Social Media, Networking and Knowledge Management
Social networking, also referred to as social media, is an online network in which a group of people is connected through friendly ties, professional relationships or a kind of shared interest and passion. It includes many web-based tools that people can use to communicate, interact, share, and collaborate in real time so that information can be shared.
With the advent of Web 2.0 technology, social media and networking sites have become very popular. Some examples of Web 2.0 technologies are personal web-based diaries such as blogs. Microblogs like Twitter; social networks like Facebook, MySpace; professional networks like LinkedIn; Wikis, video sharing sites like YouTube; Social bookmarking sites like delicious; Photosharing sites like Flickr; Presentation sharing pages like Slideshare; Podcasts, forums, virtual world like Second Life. In the past, social networking was developed as a tool for connecting family and friends. Now it has become an effective knowledge sharing tool used exclusively by private and non-private organizations that communicate their interests, connect with their customers or stakeholders, promote and market their products, and increase their visibility for the global audience.
The power of social media and networking lies in their versatility – anyone on a network can express themselves anytime and in any language. The advantage over conventional media such as newspapers, radios and television is that people can receive first-hand information in real-time and instantly share the news, events or received information with their other networks to reach a wider audience. The ease with which people can connect and express their opinions, and the speed with which information is disseminated, has made social media and networking even more dynamic and popular. Global news agencies such as CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC, research organizations such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Intel and several global companies and organizations use social media to deliver their messages to a wider audience
Social networks can also be used to strengthen society and the community. An example is the network "BraveHeart Women". It is a women's social networking site that joins women who feel secure to be themselves and who follow their own hearts and instincts for life. The website was written by dr. Kevin Ellie Drake, who envisioned bringing together women from all over the world to support each other in creating a purposeful life of passion and prosperity. The site regularly offers interviews with women who have a purpose in life and encourage many others to get in touch and make a meaningful life. The other example of a social network for a cause is Changents. Changents is a privately held and operated storytelling and social networking platform launched in June 2008 by Alex Hofmann and Deron Triff. The network provides multi-media profiles of people, known as change agents, who advocate positive changes in global warming, disaster relief, energy, education, the environment, corporate responsibility, health, homelessness, human rights, hunger, politics, tolerance. Violence, Terrorism and War & Conflict. These change agents share their ongoing personal stories through videos, photos, blogs, Twitter and other media. The Changents community is made up of change agents and supporters – a term used to refer to supporters from around the world who are in touch with and help with change agents on the site. Supporters can create personal profiles and interact with change agents and other supporters through comments, action requests (engagement / support opportunities), and the messaging feature of Changents.
Above are two examples of specific types of social networking sites listed. The functions of social media vary depending on the purpose. There are websites of general interest and websites where you can build and discuss more professional contacts. To get the most out of social media, you may need to have an account on different sites. For example, a Facebook account for global networking, a microblogging Twitter account, a YouTube account for sharing videos, a slide show for sharing presentations, and so on. Updating multiple social sites is not an easy task. However, with the advancement of computer technology, various social media can be integrated – one update in one is automated in others. For example, if you update your status or share information on Facebook, you can have it updated on your Twitter account without actually accessing the Twitter site. This means that you are updating or sharing your information with friends across different networks. Imagine, you would have to do this separately for each site!
The Internet in combination with social media created a dynamic and indispensable communication platform and infrastructure for the 21st century. By using devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, users can connect to their social networks anytime, anywhere, provided the devices have an Internet connection. Most of these devices today are equipped with widgets of various social media that provide an excellent and easy way to stay connected and communicate when needed. This is a big advantage in terms of connectivity of knowledge because users no longer need access to computers or other media to exchange information. You can share this information through their handheld devices when they experience or encounter events – on the road, at work, or anywhere. What happens if this function of the social network is transformed into community support during disaster preparedness to provide on-site information in disaster areas for transmission of the information? Twitter has become an information and news source for many – for me, Twitter is the first source for global news. While I'm working on the computer, tweets appear on my screen that inform me about the latest developments. I have subscribed to a number of News Twitters like BBC, CNN, The New York Times and some more. With an application like Yoono, I can put all my social networks together in a single window, so I do not have to log in to different accounts for updates. This saves a tremendous amount of time tracking all of my networks – the desktop version of Yoono and FireFox and Chrome add-ons are available for free.
ICIMOD has Facebook and Twitter to share news, events and other information. and YouTube to share short videos. These tools will help those interested in ICIMOD to learn about the activities of ICIMOD in an efficient manner while sharing the ICIMOD updates for their networks.
Security threats to the IT system, which is wasting time by employees and individuals on social networks, are considered to be the main drawbacks of social media, while a rapid exchange of information is seen as an advantage. Despite the drawbacks, social media is gaining in popularity among businesses, organizations and individuals as they share information. So do not be surprised if you see the social networking ID on the business card given to you by your business customer or friend. People already use one in their website.