Social Media Buzz Words List: Part II

By: Jim Tobin - March 20, 2008

Picking up on yesterday’s post on social media buzzwords explained, here are explanation for numbers 14-25, as included in our original tongue-in-cheek post. Enjoy.

14. Social Media Monitoring: This one is no joke. It’s step one for social media. You’ve got to listen before you can take part in a conversation. There are lots of tools to do this, depending on exactly what you’re trying to do. Basically free things like Google Reader or Bloglines let you track certain feeds. Services like Terraminds let you search Twitter. More advanced tools such as Radian6 and BuzzLogic cost money but let you do more analysis than you otherwise can. You’ve got to monitor to know what to say and monitor to know how you’re doing.

15. User-Generated Content: Hopefully this one is obvious, but instead of a company or organization generating content for a website you can have your users-generate content. Think broadly on this one. Sure it’s “Submit a video”, but that’s hard. It’s also comments left on a site, reviews, etc. More content on your site is great. Imagine if you can get others to do it! Some extra cool folks use acronyms for this buzzword, like UGC or CGC (for consumer generated content). Try that at your next meeting!

16. Web 2.0: This phrase was coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2003. In December 2006, even he was still trying to define it. I like to think of this way: Web 2.0 is the transition of websites from static holders of information to sources of content. Picture Web 1.0 websites as half-filled buckets, sitting upright, while Web 2.0 websites are three-quarter filled buckets, pouring slowly out to fill other buckets. Some like to say it’s the transition of the web as a platform. It’s also, importantly, a change in philosophy as to how information is generated and shared. Some people are already trying to define Web 3.0, but I won’t dignify any of that nonsense with a link.

17. Social Networks. You know this one. Facebook. MySpace. Easy, right? Sure. Just don’t forget the niche social networks that abound when you’re doing social media marketing. For our clients, we’ve often found far more engaged communities in places other than Facebook and MySpace.

18. Blogosphere: The blogosphere is an imaginary atmosphere in which all the nattering bloggers chatter floats around. People say things like, “the blogosphere was abuzz with talk of the Elliot Spitzer scandal.” While it’s a buzzword, you’ll find as you follow a group of people on a certain subject that the blogosphere starts to take on a certain personality.

19. Viral Marketing: The definition is simple. It’s a marketing campaign that is so compelling that people share it, so it spreads, like a virus. But the reason we chuckle at it is because people frequently ask us to make something “go viral.” Or make a “viral video.” Two problems with that. #1) Viral is impossible to predict. (Could you have guessed before you saw the video below that it would take off? It did. Like crazy.) #2) Doing something “wacky” enough to go viral can hurt a brand. Yeah, yeah, I know all about Dove Evolution, and I can tell you why that’s actually NOT a good example of social media marketing, as brilliant as it is.

20. Ruby on Rails. Oh yeah, using this one in a conversation scores you big points. Through in the term 37signals while you do it for bonus points. Here’s what it is. Ruby is a programming language. The guys at 37signals made it really easy to use it quickly. (Get it? They put it “on rails”.) It really was brilliant what they did. Very robust platform. We use it here sometimes. Gene’s a big fan. If you can compare it to CakePHP, then you shouldn’t be reading this post at all!

21. Social Media Press Release. The merits of the social media press release have been pretty heavily debated since Shift Communications came out with a template for it. Basically, the idea is to make your release easy for anyone, including bloggers, to pull from. Extract key points. Embed your photos and videos on their site, etc. An interesting idea. I personally think there’s work to do to make it practical, but the idea that the traditional press release could be improved is no doubt true.

22. Vlogging. Not to be confused with “flogs“, which are fake blogs. Vlogging is short for video blogging. Instead of writing all this stuff, why not do a video about it. Here’s a quick video that I did explaining why I started Ignite Social Media. It’s an example of a vlog post, although some folks only do video on their blogs. (There are search engine problems with having no words, though.)

23. Microblogging. Microblogging is, as you might guess, really short blog posts. Twitter is a good example. Some say that Tumblr is, too. If you don’t know what Twitter or Tumblr are, go back to Part I from yesterday.

24. Transparency and Authenticity. If you’ve been looking at social media for more than 10 minutes, you’ve come across these words a lot. That’s because all the companies who have gotten in trouble trying to do social media marketing got in trouble because they tried to be too clever for their own good. Just read this post if you want to know what I mean. Sometimes the best marketing is to just say what you know. The only time Wal-mart has gotten credit in social media is when they decided to just be honest.

25. White Label. White label means that someone built a program and they’ll let you have it (sometimes free, sometimes at great expense) so that you can put your design around it and make it your own. You get all the brand benefits, and all the functionality of a great tool, without the expense of building it. Often you can choose which elements you want, move them around, etc., to make something truly unique. KickApps is white label social network building. Clicky is white label analytics. White label can be a great option for quick, cost effective deployment, as long as you still think about strategy and user experience as you implement it.

So that’s it. You’re up to speed. I’ve even created a social media buzzword bingo sheet generator for your next meeting, or impress your friends at the next “Web 2.0″ internal meeting you have to suffer through.

Social Media Buzzword Bingo

Remember, tell me how I did. Any definitions that missed the mark? Leave me a comment with your two cents, or your favorite social media buzzwords.


Jim Tobin

About the Author

Jim TobinJim Tobin is president of Ignite Social Media, one of the nation's first dedicated social media agencies. With years of experience of marketing and public relations, Jim formed Ignite out of the need for businesses to better communicate with their customers through social media.

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