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What 2011 meant for Social Media

Social Media, although had already been around for some time, became the new buzz word of 2011. We saw companies fiercely competing to conjure up evermore outlandish and bizarre social media campaigns, all in the hopes of broadening their online presence. You may have noticed that many companies now advertise their Facebook pages instead of their actual website. This is something that has become a growing trend, as it allows customers to more easily share their experiences online, and become more ‘social’. Check out the best social media campaigns of 2011, there are a few beauties!

‘Different Place’

It’s no secret that the online world is a very different place to a few years back, but it’s not only online where things have changed so drastically. 10 years ago the idea of sitting down at a restaurant, getting your phone out and ‘checking-in’ would seem sheer fantasy, maybe even as recently as 2 or 3 years ago… These days though, to our tech-savvy generation, showing off your fancy meal at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant or the pictures you snapped while sunbathing in the Cape Verde islands is something we all are finding harder to resist. More interestingly, our friends seem just as eager to be the first to add a humorous reply! When was the last time you posted on Facebook and not checked back shortly after to see how many ‘likes’ you had racked up?

These days it’s all about setting up our social activities online, making sure of course that you have the location pinpointed as precisely as humanly possible on Google Maps. It seems everything we do has to be done in the public eye, most of the time in front of an audience, many of whom we may not have had any contact with in years; or ever.

‘Chinese Whispers’

Twitter is the new world stage. It’s the place we all go when we have something to say. It seems now that almost everyone has a twitter account and it’s great. Even celebrities, who hate being bombarded by the press, love to have a place where they can say what they want where it isn’t manufactured by media Chinese-whispers. It’s also become a sort of popularity contest, one which we all can take part in. Twitter is potentially even more fascinating than Facebook and Google+ because you are literally talking to the world. Who knows who may be reading your latest thoughts, or stalking your every move. Does it not worry you sometimes?

Whether we want to believe it or not, we all have an ‘online status’. It’s the reputation by which most people will know us for. ‘Most people’, of course, being a bunch of acquaintances we barely know anymore. So the real question is… why do we care so much?

‘Biggest Impact’

For me the biggest impact of social networks is not the way in which we are constantly uploading every detail about our lives for all to see, but the way in which we are learning new things about the world around us. Not long ago we discovered most of our news from the televison, a website or morning newspaper. It’s pretty common now for the latest big news events to be seen first on one of your friend’s wall posts, or maybe a tweet. So social networks have not only allowed us to share our lives with others, it’s become a way of informing and teaching each other about the world we live in; the beauty, that it is personalised to each and every one of us.

What can we expect for 2012?

2012 is going to be as exciting if not more so! This year it’s all about Responsive Design. The web went responsive in 2011 with more and more sites magically changing their layouts and designs to tailor fit to our browsers and touch screen devices. The surface has barely even been scratched and this is going to be a big one for the year to come.

That doesn’t mean of course that social media will take a backseat. Twitter recently received a $300m investment and Google+, despite a lot of criticism, still has a few hands to play. With that in mind I’m sure we can expect even more of our lives being invaded by this online craze. It does occur to me though, that imagining a 21st century world without Twitter and Facebook might just be a little bit… boring?


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