Social media 101

(previous section) The “social media” label can be affixed to a host of tools. When we talk about the creation and exchange of content by users online, we are […]

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Automated English translation - (sometimes hilarious) mistakes can creep in! ;)

(previous section)

The “social media” label can be affixed to a host of tools. From the moment we talk about the creation and exchange of content by users online, we are in the presence of social media. Highly accessible, they facilitate social interactions between individuals. Here are the main ones.


The best known is email. This virtual mailbox allows you to send messages and files as attachments just as we traditionally did with an envelope! You can get an email address from your Internet service provider, or for free from sites such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, etc.


Facebook is one of the most popular networking sites. You can share your moods, photos, videos, links, etc. The information may be visible to all or only to certain people. You can also create a page for an institution or a project, for example. The primary goal of Facebook is to allow users to network by being connected to each other.


Members can publish their profile there, with various personal information. You can blog and post your photos there. MySpace is known to host the pages of several musical groups who also share pieces there. This is a way to make yourself known.


Twitter allows the publication of very short messages (maximum of 140 characters). You can also share links and send messages directly to a user. Unlike Facebook, we don't necessarily follow the people who follow us. Tweets can be viewed by everyone or only subscribers. The goal is the exchange of short information between people who do not necessarily know each other, but have common interests.


Youtube is a video sharing site. There are as many images of professionals as of Mr. and Mrs. Everybody. Videos can be embedded on a site or shared with others via email, Twitter, or Facebook.


Skype allows you to make video or audio calls from your computer. Calls between users are free. Obviously, you must have speakers (or headphones), a microphone and a webcam! More complete than the telephone because of the video, it is often also used to save long distance charges.

Google docs

Google docs is an online office suite that allows you to create and share documents. It allows access to the document from any computer connected to the Internet and several users can work on it simultaneously. Google Docs therefore facilitates teamwork.


The blog allows the publication of articles, which may contain images, links, videos, etc. The primary objective is to share information or opinions to a large audience. Readers can leave their comments afterwards. The two most popular free platforms are WordPress and Blogger.


The collective encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is powered by its users. Anyone can post articles there and edit other people's texts. The French version has over 5,000 active contributors and over one million articles. The goal is to gather the most credible information possible on a variety of topics, but caution should be exercised, as errors, intentional or not, can be found.


From English short Message service, SMS allows you to send short messages from a cell phone. Much like Twitter, the length of messages is limited to 140 characters, at least in its original version. This largely explains the contractions of texting language.

Instant message

Dialogue in writing in real time between two or more users. This can be achieved using software such as Windows Live Messenger or on websites. Tools like Facebook or Google Docs also offer a chat function.

Discussion forums

Forums are available on different sites and allow you to discuss predetermined topics with other users. The discussion is not live. It is often used to ask a question of a large number of people with similar interests.

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About the Author

Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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