In Search of Authenticity

Authenticity is a theme that runs under, and around, the conversations we’ve had this semester about Social Media. An article on Mashable the other day got me thinking more extensively about this concept; it described the early days of YouTube, and shared the first ever video that was published in 2005.

It’s true that the video’s title Me at the Zoo is very plain by today’s standards, and we now expect a high level of journalistic and marketing language in posts we choose to read or view. The author suggests a number of alternatives, including: “I Went to the Zoo. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.” Much more typical of today’s “marketing-ese” that pervades many postings.

Even though I’m not a huge user of Social Media, or wasn’t before taking this course, it’s quite easy to see the transformation that is taking place in content. Now, my Facebook feed is littered with ads — both directly marketed to me, and much more pervasively shared by friends, in the guise of “content sharing”. Companies and organizations are now content creators, and they’re using my friends as purveyors of their brand. It’s interesting, and fun, but I resonate with the memory that the original YouTube video could have been so simple and straightforward.

In an interesting, contemporary twist on this theme, Mashable recently hosted a Twitter Story contest: Tell a Story in a Tweet. Here are some that I particularly enjoyed:




In the now deeply textured fabric of the social media marketplace, it’s refreshing to see this novel nod to our poetic side.

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