Hi everyone. I’m Fran. When I need tips or information fast, I’m just like you. I'm looking for the same answers. But sometimes these things don’t always pop up, say, on your search engine of choice…I hear you. Everyday tips for everyday life? Let's figure out how, together.
Because of what I do for a living, I am often approached with questions about various aspects of the Web and social networking. The most asked question of late: “What is the difference between an @ symbol and a hashtag?”
There are so many sites, apps and terminologies, how can we keep up with which service to use and all the jargon that comes along with it? So, I thought that I would provide you with a collection of definitions of the most popular topics, that I am asked about, within the realm of social networking.
Aggregator/Reader (aka feed reader or RSS reader): A client (software) or application which sorts syndicated web content including news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and videos to one location for easy reading and viewing.
App (Mobile Application): Software designed to run on mobile devices and tablets. They are available through stores or distributed by the owner of the operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Marketplace and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, while others are not. Apps were originally intended for business productivity, but now games, location-based services, banking, tracking, purchases and other automations.
Authority: A person (or group) whose expertise on a subject is well established and whose commentary is widely accepted.
Blog (formerly, Web Log): An information website that publishes content, called entries or "posts", displayed so that the most recent post appears first. They are often of one particular subject and/or topics within that subject. And just like other websites, blogs contain text, images, video, links to other pages, and other media related to its topic. Many blogs (such as the one you are reading) contain multiple posts written by groups of authors and professionally edited. These types of blogs include news media outlets, entertainment, business, travel, food and drink, hobbyist and personal. The word blog is also a used as a verb: “to blog” or “I am blogging”. A blog is a form of social networking because bloggers interact with their readers, such as through a readers’ use of their blog’s comment fields (like the one seen at the bottom of this post’s page).
Content/ Web Content: Text, images, audio, videos and animations that are part of the user experience on websites.
Delicious: Formerly del.icio.us is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.
Early Adopter: People who tend to be the first to use a new gadget or technology.
Facebook: perhaps THE social networking site, with more than 900 million active users and groups. Users must register a profile before using the site, after which they can add other users as “friends,” post messages and set up notifications (such as a status update). Facebook can also be used as websites and blogs, since many users and outlets have “walls” (pages) that do not require a login to view. The term Facebook stems from the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some universities to help students get to know one another.
Forum (Internet forum, or message board): A site where people can hold discussions in the form of posted messages. A posted message might need to be approved by a site moderator or administrator before it becomes visible. Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; for example, a topic or set of posts under a single conversation is called a "thread" and "OP" stands for original poster (e.g. the person who begins the topic thread). Forums stem from the Bulletin Board Services of the very early 1990s.
foursquare: A location-based site for mobile devices. Users "check in" at venues by selecting from a list of nearby locations. These locations use the GPS hardware in the mobile device and/or contained in the application. Each check-in awards the user incentives like points, coupons and sometimes digital “stickers” or "badges".
Google+: Google’s social networking and identity service with an emphasis on organizing friendship information identified as" Circles", "Hangouts" and "Sparks". Like with each Goggle product, Google+ integrates its other Google services within it.
Instagram: A photo sharing app that allows users to take a square shaped photo, apply digital filters to it, and then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram itself.
LinkedIn: A social website mainly used for professional networking. LinkedIn allows registered users to maintain a list of contacts with whom they have some level of a relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a Connection.
Pinterest: A social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins (sort of like an image that represents a web page bookmark), and other media content through themed collections known as pinboards.
QR Code (Quick Response Code): A type of matrix barcode with fast readability and large storage capacity, common in brand and other consumer advertising and packaging. A smartphone can capture a QR Code using a mobile app scanner or decoder. QR Codes are also used for direct web linking, entertainment and transportation ticketing, and loyalty incentives like mobile couponing and discounts.
RSS Feed: (Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. If you use something like My Yahoo! or iGoogle, it can resemble an old-style newspaper in layout. RSS allows users to avoid manually inspecting all of the websites they are interested in, and instead freely subscribe to websites such that all new content is pushed onto their browsers when it becomes available.
Shazam: Mobile based identification service used to discover music, TV shows, movies, and brands. The service analyzes captured sound and matches it based on a prerecorded audio “fingerprint”.
Social bookmarking: A method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online. Pinterest and Delicious are forms of Social Bookmarking.
Social Media: Web (and mobile) based technology used for interactive communication among organizations, communities, and individuals. Many brands of social media are integrated in various aspects of how we receive and share news with one another (which I discuss throughout this post).
Subscription (paid vs. free): A customer pays a set price or level of pricing to have access to the product/service. A site may have free content available without restriction, however it may also choose to offer a subscription, especially if it is not supported by ads or corporate sponsorship. Subscriptions are also called "premium content".
tumblr.: A blogging and social networking site that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog (sometimes called a Microblog). Users can follow other users, but also can also set their tumblr. to private.
Twitter: An online social networking service that allows its users to send and read posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". It’s sort of like text messaging through the Internet. Users can also link websites, blogs, photos/images and video. Tweets are publicly visible but senders can set delivery to just their “followers”. Users can tweet using Twitter’s website, smartphones or tablets. It’s iconic @ symbol means “connect” (interacting with other users), while it’s # symbol means “discover” (which are tweets tagged/batched by topics. Topics tagged at a greater rate than others are called Trending Topics). To repost or share a message from another user you follow and share it with those that follow you, you can “Retweet” it. (Retweeting is like forwarding in email). It is symbolized as "RT".
User Group: A group or club that uses a particular website, blog and/or forum.
Wiki: A type of collaborative website, which allows its users to easily add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser usually using a simplified language. Like with other websites, wikis interconnect via hyperlink to other sites. Many wikis are open to instant updating without requiring registered user accounts. Wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning "quick".
Now that you are more familiar with these social networking terms and services, what will you "Google" or "Bing" and start using?
(A very special thanks to Wikipedia and the For Dummies website).
* I am not soliciting or representing any of the mentioned services. I provide links as examples and for futher explanation. I make the disclaimer that you may be subject to various Internet terms of usage. If signing up, registering or joining with a site, please proceed with your normal caution. As always, read through all the terms or use, third party policies and do not feel pressure to provide any information you are not required to provide. If you are ever concerned about junk e-mail and snail mail, you can opt-out of communications using that company’s policy pages.