Vesta Digital Blog

The Ultimate Social Media Guide

Posted on: March 31, 2010

Social Media IconsIt is no easy task keeping up with social media. This is an ever-evolving world with new websites, technology and terms that appear almost every day. However, there are some words and phrases that will always be useful. Here is a short glossary we have put together. Read it. Print it. Share it. Bookmark it. Of course, there are words we may have omitted or overlooked. Please feel free to include them in the comment section below.

Aggregation – The process of gathering and remixing content from blogs and websites that provide RSS feeds.

Alerts – Specific words, phrases or tags that search engines check and send to you be email.

Badge – An image that is squared and displayed on a blog that signifies a blogger’s participation in an event or contest.

Blog – A type of website that is usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary. The word is a contraction of the term “web log.”

Blogger – A person who writes and updates a blog. The word “blogger” was first used for the name of a website that was launched in 1999 by Pyra Labs.

Blog Post – Content that is published on a blog. This may include pictures or embedded videos and links.

Blogosphere – The totality of blogs and conversations on the Internet.

Blogroll – A list of sites displayed in the sidebar of blog, showing who the blogger reads regularly.

Bookmarking – Saving the address of a website or item of content, either in your brower, or on a social bookmarking site like

Buzz – or buzz marketing is a term that was formerly used in word-of-mouth marketing and now is being used online. It describes the interaction between consumers about a product or service that amplifies the original marketing message.

Chat – Interaction on a web site with a number of people adding text items one after the other into the same space.

Communities – Groups of people communicating through the Internet.

Community building – The process of recruiting a potential community or network participants and helping them find shared interests and goals.

Content – Text, pictures, video and any other meaningful material that is on the Internet.

Content Management Systems (CMS)
– Software platforms that offer the ability to create and manage web pages, blogs, wikis, and other tools.

Crowdsourcing – Harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of those outside an organization so they may contribute content and solve problems.

Facilitator – Someone who helps people in an online group or forum manage their conversations.

Feeds – The means by which you can read, view or listen to items from blogs and other RSS-enabled sites without visiting the site.

Folksonomy – While taxonomies are centralized ways to classify information – like libraries – folksonomies are the way people or “folks” create less structured ways of classifying information.

Forums – Discussion areas on websites where people can post messages or comment on existing messages.

Groups – Collections of individuals with some sense of unity through their activities, interests or values.

Lurkers – People who read but don’t contribute or add comments to forums.

Mashups – The mixies that “techies” do to combine several tools to create a new web service.

Micro-blogging – A form of blogging where the entries are limited to a certain amount of characters or words, like Twitter.

Newsreader – A website or desktop tool that acts as an aggregator, gathering content from blogs and similar sites using RSS feeds so you can read the content in one place, instead of having to visit different sites.

Open-source software – Any computer software whose source code permits users to study, change, and improve the software for free, and redistribute it in modified or unmodified form.

Photosharing – Uploading your images and sharing them on a website like Flickr.

– A framework or system within where tools or applications can work.

Podcast – Audio or video content that can be downloaded automatically through a subscription to a website so you can view or listen offline.

Post – An item on a blog or forum.

Profiles – The information you provide about yourself when you sign up for a social networking site.

RSS – This stands for Really Simple Syndication.

Share – Offering people the use of your text, images, video, bookmarks or other content.

Social media – The term for the tools and platforms people use to publish, converse and share content online. These tools include blogs, wikis, podcasts, and sites to share photos and bookmarks.

Social media marketing – The term that describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service.

Social networks – Large websites that host multiple communities comprised of people with profiles who have with similar interests. These sites offer a place where people engage with one another online and share content. Example communities include: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube Flickr and Twitter.

Subscribe – The process of adding an RSS feed to your aggregator or newsreader.

Taxonomy – An organized way of classifying content – as opposed to a folksonomy.

Threads – Strands of conversation.

Tool – A software application for your computer.

User generated content (UGC) – also known as consumer-generated media (CGM) or user-created content (UCC) – The various kinds of media content, publicly available, that are produced by users.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
– Using a computer or other Internet device for phone calls without additional charge, including conference calls. The best-known VOIP tool is Skype.

Web 2.0 – A term that describes blogs, wikis, social networking sites and other Internet-based services that emphasize collaboration and sharing.

Widgets – Stand-alone applications that you can embed in other applications like a website or a desktop.

Wiki – Web pages used to collect content about a topic. Anyone with access to the pages can edit or modify the information.

You can find more definitions in “The Ultimate Internet Marketing Guide” that appeared in an earlier Vesta Digital blog.


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