Now let’s take a look at each of the main types of social media, and how they work. These explanations are intentionally very general, because with social media every
rule seems to have an exception.
In fact, among the defining characteristics of social media are the blurring of definitions, rapid innovation, reinvention and mash-ups. Each explanation also has a section on how to try out that form of social media yourself, with pointers on both how to find social media that’s relevant to you and how you might go about creating it. If you want to really understand how social media works, there’s no better way than to take part in it.
the combination of two or more pieces of content (or software, or websites) is one of the phenomena in social media that make it at once so exciting, fast-moving and sometimes bewildering. Mash-ups are possible because of the openness of social media – many websites and software developers encourage people to play with their services and reinvent them.
There are literally hundreds of mash-ups of the Google Earth service, where people have attached information to parts of the maps. For instance there is a UK rail service mash-up where you can track in real time where trains are on the map. Fans of the TV series 24 have mapped locations from the shows’ plotlines on to a Google Earth map.
A popular type of mash-up cannibalises different pieces of content, typically videos and music. Popular videos on YouTube can spawn hundreds of imitations, homages and
(frequently) comic reinterpretations. In communities like this, the number of mash-ups a piece of content spawns is often an indicator of its popularity.