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Semantics in social media

So today isn’t starting off like I want it to be. I had to enagage in defending the childish difference of how someone responded to me. Email or blog comment..wtf? Does it matter? Which made me think about semantics in social media?

Semantics is the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: i.e. Let’s not argue about semantics.

Isn’t social media at it’s core, about conversations and communicating?  Does it matter how we communicate? or the vehicle used to converse? I’m sure we could  all rattle off about a  half dozen different ways of communicating online.  The bottom line is, “there was communication”. But does the message change, gain, lose meaning, or become altered based on the delivery method? For example:

I called you on the phone to say hi.

I texted you via cell phone to say hi.

I emailed you to say hi.

I tweeted you to say hi.

I did a blog post in which I said hi.

I friended you on Facebook so I could say hi.

I posted on your Myspace page to say hi.

I sent you a pic that says hi.

I created a video on Youtube that says hi.

I commented on your blog to say hi.

Does the medium matter? Sure it does, in regards to delivery. Is the message the same?  Sure is. In every case. Can the message be construed any differently based on the medium? Depends on how many different ways someone can construe what “hi” might mean. I use this simplistic example for obvious reasons. And yes I understand that you cannot hear tonality or inflection when someone is writing something but my point is the same.

I can see it now…

“What did he mean when he texted me to say hi?” Was he pissed? Was he happy? Did he really mean it?  I mean it was a text. Now if he would have emailed me, thats totally different. Isn’t it? or Is it?

When it comes to social media, lets not argue about semantics.

*For the next few days I’ll be at the Web 2.0 expo in New York, hit me up while I’m there and we can chat about this.

 

 

 

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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September 2008
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