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Making It Your Web

How Has Social Media Helped You 'Find The Web'?

  • Posted 13th May 2010 @ 12:16:18
  • Last update 24th May 2013 @ 18:01:35
  • By Alex Hall

Since the introduction of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms it's safe to say that the interaction on the web has risen by a substantial factor. I cannot think of a single commericial industry that either hasn't had or couldn't have a positive impact from reaching into the social media stream.

A brilliant example of this can be found here entitled "How Social Media and the Web Helped Avatar Make $1 Billion". This story is quite amazing and just shows the extent to which social media can impact even the film industry. By advertising on social media platforms before the films release it had a staggering knowledge base and advertising market that you simply couldn't fail to know about it if you were part of any of these media channels. That's huge! Especially when you think of the number of people that use Twitter, and Facebook and the rest.

I have been trying to find an article somewhere that detailed the number of users that Twitter currently has. Note: I have found some information that states:

"Twitter processed 1.76bn tweets in April. This is 47% increase from the number of tweets in January this year."

Facebook currently has more than 400 million active users. Of these users 50% log on on any given day and an average of 500 billion minutes per month is spent on Facebook. That is staggering! If you want more head here. If you could grab a piece of that market, you're in!

Now, the reason I decided to write this article was following a discussion I had recently with a work colleague who was surprised by how read I was on the latest technologies that interest me such as HTML5, CSS3 and the latest JavaScript library updates from various suppliers such as jQuery, MooTools and YUI. I realised that the reason for most of this knowledge is because of who I follow on Twitter (and RSS). My following strongly leans towards users who's job it is to tell the world about this stuff, but without them popping up in my browser constantly everyday there is absolutely no way I could know how much I know now. And I don't profess to knowing that much, but it's a damn sight more than I would if I weren't on Twitter.

Information Overload!

My mind keeps flashing back to the new bing.com television advert that I keep seeing where we're reminded that we live in a world of information overload. I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing in a lot of ways. I, for one, am quite pleased with knowing as much as I can about certain topics. But there is certainly a valid point made there. Information is so easy to come by these days, you don't have to look very far to find out practically anything about anything, or be constantly updated by the latest trends in any topic. What a great world we live in!

Think for a moment about life before the Internet. How difficult was it to come across certain information that you needed to know? A trip to the library would probably have been the first point of choice. That denotes a lot of searching for an answer to a question that might not be found in a library. Of course there were other channels for information before the Internet, but none that have made such a big impact on the way we find things out. I can't even comprehend popping to the library to find out some information. The only thing I'd use it for is to borrow a novel to read.

The Future of Social Media

So how about the future? How can we possibly want, or need to know more than we currently do? I came across a very interesting concept of the future at Frogdesign.com, which brings to light some far-fetched, but ultimately possible future technologies that could impact the social world to the same sort of extent that social media has done today. Can you imagine being able to find out all the details about someone just by looking at them? Or knowing how badly your next MacDonalds is going to affect you before you eat it? Takes nutritional information to a new level, don't you think?

The obvious question to derive from this is, do we really want to know? Or do we really want people to know that level of detail about us? There are obviously a lot of questions to put to this, but by concept alone it is a very scary, but oddly invigorating thought of what the future could hold for social media.

What are your thoughts? Has social media given you more out of the Internet? Could you manage without it? And what could the future hold from a social media perspective?

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