The New Box Social

Ok. What does the Internet have to do with boxes? Well, everything of course! You turn on your box, then click a box to make another box appear – then, you can use that box for a myriad of applications. Friends, we are living inside of boxes. We laugh at boxes, we cry with boxes, we bid on boxes! There are boxes we want, and there are boxes we want to get rid of – there are nasty pop-up boxes we’ve fought to destroy. And while a skeptic may infer that it is important to “think outside the box,” I respectfully disagree.

As humans, we are inherently social creatures. We seek to find those with interests similar to our own, and seek their companionship. We then form little communities around a shared interest or foray – and in turn fuse with other little communities until we have created a worldwide nation of interest sharing persons. Used to be, before communication efficiency (BCE, read: the internet), individuals would gather in a home or other meeting place to partake in a social event or club activity to acquaint themselves with neighbors with a knack for the same niche – now, after digitization (AD) – we use…. you guessed it…. boxes.

The Internet has become a powerful tool for social networking. There are a plethora of sites devoted to linking friends, professionals, artists, teachers…the list goes on. Furthermore – there are sites devoted to content sharing around the internet – even down to the mundane details of everyday life (I’m looking at you twitter) – allowing us to live a virtual existence sharing thoughts, experiences, and memories with virtual friends; all within the box.

All of us in the world of communication and journalism hear the words, “New Media” a lot. Organizations, now more than ever, are focusing their efforts on strategies that target the online community. More and more, social networking sites are becoming vehicles for niche marketing – and in our time, AD – we are becoming more digitally segregated than ever. Thus, as a communication professional – I am forced to think inside the box. This blog will explore the relationship between communication professionals and the new reality and challenge of implementing strategy within this new realm. The “Box Social” I refer to in this blog represents the boxes in which the online community exists. We will explore the significance and strategies behind Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Fark,, digg, Second Life, as well as other socially driven sites and applications.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we take a look deep within the box…maybe we’ll find something!

Just some words about the author: A graduate of the School of Communication and Information Studies at Rutgers University the author received his B.A. in Heath and Mediated Communication, and is currently pursuing a master’s of communication and information studies at Rutgers. In addition to working as project manager for The Center for Communication and Health Issues, the author consults media strategies for clients with a major public relations firm in New York City and independently designs media plans for clients in the music industry.

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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