A year ago there was only one platform required to stay in the social loop, but as of lately users have increased the amount of networks that they are a part of. Users are dealing with new challenges that they have never experienced before, such as where to post what without seeming repetitive. Since issues like this have begun to arise, we are learning to become ‘social mediators’.
Social Mediation is the user management of multiple platforms and the difficulties associated with them. Having more than one account with a specific social network is a new occurrence, which makes these issues a precedent. Mediating between networks has never happened because social medias have only had transition stages until now.
Before Facebook became the capital of the World Wide Web, there were many other networks fighting to be on the top. For instance, when MySpace users began flocking to Facebook, there was a transition stage instead of mediation. Users did not make posts on both networks; instead most gave up on MySpace and became strict Facebook users. Now that there are diverse social networks that specialize in different parts of social living, users are creating accounts without disbanding from previous social medias.
The largest difficulty that social mediators are dealing with is how to update users without seeming repetitive. This is very important because users maintain many of the same connections on separate platforms. To solve issues like these, users must adhere to certain steps in order to perform social mediation.
Step 1: Analyze the content
- First you must decide whether the content of what you are broadcasting is generally found on one platform instead of another. For instance, if a user’s content involves a connection they have on a platform they would post it to that platform. Sometimes it is a simple decision, other times this step requires more attention.
- If a user wants to create a status update they can choose from multiple platforms to do so. This case is becoming extremely difficult because almost every network allows users to make status updates. To decide where content is finally posted, a user must determine which platform is designed for the premise of the content. Recreational content will be posted to a different network than business related content because of the premise of the platform and the audience.
Step 2: Examine the audience of your platforms
- Next, users need to be attentive to the audience, or other users that are connected in their network. This is important because the proper platform can be decided based on its audience. Some content is meant for a large audience while other content is for a smaller audience.
- As well as step one, users analyze their audience on each platform and decide which content belongs to which audience. If a user is connected with colleagues and work associates they would not broadcast the recreational activities of their weekend. Users should refrain from broadcasting intimate content to a large audience; this has become a large issue regarding possible careers instigating platforms to learn about possible employees. In some instances this step can be more difficult than the first; frequent users become knowledgeable of audience sizes, which makes this step simpler.
Step 3: Determine the Platform
- Finally, users take their knowledge of the content and audiences and decide where the post is designated; this is the actual mediation between social medias. Some users decide that the content is proper for multiple platforms and must now make a decision of how to change it to fit another platform. If users share common connections on many platforms the more diverse they can create the content the more that it will not seem repetitive.
Now that social networking has entered into a mediation stage, multiple platforms will continue to be added and users will continue to create many accounts. Difficulties in managing platforms will continue to occur which will lead to the need of social mediation.