Social media is something new and different from ordinary media because it is a form of media that everybody has control over. This is very different from traditional forms of media such as television, newspaper, and radio where on organization or person has control over the information that is being presented. True there is room for new entrants into the market but it is not something that any regular person can do at leisure. This is also new and different because social media is much harder to regulate then regular media because it isn’t controlled by organizations but rather used by everybody and thus is much harder to silence.
In a way social media is also something that has always been around because people have always had methods of networking. Even before the invention of computers and the internet people gathered in market places, diners, and pubs doing basically the same thing they are doing now from their computers. Although the scope may have increased social media sites like Facebook only allow you to interact with people who are already your friends so in a sense it is no different than meeting people that you know and telling them what you’ve heard and the happenings of your day.
Social media does require new skills and capabilities for organizations because it forces them to be more computer knowledgeable. It is true that even before the rise of social media computers were already a necessity in most organizations, but they were used for different purposes such as tracking information and logging activity as appose to advertising and marketing. Another skills social media forces organizations to learn is how to sell their brand not only on television and on posters but also in online interactive forms.