chapter
Introduction
ByJeremy Hunsinger, Theresa Senft
Pages 4

This book examines how social media are changing the plural landscapes and disciplinary understandings of the internet and our everyday lives. The meaning of “social media” is a matter of debate: while some use the term quite narrowly to describe person-to-person relations on social networking services like Facebook and Twitter, others use the term to signal socialization aspects of Web 2.0 sites in general. In this book, social media means networked information services designed to support in-depth social interaction, community formation, collaborative opportunities and collaborative work (Bruns & Bahnisch, 2009). While the term social media arose in relation to the terms social software and Web 2.0, viewing social media as a web-oriented system forgets the many systems that people use every day that are not web based. Some elements of social media predate the Web 2.0 phenomena and continue today, such as parts of interactive television, socially playable video games, and virtual worlds/MMORPGs. This book explores the broad range of social media available today and provides insights into its use and understanding for a broad audience.