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Indrani (20..

) compile the concept of Social media as social refers to the activity of having conversations, listening, sharing stories, building relationships, communities, trust and other such social activities and media refers to the means of communicating with others, social media becomes simply taking the entire social experience online through which people can share content, personal opinions, swap different perspectives, provide insights into various issues and generally discuss any topic of their choice in the form of text, images, videos, audio etc. According to Wikipedia, social media is a medium for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. It is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. In web 2.0 terms, social media is just a fancy way of describing the millions of conversations people are having online today. Media vehicles which all contribute to social media are Social Networking sites (Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, Hi5), Blogs (some Indian social media blogs are Ravindra Khandelwal), Microblogging (Twitter), Wikis (Wikipedia), Content Communities (Flickr, Youtube , Podcasts, Vodcasts), Forums/Groups, Social Bookmarking Sites (Del.icio.us, Blinklist). Any website that invites you to interact with the site and with other visitors falls into the definition of social media. More people than ever before interact with each other. Numerous individuals connect with friends, family and even strangers on Facebook, share their thoughts, activities and experiences on Twitter and publish, comment and rate video clips on YouTube. The latter examples depict only a small array of the social activities in which users partake using social media services. Human activities on the Internet, made possible by these social media services, continue to grow. It is not a complete surprise that companies, politicians, scholars and the popular press display a deep interest towards these social media services that facilitate human activity. Despite the fact that social media have attracted a lot of attention there is still considerable confusion about the notion of social media itself. Various definitions have been given. Most of these definitions are unsatisfactory in that many of the characteristics of social media that need some economic, technical, sociological or psychological explanation are part of the given definition. Brussee & Hekman (2009) pose a working hypothesis that social media can best be considered as highly accessible media. Media becomes highly accessible when barriers within the media chain are lowered to such an extend that users can (re)produce, aggregate or package, distribute and consume media content with minor limitations. Easy to use software, Web 2.0 technology and the Internet dramatically helped lowering the barriers for the creation, sharing and consumption of media content (see Figure 1). As a result of the increased accessibility to the media chain one could observe that activities that occur in the physical world also occur in the virtual (e.g. sharing of experiences, the collaboration on knowledge, discussions about religion and maintaining social ties between individuals). Accessibility to the media supply chain gives

users the availability to produce content instead of merely consuming it. But what are the reasons for users to publish content or to interact with content (user-to-content or user-to-user interaction)? Why put in the time and effort? A main focus point for this research proposal is the third desire: esteem.

2. The third desire It is said that the three ruling passions in human life are the desire for property, the desire for power and the desire for prestige or status or esteem (Brennan & Pettit, 2004a). In their book The Economy of Esteem, Geoffrey Brennan and Philip Pettit, depart with the idea that our desire for esteem is one of the driving forces of every human being. It is our intrinsic desire to have our fellow man think well of us (Cowen, 2005; Franck, 2007). They portray esteem as an object of desire and people are in a position to rationally demand and supply esteem. Esteem involves an attitude, not an action, and that it may, or may not be expressed in praise or criticism. A minimalist version of the basic esteem relationship involves just two individuals: an actor A, and an observer, B. The actor undertakes some action, or exhibits some disposition, that is observed by B. The observation of this action/disposition induces in B an immediate and spontaneous evaluative attitude. That attitude can be either positive (esteem) or negative (disesteem) (Brennan & Pettit, 2004b). Esteem is scarce and cannot be given away or traded in the ordinary manner, for there is no way that I can buy the good opinion of another or sell to others my good opinion about them. However the fact that esteem cannot be provided intentionally does not mean that people are incapable of voluntarily providing services that will facilitate the appearance of esteem (Brennan & Pettit, 2004a). Three types of services are suggested that facilitate the exchange of esteem: attention, testimony and association. These three services seem to resemble activities distinguished within social media. Could social media act as a marketplace for esteem? 3. Social media a marketplace for esteem?

Let us consider the following: one could publish content on e.g. YouTube, Flickr or Twitter to make an active demand for esteem. I may choose to give attention to that content by viewing it and supplying esteem or disteem to the person who published that particular piece of content. On top of that I may choose to express my opinion in the form of a comment, adding it to my favorites or giving it five-star rating and thus supplying esteem or disteem. The latter form of supplying esteem or disteem seems altruistic however, by commenting I too make an active demand for esteem. My comment could get noticeable attention and people will form an opinion about my small contribution. Im also in the running for some additional esteem. Since I publicly associated myself with the content in a certain way, I too could get a share of the esteem generated. The esteem generated by the publisher could bestow upon me. Could the latter be the reason why people publicly identify themselves with A-list celebrities or politicians on e.g. Twitter? It seems that social media could act as a marketplace for esteem yet its interdependence must be further researched. And though it would seem that esteem is a key value, it would be shortsighted to claim it is the only value generated using social media. AWT (2007) suggest there are other value systems active within the world being: economical, societal, cultural and democratic. Can the marketplace for esteem generate other values? Esme Denters, an 18-year-old girl from the Netherlands is a good example of someone starting out with an active demand for esteem and eventually ending up with economical value. By posting homemade videos of herself singing, she generated a lot of esteem within the YouTubecommunity. After nine months record companies noticed her popularity. This led to a singing contract in August 2006. Another example is the usage of social media by Dutch politicians during the 2010 election campaigns. Twitter was the weapon of choice for online political debate and esteem and disteem was generously demanded and supplied through the esteem services attention, testimony or association. Apart from esteem, democratic value was created since these political debates are publicly visible and others are able to join them (AWT, 2007). Other values can be created on the Internet without esteem as a starting point. Amazon.com, for example, successfully digitized the physical activity of selling material goods and thus creating economical value. In comparison, the music industry was less successful in creating economical value by digitizing their assets. It seems that esteem, economical, societal, cultural and democratic values do exist within the social media domain. However it is unclear if these were indeed the intendedinstead of accidentalvalues for using or creating [social media] services. It appears there is no certainty about the expected value creation before the creation or usage of a [social media] service. Instead there is value creation during the usage of that particular service (Soete & Weehuizen, 2001). Is there a way to formalize this? 4. Conclusion The Internet matured into more than solely a one-way mass communication medium. Its social and economical implications however are still unclear and, while many observers allege that the Internet is changing society there is little agreement about what those changes are (DiMaggio, 2001). It is undeniable that in the recent years social media attracted a lot of attention yet there is little consensus about what social media precisely is, and what its characteristics are. Brennan and Pettit (2004a) give an analytical framework for the economy of esteem and there is reason to believe that it is indeed present within social media. Its interdependence still needs to be further researched. It would seem that esteem could be a starting point towards the creation of other

values. Are these values intended and if so, can this be formalized in the form of e.g. business models? Solid scientific research within this domain is in order instead of merely guesswork. The Internet [and social medias] rapid growth offers an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for scholars to test theories of technology diffusion and media effects during the early stages of a new mediums diffusion and institutionalization (DiMaggio, 2001). 5. Research questions The proposed main research question is as follows: In what way does the exchange of esteem take place within social media and to what extend does it depend on crossmedia? The central research question leads to various sub questions: 1. What is social media? 1.1. What are the characteristics of social media? 1.2. Which types of social media can be distinguished? 1.3. Which roles within social media can be distinguished? 1.4. Which characteristics are key in order for social media to be successful? 2. How does value exchange take place within social media? 2.1. To what extend is the economy of esteem present within social media? 2.2. Which other values can be found within social media? 2.3. How are these values exchanged? 2.4. What roles generate value and for whom? 2.5. Can business models be constructed with esteem as a starting point? 3. To what extend does crossmedia influence the creation and exchange of value and what is its effect? 3.1. Which channels can be distinguished for social media? 3.2. How do these channels relate to each other? 3.3. How can these various channels contribute to the creation and exhange of value? References AWT. (2007). Alfa en Gamma stralen. Valorisatiebeleid voor de Alfa- en Gammawetenschappen. Brennan, G., & Pettit, P. (2004a). The Economy of Esteem: An Essay on Civil and Political Society: Oxford University Press. Brennan, G., & Pettit, P. (2004b). Esteem, Identifiability and the Internet. Analyse & Kritik, 26, 139-157. Brussee, R., & Hekman, E. (2009). Social Media are Highly Accessible Media. Paper presented at the WWW/Internet 2009, Rome. Cowen, T. (2005). Review essay: The Economy of Esteem. Politics, philosophy & economics, 4(3), 374-382. DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Neumn, W. R., & Robinson, J. P. (2001). Social Implications of the Internet. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 307-336.

Frank, G. (2007). konomie der Aufmerksamkeit: Ein Entwurf: DTV Deutscher Taschenbuch. Shao, G. (2008). Understanding the appeal of user-generated media: a uses and gratification perspective. Internet Research, 19(1), 7-25. Soete, L., & Weehuizen, R. (2001). Nieuwe econonomie, nieuwe theorie? Tijdschrift voor Wetenschap, Technologie & Samenleving, 9(2), 49-53. tagged with: social media, research