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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Qualities and Potential of Social Media

The Qualities and Potential of Social Media
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Author(s): Udo Richard Averweg (eThekwini Municipality, South Africa) and Marcus Leaning (University of Winchester, UK)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch617


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In recent years social media have been clearly identified as playing a significant part in facilitating, if not causing a number of political revolutions and unexpected election results. Similarly social media ha also been considered as a way to improve organisational performance. In business and management social media is seen as a way to empower customers and users, improve service levels through feedback loops and generally offer an improved service users' experience of bureaucracy. In this article the qualities and potential of social media can be understood to cause social change are examined. First in the background discussion to social media, new technologies are discussed. Then the four key areas of the characteristics of social media (the contemporaneity of communications; productive audiences; its dialogical and network nature; and its searchable and ‘taggable' nature) are explored. Finally, a number of possible trends in social media development and extrapolate are identified. From these (the self leveraging network; deeper personal profiles and the Universal ID and identity; and hyper locality) they are extrapolated to the future.

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