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Social Media Jargon

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Social Media Jargon

Learning about social media can be difficult enough when you already have an idea what the industry buzz words mean,  but it’s even more difficult when you don’t.  Have a read through our quick guide and definitions to make sure your social media expert isn’t talking over your head the next time you meet.

Blog – is a website that consists mainly of entries or posts usually in reverse chronological or “most popular” order. Entries usually consist of commentary, articles, pictures or video. The content is usually very dynamic and the pages allow comments. The idea is to be conversational and generate interaction with website visitors. Blogs are a great method to provide fresh content to your website and keep visitors returning to your website to check for new articles/posts.

Channels – are websites, blogs, social networks or threads that have people. Any portal where you engage your market is a channel e.g. Twitter, Facebook, forums etc.

Collective Intelligence – is also referred to as the “wisdom of the crowd”. Social media practitioners believe in the power of groups of people (the crowd or the “tribe”) to create better products, to have greater market reach or to define needs and wants.

Content management systems – are programs or services online that help you create blogs and websites using pre-existing templates and codes. They are used to shorten the time used to code sites from scratch. Popular examples include, and

Engagement – is usually contrasted with marketing. Engagement is simply participation or initiation of conversations online through various channels such as or It is used to contrast marketing as social media practitioners find traditional marketing as very one-sided i.e. a message is blasted to the consumer. Of course, a more holistic understanding of marketing will profess a great appreciation for conversation and engagement.

Forums – are websites that contain discussion threads. Someone starts a thread and people reply. The discussions then becomes part of the site until the forum admin removes them or the website is closed down.

Micro-blogging – is a form of blogging that includes only short bursts of contents. Two of the most popular micro-blogging sites are which sends 140 character tweets and which is primarily used to blog pictures or .gif files with 1 or 2 sentence descriptions. is also a micro-blogging website.

Platform – is a framework in which certain tools are used. Platform examples include mobile, forums, software, a wiki or a blog.

Podcasts – are video or audio streams uploaded by an individual or a business entity. They can be live like television or radio show on the internet or simply viewable through a blog or Youtube channel.

RSS – is a feed system usually used in blogs, news articles and other often updated content channels. You subscribe to the RSS option of a blog and receive feeds of the featured content in your email or another platform.

Social Bookmarking – is similar to the “favorite” option in your internet browser but is shared over the internet. Some social bookmarking sites such as are used to bookmark the most popular web pages on the internet.

Social Media – are any media that is shared or interactive. They are usually used to converse, share content and links and publish content. Facebook, Twitter, email, forums and blogs are all forms of social media. If the content is primarily user-generated, it is likely a form of social media.

Tags – are informal categorizing tools used for blogs, social bookmarks and other content on the internet. They are usually one-word descriptions of the content. Think of them as the web version of an index in the back of a textbook.

Viral Marketing – is marketing that is “self-replicating”. The marketer created the content but uses the “crowd” as the distributors of the content. YouTube popularity usually comes from viral marketing.

Web 2.0 – is a term that usually refers to internet content that is dynamic, shared and collaborated upon. Blogs, social media, RSS, podcasts and wikis are products of web 2.0. The term was coined by O’Reilly media.

Widget – is an application that can be embedded to a blog, mobile application or your own desktop. The plug-in that features the latest tweets and mentions of a blog owner is a widget.