Weekend Review asked prominent social media professionals and a teenager to sum up 2012
Sitting at Independent.ie's online desk is a daily revelation into how people consume news in 2012. The speed with which our big stories are read and then shared is quite astonishing.
And the hunger to become part of the medium is manifest – the reader comments buzz with activity hour after hour.
One of the reasons so many people come to Independent.ie is that the journalism is trustworthy – unlike much of the unsubstantiated gossip that flies around the social media network.
A fascinating new initiative this year has been the launch of our three interactive magazines – The Legends, Mistletoe and The Gathering. Readers took a part in choosing the material and the printed versions were complemented with movies, audio and other extra content. Watch out for more next year.
In 2012, the best journalists are publicly using social media as a core resource in their work. It's the primary tip sheet for these reporters and shapes the way they tell stories. In 2013, we may even drop the word social and just starting calling it what it is: media.
At Storyful, we've known for some time that social networks are a great place to spread a hoax, but we also know there has never been a better fact-check machine than Twitter.
Hurricane Sandy was a 'coming-out' moment for new social platforms like Instagram, a source of some of the most dramatic photos, but also a forum for conversations about those images and the events they portrayed.
On the down side, 2012 proved the noise of social media gets noisier, and does so at an ever-quickening pace. The more noise, the more difficult it gets for all of us to find the real news and the authentic voice on social platforms. That challenge, sorting news from noise, is what inspires Storyful.
irish reporter for 'the guardian' who covered the leveson inquiry
Twitter is not social, it's professional. It's fun, it's fast and it's clubby. It's a marketplace – a place to show off your professional credentials, to grandstand, to break news and generally self-promote. 2012 was the year Twitter came of age. Facebook doesn't even get a look-in because it isn't 100pc public.
While journalists are expected to tweet within the law, those not trained in libel and contempt of court, have come a cropper.
The Lord McAlpine case was a chastening moment for all and led to a new phrase, 'twitterrhea', in relation to uncontrolled tweeting.
Brian Leveson called Twitter an "electronic version of pub gossip" – it's a pub with regular breakouts of violence.
Trolling by people hiding behind pseudonyms – the cyber equivalent of a balaclava – is now routine.
15, transition year student, Colaiste cois life, dublin
What really stood out a lot on social media for me was the amount of people who committed suicide. Cyber-bullying is just as dangerous as normal bullying – if not more.
I don't think people understand how serious it is until it's too late.
I know of girls who have been deeply affected by this type of bullying. Sites were created so people could ask questions anonymously. Now people are using them to say bad things about other people anonymously.
I know a lot of people want such sites to be taken down but they haven't been removed yet. I don't think any person who comments about another person in such a cruel way could possibly be human.