Social Media and IT

Social Media, what is it? How is it used? Why is it important for IT professionals to know about? These are the questions I will be answering in this blog post. I really don’t have much of an idea what this subject is actually about apart from the fact that it involves websites like Facebook, so this will be another aspect of IT we both can learn about during this post šŸ™‚

What is Social Media?

It is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. It is based on mobile or web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individials and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. So you have “social media” websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Second Life and the list goes on and on.


There are so many because a lot of people this day and age choose to do the majority of their socialising on social media websites. I came across an American study showing the average amount of time per day people in different age groups will spend on social media websites.

  • 18 – 34 year olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
  • 35 – 49 year olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
  • 50 – 64 year olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.

Just thought I would throw that interesting fact in there šŸ™‚ to show not only the different social media websites but the amount of importance that the average person places on these sites.

Social media has been defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”

How is Social Media used?

There are many different ways social media is used one of the most common being personal use. It is a way for people to communicate with each other, keep up to date with what their friends and family are doing, share photos, ideas, opinions, anything they choose for all their social media friends to see. Creating themselves an online community for either personal fullfillment or to simply communicate and “catch up” with people they wouldn’t otherwise be able to (people in other countries). People also use the sites for entertainment, such as playing games, watching videos, looking at photos and shopping. The second most common use of social media is marketing for businesses and organisations. It is a way for them to not only put their name and brand out there but to also offer potential customers specials, keep them up to date with anything new happening and providing customers with the ability to give their honest opinion or feedback about their experiences with a certain business or organisation. In terms of marketing having a strong social media presence on the web is the key to tap into customers interest. If done correctly and thoroughly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business or organisation. Social media is also used for education, discussions, conversations between professionals in the same fields, uploading and sharing videos and so much more.


Why is Social Media important for IT professionals to know about?

There are a few different reasons that I can think of why social media would be important for us future IT professionals. One being marketing if we ever decide to start up our own business or one of our job roles in a business is to create and maintain their web presence then we definitely need to be very familiar with all the different kinds of social media websites, how they work, how to use them, what is the best way to use them, which ones are the most popular, etc. We also want to be able to help our future customers with any problems they may have, and thinking of the questions and help that is being asked of me now, helping customers, friends and family with their social media accounts may be part of our IT professional career. Social media is also a really great way for IT professionals to have discussions about problems they might be having, or ideas and opinions, as well as keeping up with the latest gadgets and news. I believe knowing about social media is just one of those things that sort of come with the territory of being an IT professional because it is such a big influence in the world and on the internet, with smartphones, computers, tablets and their apps. Since all of that falls under the title “information technology” it is definitely Ā something we need to be familiar with if we want to be classified as “professionals”.


So, Social Media is definitely one of the biggest influences on the internet, and something us IT professionals in training should know about because we will work in a world that live and breathe on these websites. I mean think about it, meeting a “professional IT person” who didn’t know what Facebook was, doesn’t make much sense does it!


Information Technology in Context Reflection

I have been sick the past week and a half with the flu and a chest infection so I wasn’t able to attend this class, but what I understand this blog to be is a sort of reflection of what we have learned, things that have sparked our interest and what we have taken away from our Information Technology in Context classes so far this year. It has been a fun and interesting learning experience having different tutors teaching us different subjects every week, learning about the big wide world of IT.

Top three presentations that have opened my eyes to the world of IT and what to be aware of as an IT professional

1. First ever ITC class of the year – Craig

This was definitely an eye opener for me as part of my IT education for the simple reason that it was my first ever class of the entire year. Not knowing what to expect it was a good starting point to prepare me for the year I will have doing the BIT. Not only did I get my first experience in the bachelor class environment, which was very daunting going in because I thought it was going to be strict and information drilling, but I also received the reality check that I would have to step out of my comfort zone during the year. I believe this first class in a way was the biggest eye opener because I definitely got a slight feel of the environment that I will be starting my career in. Going over the course outline and receiving my first bit of homework (first blog post) which was a brand new experience for me and a bit of a scary one, now it’s safe to say I am a bit of a pro now considering this is my 13th blog post!

2. Copyleft – Clare

It is hard to choose just three presentations because they have all opened my eyes to different aspects of the IT industry. So I have focused mostly on the ones that I really found fascinating! The Copyleft presentation from Clare was definitely a fascinating one to me because I had never heard of it before and I unknowingly at the time completely agree with it. This subject made so much senseĀ  to me and opened my eyes to some pretty amazing people trying to make a difference to the copyright act. Now, the copyright act does have a lot to do with the IT world because the internet is filled with other peoples work, photos, music, articles, papers, etc and it is very very easy to just copy and paste someones work and not think twice about it. We also have the big “internet based” one, piracy. As IT professionals we need to realize and come to terms with this to ensure not only our safety from being prosecuted but our friends, family and future clients. Depending on what we choose to major in, the internet could have a huge part of our everyday work life, it is already a part of our everyday personal life, so we do need to be careful!

3. Virtual Environment – Clare

Another presentation given to us by Clare which really amazed me and just had me thinking wow!! Had me thinking that we truly do live in an amazing, innovative time and it is only getting more amazing by the day! Learning about the Oculus Rift virtual reality, Google Glass was really awesome! Realizing the ridiculously awesome technology that is out there! Enough to make any IT professional in training fall into a state of absolute awe! Reflecting on the subject, what is real? What we define as real, (of course with a little help from the matrix) really spiked my interest because I have seen how blurred the lines of reality can become for some people and being able to research more into the subject really opened my eyes to the whole concept of “real” and “virtual”. This subject really reminded me why I chose to start a career in this industry, re-sparked my fascination with technology and the amazing opportunities and experiences they offer!

What during my time this year excited me about a part of the IT world

There have been a few bits a pieces throughout all of the classes that have excited me and pushed me towards a certain way in this industry. Having not being limited by the available opportunities in Nelson, since I plan to move back to Auckland when I have finished my mind is a bit allĀ  over the place as to which direction I want to head in. I would have to say my favorite subject definitely would be Computer Systems Architecture, getting on the inside of the computer, the hardware side of things. This area really interests me and I love learning about the different little parts that makes a computer what it is, learning how to take it all apart and put it back together, learning about different problems and solutions, everything! I have also been excited by some subjects that have been talked about in our Information Technology in Context classes, namely ones that I have mentioned above. The new, out of the box thinking technology devices, software, etc things like that really do remind me why I chose to pursue this certain career. Although web design and systems analysis have been very difficult classes for me, some things said or that I learned in class have spiked my interest. Learning something new everyday I never know when I will come across a subject, program, piece of technology, etc that really excites me and that is an awesome feeling! Knowing that I have chosen the right direction for me!

Single most important thing I have learned this term during this paper.

To remember to be amazed at truly amazing things.

Some people this technological age really do forget to be amazed and let it sink in how innovative and special all this new technology is. I have said this before in my previous blogs, I heard it in a video I was given to watch and it really made a lot of sense to me. Finding myself seeing something that is really special and thinking it’s just another piece of technology. During this course I have had the opportunity to learn and experience some of the technology this century has to offer and it has definitely opened my eyes so much to the point where I remember to be amazed! Younger and younger generations are being born pretty much knowing how to use smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc and forgetting how unique those things are, how creative, how innovative and special those devices are! That’s why I definitely think that is the single most important thing I have learned! It fuels my passion and reminds me why I chose this career path.

So remember to be amazed!!