Unraveling the Social Media Conundrum | A White Paper on Social Media

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This White Paper was prepared for 'South Asia Summit on Social Media for Digital Empowerment' in Sep 2013 at New Delhi. The objective of this White Paper is to help individuals and organizations understand the real purpose of Social Media, its scope, potential applications and responsibilities; and enable them to use it in truly beneficial ways for all.


  • 1. WHITE PAPERon Social MediaUnraveling the Social Media Conundrum For South Asia Summit on Social Media for Digital Empowerment, New Delhi September 2013By Nabeel K. Adeni

2. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 1I - Personal InformationName: Nabeel Kamran AdeniEmail Address: nabeel.adeni@gmail.comContact (Mobile number): +91 9949 999 515Occupation: ConsultantDesignation: Social Media EvangelistOrganization: Deep Red InkII - White PaperTitle of the paper: Unraveling the Social Media ConundrumAim of submitting the White Paper:To help individuals and organizations understand the real purpose of Social Media, its scope, potential applications and responsibilities, and enable them to use it in truly beneficial ways for all. 3. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 2Kindly find below my descriptive views on the following:1. What according to you is social media2. How it has impacted your life or your organization?3. Do you think, social media is able to bridge communication boundaries among countries? Please elaborate!4. List down 5 major positive and negative impact that you have noticed because of the social media.5. Define various define social media platforms, their usage, advantages, and their shortcomings. 4. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 31. What is Social Media?Social Media is all about sharing- sharing of ideas, information, interests, thoughts and feelings.Social Media is fueled by conversations, that people have based on their common interests.Social Media facilitates connections, that get developed through these conversationsSocial Media is made up of communities, that get built as a result of these connections and so on...But, the fundamental core of the social media concept remains sharing or simply put, interaction.Before taking the online avatar of Social Media, sharing existed in many forms such as in Coffeehouses, which led the way as centers for social interaction right from the early 16th century.It is based on this sharing concept that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut et al were created. There are different functions for each of these Social Media websites.Here is a list of some of these websites, based on their functions: Networking (Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn) Content- sharing (Examples: YouTube, Flickr) Communication (Examples: Skype, Yahoo Messenger) Bookmarking (Examples: StumbleUpon, Digg) Collaboration (Examples: Google Drive, Asana) Discussion (Example: Google Groups, BeatTheGMAT) Knowledge-sharing (Examples: Quora, Wikipedia) Location-sharing (Examples: FourSquare, Mojostreet) Mobile (Examples: WhatsApp, BBM) Publishing (Examples: Blogger, Twitter) Entertainment and other activities:o Music (Example: Soundcloud)o Gaming (Example: Zynga);o Events (Example: Meetup) and many more. 5. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 42. Impact of Social Media on my lifeSocial Media has impacted me at various levels of my personal, professional and social life, time and again. I started my career with a Social Media startup in 2010. I helped businesses, organizations and individuals harness the power of social media. It has changed the way I consumed news. Social Media became the go-to-source for all the latest happenings - locally and globally. Since Social Media became the de facto platform for public opinion. It helps me follow elections, sports, events, protests, etc and get candid perspectives from the Aam Aadmi. Its ability to compress the timescale has helped me promote various causes, ideas and stories. It has given me the power to amplify my voice, by giving me the ability to broadcast my message to wider audiences. Personal branding, which is one of my fields of interest is now largely dependent on Social Media. It has helped me create my personal brand through websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and Pinterest. Think, before you speak tweet, share, pin, post. is the new mantra! It has changed the way I learned. It has helped me follow my favourite thought- leaders and given me the opportunity to interact with them 1-on-1. Social Media has facilitated my reconnection with former networks, helped me stay in touch with my current network of friends, family and peers and it has also provided me numerous opportunities to establish connection with people I intend to work with, know about and learn from. I had organized the Hyderabad leg of Twestival- a Single day, Global movement which uses the power of Social media to organize offline events that mobilize communities in support of a local cause. I helped raise `2.9 lakhs to support the education of underprivileged children for one year. The Groups/Communities/Forums feature on most social media platforms has helped bring together people with common interests under one roof. I personally built communities on Orkut and Google+, groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and pages on Facebook around common interests like cricket, causes, cuisine, etc and facilitated empowering conversations. 6. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 53. Social Media bridging bordersBorders exist only in the real world! There are no borders in the virtual world. By definition, social media is meant to make the world a more open and connected place; defying borders, regions, castes, religions, races and ethnicities.On my list of friends/connections/followers, I have a whole diaspora of people from all over the world. It is always interesting to know about the latest happenings in other countries.This helps one develop a global perspective, which is so critical in contemporary times.This exposure also expedites the solution process by making it easy to share best practices and tried-and-tested techniques to solve problems and address challenges.Facebook, in partnership with Stanford University started Peace of Facebook (www.facebook.com/peace). The mission of this initiative is promote peace by building technology that helps people better understand each other, by enabling people from diverse backgrounds to easily connect and share their ideas to decrease world conflict in the short and long term and contributing to world peace.Also, in this regard Im partnering with a local non-profit to create a platform to facilitate conversations between South Asian countries, using Social Media. Well be using Google+ Hangouts to facilitate these conversations across borders. 7. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 64.1 Positive Impacts of Social MediaConversations, Connections & Communities: Social Media allows individuals to connect with like-minded people, have productive conversations and build communities around common interests by reducing communication barriers.Power, Reach & Swiftness: Social Media platforms, with their state-of-the-art technical architecture allow a message/cause/idea to spread across geographic regions in exceptionally short time periods.Catalyst for Change: Numerous causes, campaigns and protests have been fueled by the power of social media to spread awareness and have led the way towards change in peoples lives.Vehicle for Business: Businesses, small and big have exercised Social Medias ability to facilitate communication with their consumers to build their brand, solve customer issues, promote new products, showcase stories of success and more.Personal, Emotional, Informational, Supportive & Participative: Social Media helps individuals and organizations build their personal brands, boost confidence and unleash potential. It allows people to know new stuff, latest happenings and share it with their peers. It encourages community participation and helps garner support. 8. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 74.2 Negative Impacts of Social MediaAddiction: Many studies have shown that the extensive use of social media can actually cause addiction to the users. Throughout their day, they feel to post something on their pages or check others posts as it has become an important part of our life.Loss of Privacy & Isolation: Extreme usage of social media has reduced the level of human interaction. Because of social networks the interaction with other people has become effortless and people have isolated their lives behind their online identities.Distraction: Social Media usage affects productivity. With so many businesses using it to communicate with customers/clients, it leads to time wastage and helps lose focus on the job.Slacktivism: Malcolm Gladwell had once quoted that the role of social media in protests and revolutions is grossly overstated. Social media makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact. Since, social networks are effective at increasing participation -- by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires.Bad Grammar & Misinformation: Restricted character limits on Social Media platforms encouraging poor grammar, usage, and spelling. They also spread of misinformation that may be perceived as fact even in light of evidence to the contrary 9. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 85. Social Media Platform OverviewEach social media platform is different from the other in terms of its functionality. Almost every social media platform caters to a different function. Heres an overview on some of the most used platforms today:Facebook: Worlds most Liked Social NetworkThe worlds largest social network has more than 1.11 billion users. The power and reach of the Facebook platform offers an unmatched opportunity for people to promote and inspire environmental awareness, education and action. Its mission is to make the world a more open and connected place.Noted features include status updates, likes, pages, groups, Connect, Home, comments, shares, pokes, timeline, advertising and much more. Users create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including status updates. Businesses and Non-profits can create pages and Facebook users can like brands pages to get latest updates.Power and reach allows individuals and organizations to connect easily. Its innovative approach has led to path-breaking revolutions and solutions, globally. Privacy and common tech glitches remain a huge concern for users.Twitter: The SMS of the InternetThis social networking/micro-blogging platform allows groups and individuals to stay connected through the exchange of short status messages (140 character limit). Registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. Noted features include Retweets (RT), Hashtags (#), Lists, verified accounts and more.The 200 million userbase often experiences outages (#failwhale). Privacy and security are major concerns. Not everyone is able to use Twitter due to its supposed complexity!LinkedIn: The de facto Professional Social Network.The most popular professional social network has more than 225 million users across 200 countries. The site is available in 20 languages and 10. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 9One purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. LinkedIn provides Talent solutions, Marketing solutions and Premium subscriptions to its users. It has helped people get jobs, recruiters hire talent, showcase CVs/resumes, build personal brands and have conversations through its Groups, Answers, Polls, InMails and more.Google+: The also-ranA social networking and identity service owned and operated by Google Inc. It is the second-largest social networking site in the world, having surpassed Twitter in January 2013. It has approximately 359 million active users. As of May 2013, it had a total of 500 million registered users, of whom 235 million are active in a given month. Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties, unlike conventional social networks generally accessed through a single website.Noted features include +1. Hangouts, Circles, integration with other Google products like Picasa, YouTube, Blogger, etc.It has got great User experience capabilities but falls short when it comes to percentage of Active users. Despite the fact that it has 500 million registered users, only 235 million are active in a given monthYouTube: TV of the InternetIt is a video-sharing website owned by Google since late 2006, on which users can upload, view and share videos. It uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations.Unregistered users can watch videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users at least 18 years old.Some of its shortcomings are copyright infringements, comments containing hate/abuse and controversial content. 11. @nabeeladeni nabeel.adeni@gmail.com 10Sources Peace on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/peace/ Digital Media in India- https://wiki.smu.edu.sg/digitalmediaasia/Digital_Media_in_India Social Media Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media State of Social Media- 2012 (Nielsen)- http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/ Malcolm Gladwell on Social Medias Impact- http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell Social Media story in India- http://www.echovme.in/pdf_pr.pdf Social Media as a Catalyst for Social Change http://j.mp/18wQ8Vs Social Media for Nonprofits http://j.mp/15TWtXf Social Media India Resourceshttp://socialmedia-strategy.wikispaces.com/Social+Media+India+ResourcesSocial Media- Good or Bad- http://socialmediatoday.com/syed-noman- ali/608781/social-media-good-thing-or-bad-thing Google+ on Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B YouTube on Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube Social Media Facts- http://www.soravjain.com/67-fascinating-social-media-facts- figures-2013


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