Social Media: Putting the Pieces Together

An interconnected world presents exciting new marketing and communication opportunities for businesses, as well as a whole new legal landscape to navigate.


In 2006, Time magazine named its Person of the Year — You. The main cover-line read, “Yes, You. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” The author of the cover story, Lev Grossman, wrote that the big story then was “the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. … The new Web is a very different thing. It’s a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.”

In the four years since, businesses continue to be amazed at how Web-based technologies are turning communication into interactive dialogs and how user-generated content has the ability to affect sales, brand loyalty and the company’s reputation.

Social media is fundamentally changing the way individuals and companies interact. For example, SGR communicates with its clients and others through two active blogs and a Twitter account.

In this special issue dedicated to the subject, our attorneys look at social media from a legal perspective and explain the impact it can have in many areas of your business, including human resources, employment law, copyright issues and marketing.


More than 450 social media platforms now exist globally online. Here are 12 of the most popular.

Twitter microblogging service that allows users to send and read messages of up to 140 characters. Posts are known as “tweets.”

Facebook social networking platform that enables users to build communities and share content. In excess of 500 million users worldwide.

LinkedIn business-oriented social network designed for professional and business networking. Some 80 million registered users.

YouTube video-sharing web site where users can upload, share and view videos. Some 14 billion videos viewed since February 2005.

Digg Social news web site where users submit stories and links. Originally designed with a voting system that highlighted popular posts.

Mix is a discovery engine that finds the best of the web, and personalizes it to each user’s unique tastes and interests.

Tumblr a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog.

Reddit social news web site where users submit links to online content or submit their own posts. Users vote posted items “up” or “down.”

Flickr image- and video-hosting web site and online community used by personal and corporate users. Some five billion images hosted.

WordPress a blog content management system that provides customizable design templates and publishing/editing tools.

Dopplr social networking site where users can create travel itineraries and identify correlations with their contacts’ travel plans.

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