The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...
gives humans an instant connection to communicate with others. Social media is "used to describe the type of media that is based on conversation and interaction between people online. Where media means digital words, sounds & pictures which are typically shared via the internet and the value can be cultural, societal or even financial" One important way to explore this form of communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...
as social networking is through semiotics
Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...
Semiotics is looking for signs’ meaning Semiotic structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...
looks for the signs’ meaning in social interaction involved However, post-structuralist theories take tools from (structuralism) semiotics combined with social interaction. This is called social semiotics. Social semiotics
Social semiotics is a branch of the field of semiotics which investigates human signifying practices in specific social and cultural circumstances, and which tries to explain meaning-making as a social practice. Semiotics, as originally defined by Ferdinand de Saussure, is "the science of the life...
is “a branch of the field of semiotics which investigates human signifying practices in specific social and cultural circumstances, and which tries to explain meaning-making as a social practice”. “Social semiotics also examines semiotic practices, specific to a culture and community, for the making of various kinds of texts and meanings in various situational contexts and contexts of culturally meaningful activity”.
Social networking is communication of one person with another person in a virtual social space using a computer. Social media gives humans instant connection to communicate with others. This new area of communication allows new insight into social semiotics. Social semiotics is studying human interactions through situations. “Millions of people now interact through blogs, collaborate through wikis, play multiplayer games, publish podcasts and video, build relationships through social network sites, and evaluate all the above forms of communication through feedback and ranking mechanisms”. Social semiotics “unlike speech, writing necessitates some sort of technology in the form of person device interaction”. Social semiotics function through the triad of communication or Peircean Semiotic (Semiotic elements and classes of signs (Peirce)
Logician, mathematician, philosopher, and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce began writing on semeiotic, semiotics, or the theory of sign relations in the 1860s, around the time that he devised his system of three categories...
) in the form of sign,object, interpretant (Chart 1), and “Human, Machine, Tag (Information)” (Chart 2). In Peircean semiotics (Chart 1), "A sign…[in the form of representamen] is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. It addresses somebody, that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign. That sign which it creates I call the interpretant of the first sign. The sign stands for something, its object. It stands for that object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea which I have something called the ground of the representamen".
–Computers are created by humans and now have social applications.
– Picture/information tagging on social networks “has changed the traditional online communication process”.
This example of the triangle of Human, Machine, Tag is shown when looking at tagging photographs on Facebook (Chart 3). The Human takes the photo on a camera and puts the digital file (information) on the Machine, the Machine is then navigated to Facebook where the file is downloaded. The Human has the Machine Tag the photo with information (names, places, data) for other Humans to see. This process then can be continued (see Chart 2). “Collaborative tagging has been quickly gaining ground because of its ability to recruit the activity of web users into effectively organizing and sharing vast amounts of information”.
Semiotics of Social Networking
Sign as Human: "the form which the sign takes (not necessarily material, though usually interpreted as such". Photo of Human is the Sign/Human.
Object as Machine: "something beyond the sign to which it refers (a referent)". Computer, digital file, social media is the Object/Machine.
Interpretant as Tag: "not an interpreter but rather the sense made of the sign". Names, places, dates is the Interpretanat/Tag.