A recent paper called “Hip and Trendy: Characterizing Emerging Trends on Twitter” calls social awareness streams “a class of communication and information platforms”. Those platforms are social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and even Youtube. Any place that we post 140 word comments with or without links, comments, pictures, videos and links are social online water coolers.
We’ve learned to Twitter while watching our favorite TV shows or mourn together the death of famous people. Facebook is used for both personal connections, as well as business use for marketing and gaining brand recognition through the involvement of “friends” and “fans”.
A slew of studies have shown the global impact on information, communication and the media due to popular social networking websites. For example, information and news are instant. In real-time using Twitter alone, hundreds of millions of users can log in and learn the latest interests, happenings, events, news and even public attitudes and opinions.
Sure, there’s always a debate about whether all this access to information is healthy or even necessary. But in general, the world has adapted and certain technologies thrive on this constant instant access to us. For web design, online marketing, user experience design and content writing, social awareness streams offer the opportunity to discover trending topics, opinions, and new resources. Your target market is talking to you and all you have to do is tap into their discussion streams.