The Employment of Social Media in Development Works and Its Co-relational Functions

November 2, 2011 · Posted in Literature Review 













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The most common function of social media applications in development works is to build awareness through virtual campaign, fund raising, to mobilize collective resources for social change[1]. Social media applications, such as text based blogs, internet forums, social networking sites, are used to assemble and deploy important resources into series of actions. They generate social interactions between its users to elevate awareness towards certain issue in development works and engage users in taking further action by providing more information about how to involve more actively.

Social media application is also being utilized to communicate organization’s values to the public, spreading the word about the vision and mission, how the organization works, why public should support them, and what is the achievement so far[2]. Social media applications can buzz the intended message and at the same time build credibility by creating opportunity to obtain feedbacks from public while at the same time producing transparencies[3].

Knowledge collection & sharing is another imperative function of social media applications that holds essential role to disseminate useful information/content and create wide access to digital archieve[4]. The main objective of content communities is the sharing of media content between users (Haenlein & Kaplan 2010). Social media applications could be employed in content management practice, where data is being collected and curated through crowd source ideas and shared collectively using online community. Participatory level is mandatory and it might generate challenge in providing relevance and useful contents that can be easily adopted by users, language standardization, and use of online content by key sectors (Rao 2005). Social media application can also reduce cost in obtaining knowledgeable data, especially for those living in remote areas.

From the aforementioned functions, social media applications could seize significant role in the reformation of social change practice, policy making, and democracy by using the manifestation of civil society function. The term of civil society, which encompasses the non state and non business sectors (Hintz 2007), has demonstrated a grown number of civil society based media which are recognized by its capability to challenge ownership, control, and organization (Ibid). Thus participation, emancipation, and empowerment represent its crucial features and probably it is the most democratic manifestation of social media applications based on user generated content (Haenlein & Kaplan 2010). Even though civil society media consent users to get actively involved in news production by allowing them to share skills and know-how by generating open source software and treating information/ knowledge not as intellectual property, issue of social media content ownership has been a protracted debate among digital villagers. Most social network sites still encompass content protection even though the material does not belong to them. Thus, an emphasize of collaborative project that facilitate simultaneous content creation, addition, and sharing by diverse users, supported by safeguarding credibility of content, should be set in accrual motion in order to promote joint effort of multiple users to generate not only interactivity among citizens but also productivity in knowledge and freedom of opinions.

[1] An example of this function is It is a social network website which nurtures online community of people passionate about living a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about the most.

[2] Example : @anticorruption, a Twitter account created by Transparency International (, aimed to improve accountability among countries by taking actions to combat the devastating effects of corruption.

[3]  Thorpe, Ian. (2011). 8 Uses for Social Media in Aid Work. Retrieved September 23, 2011 from

[4] Example : is a data-driven education software created to provide on demand solution to align student assessment, curriculum and instruction; guide collaborative, data-informed discussion; and enable targeted instruction for every student.



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