Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Technics: Defining the "social": in "social media"

Nick Johnson over at his commercial blog is struggling with an unnamed public relations agency's narrowed definition of "social."  A comenter adds a stretch to the definition as well.  As a student of the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd, I'm more than prepared for these necessary contributions and the problem of narrowed vs. stretched definitions, as well as being glad the PR industry's tendentious and self-serving definition is being corected.  But even a w+der scoped definition like Nick's still doesn't embed the definition in the modal definition-system where the nucleus meaning of "the social" (mode of reality/meaning) of the Dutch Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) and his colleagues and living heritage today of thinkers worldw+d.  L+kw+z "the technical"mode.  But for many it takes too much t+m to read in such dense theory work, common to philosophy.

Technowlb, refWrite Backpage columnist for technics generally and technology

Nick Johnson's Social Business Blog


An email came through from a colleague the other day:
The interesting bit for you folks….how [Insert PR Agency here]’s managing director firstly, then reaffirmed many times by members of his team, thought of social media as a way to“use digital media to amplify the messages that we promote through traditional channels”
I liked that stance and that terminology 
I don’t like that stance and terminology.
My response was:
From my POV, I think one big element of social is as described below, definitely.. And it’s a well worded definition.
But only a partial one.
If one was to assume that social media is exclusively an amplification device for pre-existing messages (or, more broadly, simply a ‘campaign’ in any way) I think one would be missing out on an awful lot around new forms of marketing, data-gathering, analytics, customer engagement, product development, market research, employee engagement and more.
What do you think?
======================================
Nick's commenter adds:
Not to mention brand building, customer service and many other uses. It's interesting how 'PR' the above definition is - as one would expect from a PR agency. Social is the first meta-medium that ever existed, and is normal that everyone is claiming it. Or spinning it.

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