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20 January 2011

Social Media

The Rise and Rise of Social Media

The film 'The Social Network' swept the board at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, illustrating just what an impact social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook now have on modern society.

The film has been saluted worldwide, both critically and commercially, and won four prizes at the ceremony - which puts it in good stead for Oscar success next month.

The story follows the rise and rise of techno nerd, Harvard graduate and Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg - portrayed as a back-stabbing entrepreneur who betrays his friends and then basks in their glory. But despite some controversial press, both on and off screen (Zuckerberg has faced recent legal action in a suit brought by his ex-college students, brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, for stealing their idea) there is no denying that he is a revolutionary 21st century figure for his part in the social networking phenomenon. He was last year named Time Magazine's 'Person of the Year' and Facebook was recently valued at around £50 billion.

If you had mentioned the phrase 'social networking' to Joe Public just five years ago the term would have probably been met with a blank gaze. But now not a day goes by without a mention of a social networking site in the media, whether it's celebrity Tweeting or a scandalous lawsuit, Individuals near and far and organisations large and small now see social media as a prerequisite for increasing their profile, marketing their business or building their brand.

It is a fast-track, cost-effective way to increase company profiles and foster robust followings with minimal effort. All that is really required is some time, consistency and a little networking appreciation. And if you possess none of the above, there are actually people these days who can do it all for you. Professional Tweeters!

So whether or not you believe the press reports that Zuckerberg is a devious ego-maniac and a thief (and that's a whole new story), you can't deny the fact that he has made the world a much more connected place.

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