Define social media

Toby on Westside RadioI’m often asked to define what I mean by “social media”.

Here’s what I came up with in the heat of a live radio interview with Pooja on Westside Radio on Friday. (skip to minute 30:30)

Social Media is editorless content prioritised by popularity.

It is articles and programmes that have been published by individuals directly to friends and the rest of the world without going through an editor.

The filtering and prioritising role, traditionally done by an editor, is achieved by monitoring the popularity of the article. The more people that read it the article, comment on it, agree with it and pass it on – the higher that article appears in the list of social media items.

A great way to see this process in action is at Digg where you can see the headlines ordered in terms of popularity by all the members.

Update: 25/Feb/2009 – “prioritised editorless content”

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5 thoughts on “Define social media

  1. James Barbour July 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm Reply

    Prioritising by popularity, or tyranny of the majority?

  2. Toby Beresford July 24, 2008 at 10:51 pm Reply

    Ha ha, yes I’m not that sure about the prioritisation bit of this definition – it can be by popularity (digg.com) or by a clever engine (facebook). I suppose the main definition should be that it is prioritised automatically by some predefined rules and machine sorted.

  3. […] Toby Beresford: “… editorless content prioritised by popularity” […]

  4. […] Toby Beresford: “… editorless content prioritised by popularity” […]

  5. […] Toby Beresford: “… editorless content prioritised by popularity” […]

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