The Fundamentals.



We tweet, we like, we post, we tag, we comment, we follow…we collaborate.

Like the symbols and letters on a keyboard, today we have an infinite collection of social media (SM) platforms right at our fingertips. From Facebook, an infamous social networking service that facilitates online conversations to Stumbleupon, a web search engine that provides its users with web content that is suited to their interests. Honestly, we fancy it we got it! There are a myriad of options freely accessible to us and they offer us numerous ways to stay connected and state our mind.

Since the late 1990s SM has gradually progressed into a medium we simply cannot exist without. As a radical form of interactive communication it grips a range of digital tools that allows us to exchange information online. SM includes…

“all the Internet-enabled capabilities for communicating through different means – audio, video, text, images and every other combination or permutation imaginable.” (p.44)

Pretty amazing right?!

At its birth SM was seen as a somewhat obtrusive channel* and a tad too forward for it’s time. You see, society back then was not quite ready to publicise their personal lives to all humanity and so they steered away from the hype…boy have we changed. Nowadays we fanatically run towards the hype and generally don’t mind broadcasting our lifestyles or expressing our opinions to the human race. What has happened to us?


Nice Grovo. Go on, check them out you guys > and mull over this…”Social media is an entire industry.” Do you know its inner workings?

SM has many attractive qualities but the two to highlight would be its ability to break down individuals’ idiosyncratic walls and allow businesses to connect with their customers in an interpersonal way. Our current technological environment enables businesses to use SM as a marketing tool and adapt its offerings akin to Instagram and Twitter into their daily practices.

Businesses that use social media are able to:

  • Enhance their brand visibility
  • Create stronger relationships with their customers
  • Showcase and promote new products
  • Inform customers of their latest news

What’s more, and I find this very cool, businesses that successfully exploit SM have a knack to convert their employees and customers into sales representatives (clever opportunists!). Businesses who do this evolve into what’s called social organisations, encouraging resourceful collaboration between their workforce and customers and building stronger support communities.

Last of all, to close shop I would like to shine some light on socio-technical systems. What are they? I’ve come to understand that it is a multifaceted process that involves both people and technology, working collectively to produce a system that is of value to both businesses and their end users. I would say that this WordPress blog site is a good example of a socio-technical system. It is an intricate structure that has many technical facets (HTML codes, icons and links) that unite and rely on each others individual functionality to not only make the site work successfully but to please the user. As a socio-technical system it supports the connection between the technical sphere of computer software and the human exchangeComplexity Academy, an e-learning site stated that socio-technical systems is…

“an approach to overcoming the problems of optimizing either the social or technical side to a project in isolation” and that it is a more “holistic method for developing synergistic relations between both areas that create optimal solutions for the system as a whole.”


Jue, A.L., Marr, J.A. Kassotakis, M.E. (2010). Social Media at Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organisational Performance, 41-77.