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You have heard these terms – social media, podcasts and wikis – but may not know what they mean or how you might find these things interesting or useful.

Social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are examples of social media. Social media create online communities of users who interact with each other to share what they are doing, photos, videos and stories or news items that they find interesting.

They help people communicate with friends and family to discuss activities they enjoy, share problems they experience and/or follow the lives and comments of celebrities and world figures. Businesses also use social media for marketing purposes.

Facebook is the largest presence in social media, with more than two billion active members. However, many teens use other social networking sites such as Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Snapchat.

Here’s an example about how popular topics posted on social media websites are begun and tracked: Jimmy Fallon is the Tonight Show host on NBC, and lots of folks “follow” what Jimmy has to say on Twitter. So, when he “tweets” a message on Twitter asking for humorous stories on a given topic, he gets tons of responses. A topic is called “trending” if it has become popular and messages on that topic are quoted and shared by many users.

Jimmy asked for examples of funny stories about mothers texting their children, and created a special searchable keyword called a hashtag that includes a hash mark (#) connected to text, in this case #Mom-Texts. This hashtag is included in all responses to that specific question. The hashtag lets him filter all the messages he gets so that he only looks at the #Mom-Texts stories to find the funniest ones to use on the air.

You can read more hashtag topics and responses at: https://tinyurl.com/fallon-hashtags.

Podcasts

Podcasts are the digital equivalent of old-fashioned radio shows with regular episodes or continuing story lines. You can tune into podcasts by subscribing to any podcast that interests you. Once you subscribe to a particular podcast, episodes will be automatically downloaded to your computer, phone or tablet. Podcasts cover a wide range of topics, including news, comedy, society and culture, art, sports, business, education, gaming, government, health and wellness, children and family, religion and spirituality, science, tech, TV and movies.

You listen to podcasts using a podcast app on your computer or mobile device. Apple includes the Apple Podcasts app on every iPhone, iPad and Mac. To listen to U.S. podcasts on an Android phone, use the Google Play Music app, and to listen to international podcasts, download the Podcast Player app.

Digital Trends best 2019 podcasts: https://tinyurl. com/digitrend-podcasts Wikis and Wikipedia

A wiki is a website that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users. If you can read a wiki website, you can edit it. One of the best-known examples is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) – the free, online, collaborative, multi-lingual encyclopedia that is open for people to edit and to contribute new articles.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit organization of volunteer editors who maintain Wikipedia’s published articles. The Foundation curates user-suggested additions, deletions and modifications. As of 2018, there were around 100,000 active contributors around the world, with more than 290 versions of Wikipedia in different languages, totaling about 48 million articles. Numerous studies have shown Wikipedia’s accuracy to be on par with commercially available encyclopedias. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/compare-them.

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