April 2009


For the past two months I have been asking myself, why do we use social media? The answer is to create conversation, and hopefully one that is transparent. Social media leader, Brian Solis and creative agency JESS3 have brilliantly created an improved version a Web 2.0 Conversation Prism. The Conversation Prism has several different layers to represent the “expansiveness of Social Web and the conversations that define it.”  Solis points out that transparency serves various forms of both genuine and hollow, which are separated by their purpose and impression. Relationships are measured in the value, action, and attitude that others take away from each conversation.  Transparency and authenticity of each conversation will ultimately bring information and solutions to others.

Maybe it was implied in Solis’ model, but what makes everything work together is trust. We trust that all users, companies, organizations, and bloggers, will “honor the trust they have been given.”  Web 2.0 needs a guide of ethics so what is published online can be seen as transparent, and making brands truly authentic.

We have become more trusting over time, relying on information based on relevance and how accessible they are to find instead of trustworthiness. The day we do not have to keep our guard up when entering a conversation is the day true transparency has arrived. We have learned through others that social media can be the breeding ground of truth or the contagious spreading area of lies and dishonesty. No, I haven’t become a pessimist of Web 2.0. I just think that before anyone enters a conversation we all should look at it with cautious eyes and hope what we see is the truth. Authenticity will follow right behind.

YouTube has become a huge part of media, especially social media. The average college student is overwhelmed with the amount of videos they can watch and can share with others. A normal class period conversation usually includes their most recent video findings on YouTube.  Users can use YouTube to share video, comment on videos, and share their stories to others. With interactive buttons like SHARE that allow users to share on social networks, websites, and even embed video into a post or comment is amazing. The YouTube community has sky-rocketed, with the sloan Broadcast Yourself  gives the idea that everyone can be a producer by uploading their videos for millions to watch. In fact, YouTube released a statistic stating that every minute, ten hours of video are uploaded to their site. A YouTube revolution has started and couldn’t be stopped.

Soon, individuals became YouTube celebrities as people around the world followed their posting like lonelygirl15.  She immediately became a YouTube star of reality entertainment. Lonelygirl15 was an home-schooled  16 year-old teenager girl with religious parents who secretly recorded all her videos in her bedroom. The long series of video started in June 2006 and ended in August 2008. Her followers quickly jumped to 2 million viewers and had one highest watched channels on YouTube. After more videos were posted, people began to grow suspicious  if she was real.  Later, actress Jessica Rose and her filmmaker, screenwriter, and photographer were discovered to be a fake.  Everyone was fooled and not too happy. Below is a video of die-hart explaining why YouTubers were so upset of the scam.

We all know that YouTube is flooded with pointless videos and that’s why we love it. But when this micro-soap hoax was uncovered, we saw YouTubers truly get pissed that people would post non-authentic material the site. Even YouTubers had an expectation of truth and honesty.