Lately there have been more stories about social media and the negative effects it can have on people. There are also positive effects that can occur but unfortunately the problems can overshadow the benefits of this method of connecting. I decided it might be helpful to write a series of articles about social media so that people have a better understanding of this new technology and the potential impacts on lives and our culture.
I had originally planned to write this as one article but as I started pulling together the various items I realized it would be better to split the topics apart. Here is the articles and the order I plan to publish them. I hope this series will help non-technical people understand some of the structure of the web a little more.
The Building Blocks of the Web – This article will provide a short history of how the World Wide Web and the technology that is currently used for websites. This foundation leads into why advertising ended up as a primary method of paying for this new technology. It also explains why social media sites started up because of the complexity of setup for non-technical users.
Paying for Social Media – As the web grew up, there was a desire to make web sites accessible to as many people as possible. The problem was paying for the web hosting costs, especially as visitors for a site grew quickly. Users were not interested in paying for access to sites when they were already paying high costs to connect to the Internet. Creators could get started for a relatively low cost but if the site went viral, they could lose potential customers for their service or product before they were able to scale.The solution? Use advertising to pay for the web hosting that was required.
Impacts of Advertising on Social Media – Advertising eventually grew to fill the budget needs to websites. As the advertising dollars grew, there were people who saw potential in sites that hosted creators and were paid for by advertising. Unfortunately, this growth in advertising shifted the focus from users of websites to companies that bought advertising.
How to Take Back Some Control Over the Web? – At the current time, advertising and the shift of focus from users to businesses has created a wild west of many issues. Many people want things to change but are unsure of what to do. This article will outline some things that individuals can do to take some control over the Internet and make it a tool to serve their interests.