Everyone uses social media today " or so it seems. But, there are still  many unknowns to social media that confuse the average web surfer, whether its why so many people love Twitter or how copyright law pertains to the internet.

Lets iron out the wrinkles that might still be murky for some web surfers.

What is social media?


Most of us probably use social media without even thinking what it actually is. Social media is a form of interactive media by which users can communicate with each other through posts, content, photos, and videos. Message boards, forums, blogs, and YouTube are all forms of social media. Social media is content we make and share together.

Is there a difference between social media and social networking?


Some people use the terms social networking and social media interchangeably, but they are two different entities. Social media, as we just discussed, is a platform that allows users to share information through content, photos, and videos. Social networking " such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn " is a platform that allows people with common interests or goals to come together to talk and to share information. Facebook, for example, allows people to reconnect with old friends and to connect with people who have similar interests.  Social media platforms and social networking can overlap.

What is social bookmarking?


Think of social bookmarking " using websites such as Digg, Stumble Upon, and Delicious -- this way. When you find a website to which you want to return, you bookmark it in your internet browser, right? You do the same with social bookmarking. With social bookmarking, however, you can share your bookmarks (and resources) with the general public if you choose. Sharing of bookmarks allows users ready access to more resources and information.

Copyright laws (they still apply to social media!)


You cannot use someone elses work, even online, without their permission. Maybe you run a blog and find an article that would be perfect to share with your readers. You cannot copy and paste the article and post it on your blog as your own work or even crediting the author unless you receive the authors permission first. And, that goes for photographs, too. Never use work that is not your own without first getting permission.



Its not how Twitter works that causes confusion. Have you ever heard people mutter they just dont understand why anyone would want to announce every little detail of their day to an audience? Thats how a lot of people still view Twitter today: an online diary of sorts that allows you to share trivial parts of your life with others.

But, Twitter has become an effective tool for those " from the media to entrepreneurs " who want to share information and news, and promote products, services, and sales quickly and effectively.

Its private or is it?


Is the information you share on social media really private? Think Facebook. You might have your account set to the strictest privacy settings, but how protected are you? Facebook recently announced that it planned to share user information, including home addresses and phone numbers, with third parties, regardless of privacy settings. The only way to truly protect yourself is to steer clear of social media and social networking, which isnt an option for most people, so be sure to read the Terms of Service and Privacy Terms carefully when you sign up for a site like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

What is Web 2.0?


Youve probably heard the term Web 2.0, but what is it? Think of it as the internets second generation. Gone are the days where websites are static. Todays internet is all about interaction and dynamic websites. In Web 2.0, users create and publish their own content, develop their own websites, and use social media and social networking to share information, photos, and videos.