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THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON INFORMATION GATHERING

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON INFORMATION GATHERING

UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL MEDIA.

Social media has drastically changed how we communicate. Not too long ago, we communicated through the mail, on a land-line telephone, and in person. Today, we send text messages; leave voice messages; use instant messenger; send emails; talk through headphones, cell phones, and online video phones; and, of course, interact through the Internet where a plethora of social media tools has redefined communication. Such a redefinition has had an enormous effect. The entire paradigm of social media has altered the basic rules of communication, especially between business and their audiences. The one way communication methods of the recent past business-to-customer and business-to-business have been replaced by a more robust multidimensional communication model. That model is collectively called social media (also referred to as Web 2.0).The rules of social media. To communicate effectively in the social media world means understanding the new rules of the road. People want: To have a say, meaningful dialogue, to be engaged and involved in the process, personal interactions with others, to be listened to and to help shape what they find useful.

 

IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

 

CONVERSATION. No longer is the communication one-way, broadcast or somehow sent to a passive audience. Social media is at least a two-way conversation, and often a multidimensional conversation. Social media engages everyone involved. This is important as news can be scrutinized anywhere, anytime before even reaching the press. A live example can be taken from last year’s false alarm on a BRT accident on the Third Mainland Bridge. Within minutes, different observations had been made online and soon everyone knew there was no such event.

 

CONTRIBUTION. Social media encourages contributions and reactions from anyone who is interested. ‘Encourage’ is the key here; social media solicits an interaction, positive and negative, by making it easy to contribute. In news gathering, this is imperative because people are free to contribute and have no fear of being found out.

COLLABORATION:Social media promotes an exchange of information between you and your audience, and among audience members, by inviting participation. Creating a quick and simple collaborative platform requires that information be organized and easily distributed.

 

CONNECTION:Accessing information on the Internet only takes a click. Social media thrives on connections, within its own Web vehicles and through links to other sites, resources, people, and automatic feeds. People can even create their own personalized site of connections. This is faster, safer and cheaper than the traditional phone call.

COMMUNITY: The fundamental characteristic of social media is the creation of community: a fellowship and relationship with others who share common attitudes, interests, and goals (such as friendship, professionalism, politics, and photography). Communities form quickly and communicate effectively. Communities build goodwill from members to the hosting organization and among members. While these communities are only virtual, with members seldom meeting each other in person, they are no less robust than the physical communities in which we live, and in many ways more robust from the simple fact that barriers are removed.

With these factors, one has to accept that the social media itself has become a powerful tool in the mass communication scene. This is most definitely the next best thing after the advent of emails and the internet. Nigeria as a whole despite being on the back foot of the Information Technology world still utilizes the tools of the social media in almost every sphere of its communication circle. As the world progresses, new innovations sprout and as such enable the spread of news.

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