The six Social Media manifestations according to the Associated Press
The Associated Press is recognized worldwide as an authority in journalism standards. They have adopted Social Media as a series of outlets in which their journalists share and promote their stories, thus the need to include it since several years ago in their Stylebook.
AP recognizes among others, the following manifestations:
- Social networking sites. Examples include Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, which according to AP, form communities around common interests, who will then share content on various topics.
- Microblogging sites. The king here would be Twitter, a network in which users can send short bits of information, which could be read and shared by other users.
- Wikis. A series of sites in which collectives create content on specific topics, review, revise, and curate it according to community standards.
- Content-sharing services. Flickr, Instagram, and even YouTube are mentioned in AP’s Stylebook. These sites are based on user uploaded content that could then be shared and discussed by others.
- Online forums. These sites allow for users with similar interests to create conversations among themselves. These conversations turn into threads that could ramify into branches with subtopics and more in depth conversations.
- Check-in services. The Swarm App and Foursquare have led this category, although Facebook has quickly gained terrain. These allow for users to “check-in” at particular locations, find other users in the local vicinity, and apply a gamification approach to venue-hopping.
There are a vast number of additional categories within social media, such as dating services, electronic pinboards, review sites and millions of independent and corporate owned blogs that fill up the Internet with social interaction and a “prosumer” behavior of users, that one in which they not only consume, but also produce content.
AP recognizes the importance of social media next to traditional media, and has established that journalists should abide by the styles set by the agency when generating content.