"Digital media" and "social media"
September 27, 2018 7:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm revising a form, and I want to be clear and concise.

1. What does the phrase "digital media" mean to you?

2. Would you include social media as a type of digital media?

The form already lists "digital media," and I am unsure whether we need to add "social media."
posted by maurreen to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To me, digital media is youtube, netflix, online newspapers. Social media is facebook, twitter, etc.
posted by freethefeet at 7:17 PM on September 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

The meaning of digital media depends on the context to me. Are you talking about news media originating from publications and disseminated in a digital form (e.g., online editions of newspapers, online-only publications, articles distributed via Apple News, articles aggregated via Flipboard, etc.)? Or are you talking about forms of media (music, other audio, video) disseminated electronically (e.g., YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, downloaded MP3s in iTunes)?

I don't think social media falls into either category of digital media. Services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. aren't really part of either of those sets of digital media services and formats, though sometimes they are used as distribution platforms for news articles or other media files, too.
posted by limeonaire at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

By the by, of social-media services, Instagram and Tumblr have perhaps the most crossover between "digital media" and "social media," as I realized when I was about to add "photos" to the list of forms of media. The social-media services themselves are not what I'd consider digital media, but photos are a form of digital media that is often disseminated electronically via such social-media services.

It would definitely help to know whether you're trying to differentiate between forms of content or between distributions methods for content.
posted by limeonaire at 7:46 PM on September 27, 2018

Here is the context. It is a volunteer form. People can sign up for various committees. Examples are listed of work that each committee might do.

For the Communications Committee, we have examples such as:
* Content for digital media
* Newsletters
* Press relations
* Letters to the editor

The questions is whether to add "social media." In my mind, it is included in "digital media." But so far, I am the only I know who thinks so. :)
posted by maurreen at 7:50 PM on September 27, 2018

To me, social media would be grouped with Newsletters -- it's membership engagement.
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:44 PM on September 27, 2018

Digital media is the bigger category. Digital media contains any and all media transmitted digitally (which at this point is a whole lot of it) - so it can include cable, YouTube, online newspapers, etc. Social media are a subset of digital media. Newsletters are another subset. PR is not entirely digital but has a digital component.
posted by Miko at 8:51 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

In that specific context I would consider "content for digital media" to be pretty exclusively audio and video content along the lines of podcasts, YouTube videos, recorded lectures (a la TED talks), etc that are designed to be consumed and not particularly interacted with. "Content for social media" would include text (tweets, FB posts, newsletters, etc. as well as short video and (maybe) audio that are designed to be conversation starters when posted to a social media outlet.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:25 AM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

Social media is indeed a type of digital media, but when most people use the phrase "digital media" they are speaking about static sources. Social media is more dynamic, as there is two-way communication between the audience and the content creator(s). Since clarity seems important here, I would add a bullet for something like "Maintains social media presence."
posted by sockermom at 4:12 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd be very curious what the intent was behind the phrase "Content for digital media," i.e., what type of content was implied by this initially? Is there a blog that people might contribute posts to, or are there photo galleries on a site or on Facebook? If you have a YouTube channel and you're looking for people to contribute to that, or if you're looking for photos or video to post on Facebook or Twitter, then that item might include social media. But it really depends on where the content is going to end up as to whether I'd say it's inclusive of social media.
posted by limeonaire at 5:44 PM on September 28, 2018

Maybe then the way to solve this is to specify exactly what they're writing for. As in

The Communications Committee writes and publishes content for the following outlets:
* Social media
* Podcasts
* Blogs
* Newsletters
* Press releases
* Letters to the editor
posted by Miko at 7:17 PM on September 29, 2018

Ah, well, I decided to shorten everything, and just say "Communications," without any examples.

It's interesting to see the variety of responses.

Thank you all.
posted by maurreen at 7:02 PM on October 28, 2018

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