Words, Photos, Videos, Music and people interacting with them.
What is a social media site? Well it needs to combine media and social interaction, depending on your definition of media and social interaction you can include ancient web institutions like Usenet and BBS's. But I'm more interested in fancy schmancy media types like videos, music and possibly photos if the site is interesting enough.
The typical social media site I'm interested in covering is more media than social, to be honest the social side of things is converging to a model whereby site developers can tick the checkboxes for the social features they want. The interesting part is the media, how it's hosted, how it's discovered and also how the site's legal team handles the interesting issues surrounding copyright.
As it stands the biggest names in social media are closely identified with content -
Flickr => Photos
Youtube => Videos
Imeem => Audio
but there are plenty of other sites which are chasing these 3 with their own strategies, indeed, Imeem has only recently emerged as the frontrunner in the music space, but it's still a long way from the stature of the other two and there are many other sites gunning for it. The biggest threat to Imeem however is an old site in a new guise, myspace music is coming and Imeem will have a fight on its hands.
more to come.