Web 2.0, Social Networking, Social Media, New Media…Whew!

These terms all seem used interchangeably.  What do they all – and each -mean?  We asked an expert.

From Handshake 2.0's Web 2.0 Developer:

Web 2.0 - A movement in web development that uses and improves existing technologies and creates new ones to make sites focused around a base of connected human users, rather than content-focused sites that simply get hits from unconnected users.

Social networking– People using the internet to foster personal relationships. Much the same as talking on the phone or in person, but with a few important additions:

1. Any decent social network provides access to media beyond text.

2. Most of the activities a person performs in a social network are, by default, public to the others in that person's network.  Social networks can be used for private communication, but that sort of defeats the purpose.

3. Social networking can be done asynchronously, i.e. Dick and Jane don't need to be online at the same times to interact.

So in the context of the web:

Social media are a set of tools that disseminate information among users actively and virally: the information doesn't just sit there waiting for the user to find it. And when the information does get to the user, the user is likely to help it spread to others.

New media are a set of tools that disseminate information in ways that old media don't. And that doesn't just mean internet instead of print.  New media include social media, for instance, and mobile media, and can interface effectively with "old media."

Parametric hand turkey, generated by Mathematica, by Handshake 2.0's Web 2.0 developer

Handshake 2.0's Web 2.0 developer is the author of the Parametric Hand Turkey, created using Mathematica, and listed on the Wolfram Research News & Events page.

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  1. Creating brands worth evangelizing about is often misunderstood. The connection between the core values – the soul of the company and the soul of the customer – is why customers evangelize. They have found a temple of core value at which to worship. It’s mythic. It’s epic. The brand becomes icon because it connects to the subconscious yearnings of the customer, imprinting on the brain. The pictured emotional experience becomes a conduit through which the customer can again be touched by those core values.

    Those pictures and emotions then become language in the brain of the customer. And it’s the language of evangelism.

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