the Tech621 has come up with.

This article also talks about the definition of social media in comparison with Web 2.0, which is the topic we have discussed last week. This article talks about another concept User Generated Content. In the opinion of this article, Web 2.0 is considered as the platform for the evolution of Social Media, and Social Media is a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content. This makes sense, I think maybe there is a way to merge this with our discussion result in last class.

There is a section in this article titled: “2. What is Social Media–—And what is it not?” I was anticipating greatly to hear it talks about what Social Media is NOT, but I think, as far as the way I read it, it only talks about what is social media, then went ahead to talk about the classification of social media, didn’t really talk about what it is not…

Examples and Thoughts:

High Self-representation, Low Media Richness: Blog (LiveJournal), Micro-blogs (Twitter, Sina Weibo)

(I should say that blogs and micro-blogs are initially for sharing thoughts using text, but people can also post rich media like photos and video clips there. As technologies advance, some things or features tend to fuse, but I still think this is a valid classification based on the initial purposes.)

High Self-representation, Medium Media Richness: Social Networking Sites (Facebook, RenRen, , Couchsurfing, Foursquare, Friendfeed, Posterous, Orkut), Friendster (Social Gaming), Dating websites (Fubar)

High Self-representation, High Media Richness: Virtual Social (Second Life)

Low Self-representation, Low Media Richness: collaborative projects (Wiki, Googl doc), Q & A forum (Quora), old discussion groups (Usenet, telnet, BBS), information searching and sharing (Yelp, Eventful, Sourceforge), Zotero

Low Self-representation, Medium Media Richness: YouTube, Flikr, SlateBox (collaborative visualization tool), Spotify, Xiami, LastFm

(There are people on YouTube writing video diaries, which support an even higher self-representation than Facebook. I can only say that there are unlimited possibilities how people use social media, as long as the technologies allow people to do so. Even when the technologies do not support, people will make it possible by improve the technologies. Social media is evolving by people’s need and sometimes random thoughts, not by how they classify the sites initially, but when we still need to classify them, one standard is their initial or main purpose.)

Low Self-representation, High Media Richness: World of Warcraft