What is social media? It’s a simple question, and it’s been the source of much discussion of late in the blogosphere. It was also the first question posed this morning to a trio of folks representing MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook at an Advertising Week DC session on Social Networking: Come a Little Closer.

1. Jason Oberfest, MySpace, said social media is “about connecting people.” He defined MySpace’s three pillars: 1) members’ self-expression; 2) enabling the discovery of media assets; and 3) enabling people to meet other people with similar interests.

2. Tim Kendall, Facebook, called “the social Web the next great platform” after 1) business productivity on the PC; 2) the Internet; and 3) search.

3. Dale Durrett, LinkedIn, defined social media as “people using technology to get information and assets from each other (instead of from companies and institutions). He defined LinkedIn’s role as providing business professionals with the ability to be more productive day-to-day by enabling them to reach out quickly and find needed expertise.

Next post I’ll write about the panel’s thoughts on using social media effectively.