This week I will go over the idea of Facebook. So far all of the different social media sites that have been reviewed are primarily consumption, which is that the sites are mainly for fun, but can be used to promote businesses and online reputation.
Facebook is a means for connecting with others, be it friends and family, or other people. You can post pictures and see other people’s lives. This is what makes it interesting. Facebook is organized by people. Now fake pages can be made, but on average, what you see is at least somehow controlled truthful information about a person online.
Depending on whether or not you are a friend with someone, you can actually see someone’s life unfolding, if: you are one regularly and that person posts information regularly. Personally, I don’t update mine often and tend not to go on that much (maybe once every two weeks at most).
You can also have competitions and other events through Facebook to generate interest in a business or hang out with you friends. The site is versatile in what can be done, and this is its strength, along with its very large number of users. The main drawback is that the site has targeted ads, and data sharing, which sometimes can be a little off-putting as they reference the data you have on the site.
Facebook allows you to block some of this information, but whatever you put up, expect it to be seen. This is what can, in some instances make or break a person’s perception of you. Putting up negative content such as questionable photo or remarks can be a red flag to employers. Something thoughtless one day is regretted later. This does not mean that sites such as Facebook cannot be fun or interesting and be used well; it only means that users must be careful what is put up on Facebook for literally the world to see.
All over the world people use Facebook in some manner. This connectivity is what makes it and other social media so powerful and valuable. There are companies that are devoted to supporting other businesses make an online presence. In academia there are specific relations administrators whose job is to cultivate and promote and online presence.
While these general concepts are not new, the power and potential behind them is still very important in understanding why academia has chosen to participate and cultivate its own image in the digital realm.
This leads us to: So how does academia, such as Virginia Tech use social media specifically, at different levels (university, college, and department/school)?
Next week is taking a look at the big three (Imgur, Twitter, Facebook) that I chose to review and see how these are directly used in academia at Virginia Tech.