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The 21st Century Media (R)evolution

Emergent Communication Practices, Second Edition

Jim Macnamara

The emergence of what are called ‘new media’ and ‘social media’ is one of the most discussed topics in contemporary societies. Because media and public communication are mostly analyzed within particular theoretical frameworks and within specific disciplinary fields, polarized views have been created with cyberoptimists and celebrants on one side and cyberpessimists and skeptics on the other. Thus we lack an understanding of the interdependencies and convergence between disciplines and practices.
The second edition of this book expertly synthesizes competing theories and disciplinary viewpoints and examines the latest data, including international research from fast-growing markets such as China, to provide a comprehensive, holistic view of the twenty-first century media (r)evolution. Dr. Macnamara argues that the key changes are located in practices rather than technologies and that public communication practices are emergent in highly significant ways.
Engaging and accessible, this book is essential reading for scholars and professionals in media and communication and an invaluable text for courses in media studies, journalism, advertising, public relations and organisational and political communication.
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Chapter 5. The Social Organization? How Organizations Are Using Social Media

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THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION?

How Organizations Are Using Social Media

IBM, one of the world’s leading corporations, declared itself a “social business” in 2011, giving weight to an emerging new trend in business and organizational management. In February of that year, IBM hosted an online forum, which it called a ‘jam,’ involving 2,700 participants from corporations, academic institutions, government and non-government organizations to discuss how businesses could redefine themselves and the way they operate in the years ahead. The ‘jam’ generated more than 2,600 online discussion posts and over 600 tweets and led to publication of a report titled Jamming on Social Business: Exploring New Approaches for the Next Era of Business (IBM, 2011). Shortly after, IBM Software Group (2011) published a white paper titled The Social Business: Advent of a New Age. IBM thus formally committed itself to the mantra of being a “social business.” But what does that mean? And is the claim substantial, or merely corporate rhetoric and more buzzwords in the much-hyped world of global business?

IBM’s social business strategy was no doubt influenced by 2010–2011 research by senior analysts in the leading global technology research company, Gartner Inc., which was published as a book in 2011 titled The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees (Bradley & McDonald, 2011a). As authors Anthony ← 161 | 162 → Bradley and Mark McDonald were both...

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