Introduction

Diane Rasmussen Neal

What is social media?

These days, it seems we cannot escape mentions of the popular online services that comprise social media. Television news anchors tell us to learn more about their stories by following them on Twitter. Our favourite local coffee shop displays a sign at the register, inviting customers to ‘Like us on Facebook.’ Charlie Sheen tweets that he’s #winning, and the world talks about it. We learn that citizens of countries whose governments are in upheaval use social media to organize grassroots political efforts. The song ‘Friday’, performed by an unknown 13-year-old girl, garnered 167 million views on YouTube, and Ms Black’s name was the ‘#1 fastest rising search on Google in 2011’ (Google, ...

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