Participatory media include (but aren’t limited to) blogs, wikis, RSS, tagging and social bookmarking, music-photo-video sharing, mashups, podcasts, digital storytelling, virtual communities, social network services, virtual environments, machinima, and videoblogs. These distinctly different media share three common, interrelated characteristics:
• Many-to-many media make it possible for every person connected to the network to broadcast as well as receive text, images, audio, video, software, data, discussions, transactions, computations, tags, or links to and from every other person. The asymmetry between broadcaster and audience that was dictated by the structure of pre-digital technologies has changed radically.
• Participatory media are social media whose power emerges from the active participation of many people. Value derives not just from the size of the audience, but from their power to link to each other, to form an public as well as a market.
• Social networks, when amplified by information and communication networks, enable broader, faster, and lower cost coordination of activities; participatory media can help coordinate action in the physical world on scales and at paces never before possible.” —Smart Mobs » Blog Archive » Howard Rheingold one of 17 winners of HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Competition