Jargon watch: Social media edition

Aug. 30th, 2011

Whether you love it or hate it, the latest business jargon speaks to business trends. We've compiled recent social media jargon to show the influence it has on both business and our culture, plus we've shared our own perspective on these terms.

1. Social scoring (noun)

Definition: Determining one's level of influence based on evaluating one's friends, followers, and posting on Twitter and Facebook.

Why we hate it: No one wants to be judged on the surface by the company we keep. Companies such as Klout and PeerIndex score millions by looking at the size of their online network, the content they create, and how others interact with that content. It seems crazy and even unfair to rate an individual on a social media rating score based on Facebook and Twitter activity, especially, as it excludes other activities such as blogging and posting videos to YouTube. However, marketers have taken note, with the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas and Virgin Airlines offering promotions to individuals based upon their social media score.

2. Listen (verb)

Definition: The study of conversations, behaviors, and signals that individuals share or express naturally in social media that bring "the voice of people's lives into the brand" (per NetLingo).

Why we love it: When businesses "listen" to an individual's post on a site like Twitter or Facebook, they hear authentic thoughts, feelings, and feedback individuals have on a brand or a company. Some might say "listening" to naturally-occurring conversations regarding a consumer's attitude toward a product can be more accurate than market research.

3. Tweckle (verb)

Definition: Using Twitter to heckle a speaker. This typically happens at a conference or event where audience members are dissatisfied with the speaker and they send out negative tweets during the speech.

Why we hate it: Let's face it, tweckling is classic cyber bullying. We all know that some things are best left unsaid, especially if they turn into personal attacks or defamation. However, tweckling does illustrate the advantages of social media and, specifically, Twitter—its immediacy and the ability to share unfiltered thoughts.

4. Twalker (noun)

Definition: One who "stalks" other users on Twitter and doesn't post tweets, but rather just reads them—lurking like a troll (per NetLingo).

Why we love it: The advantage of the Internet is gaining information from online resources and learning from what others have to say. The core of social media is expressing your opinions and having your voice heard—this, of course, does not mean that others will join the conversation.

5. Bieber baiting (verb)

Definition: When a Web page uses a reference to Justin Bieber to make sure it's picked up by search engines and draws traffic to the website. (Believe it or not, "Justin Bieber" is one of the top Internet search terms.)

Why we hate it: As content producers and individuals knowledgeable in SEO, we can't condone cheating. We believe the content of your article and your use of keywords should be substantive enough to stand on its own. (For your amusement, though, check out these statistics for searches with "Beiber" and "Justin Bieber.")

6. Data snack (verb)

Definition: "Snacking" small bits of information when time permits.

Why we love it: As consumers of information, we may find ourselves searching on topics of interest to keep up-to-date with the latest news. Lack of time or access to the Internet may prevent us from getting all the information we need at once, but data snacking helps us stay current—and reminds us what we want to revisit later.

7. Brogramming (verb)

Definition: Bros, dudes, or men who are programmers.

Why we love it: Brogramming illustrates the unspoken fraternal connection with men who program, work in high-tech start-ups, and "consider entrepreneurs to be rock stars." Visit the Brogramming Facebook page to experience this community firsthand—and perhaps start your own bromance.


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