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Uploading photos and making comments are what people do online April 5, 2008

Posted by Robert Rich in symposium.
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Social networking websites can be a tool for journalists and they are going to have to learn to harness the power of these sites, Texas State’s Cindy Royal said.

Royal presented her paper What Do People Do Online? Implications For the Future of Media”.

“People want to do something when they go online,” Royal said. “They don’t want to just read a story or passively watch a video.”

The study found that the most common activity for social networking users were uploading photos and making “wall” posts, and the least common were creating surveys and selling items.

“As the web becomes more social, journalists are going to have to decide what their role is going to be,” Royal said.

Royal also mentioned a business model championed by Dallas Smythe that says companies are no longer selling things to audiences, but instead culture companies are selling audiences themselves.

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