ConfusedIf you’re a marketer or relatively new to technology there is bound to be some technology terms that you come across regularly but would love an English(!) explanation of them.

Do you know what a TLA is…a three letter acronym!  I’ve avoided these in the list below but technology people love to make things more confusing than they are.


We have compiled a social media glossary of 25 technology terms, enjoy!

Business Objective of this article

If you understand the terms we outline in this document it will help remove some confusion from Social Media and open up more opportunity.

Social Media Technology Terms

Here’s 25 Social Media Technology Terms of Confusion

1. RSS (Real simple syndication) – When I want to read the latest blog posts from a collection of my favorite blogs I open up an application called an ‘RSS reader’ which brings in all the content from the blogs and displays in one place.  The reason it can do this is because the blogs comply to standard called ‘RSS’.  As they comply with this standard you can build an application that understands this format and can take blog posts from all blogs that support this.  I use feedly rss reader.

2. RSS Feed – When you make your blog posts available for reader applications to pick them up you are making available a feed of your blog posts.  This can either be a summary or the full blog post.

3. Organic – If I share out a post on Facebook and it goes to Fans only that is organic.  If I do a search on Google and look at results that are not advertisements these results are organic.  So they refer to natural results that you are not manipulated by advertising and that are not viral (see next).

4. Viral – Viral typically refers to something that goes beyond the reach of organic.  For example, if you share a Facebook update and it is delivered to non fans that would be considered viral.

5. API (Application Programming Interface) – This is where a software programme has developed a standard way of accessing their data through other applications.   So instead of knowing how their code works internally they provide a standard way of accessing information.  For example, if we developed a social media monitoring tool we could provide an API which allows you to access a set of results from this programmatically.

6. URL Shorterner –  This is a tool that shortens web addresses.  You may want to reduce the web address size so it fits in a twitter update or you may want to make it easier to remember for users.  You can also use them to help you track how many people clicked on the link and where they clicked on it. is the most well known URL Shortener.

7. Google Authorship –  This is the ability to let Google know that the content provided was written by you.  In August 2014 Google stopped supporting the display of the authors in search results.

8. Sentiment Analysis – Within social media analytics tools some of them try to work out how people feel about your product or service based on their updates.  The tools analyze the words in the content to figure out is this positive, negative or neutral.   It’s very difficult to work out sentiment analysis and the tools are never 100% accurate.

9. Bookmarking – If you find a good article online and you want to keep it for reading in the future you ‘bookmark it’.  This means you add it to a bookmarking application to keep a record of it.  For example, I use Pocket.  This allows me to bookmark a post and then read it later on my iPad, iphone etc.

10. Blog Category – As you create more and more blog posts it becomes harder for people to find them.  One way to help is grouping them into certain categories so people can filter them based on the category.  For example, if you created a selection of blog posts on social media monitoring tools you could set this up as a category.  You can also let Google index this category so that visitors to your blog can go direct to a list of all posts within a particular category.

11. Blog Tag – If you had a bowl of fruit you could categorise the fruit into tropical, non tropical etc.  If you were to tag the fruit you’d name then oranges, banana’s etc.  So this is categorising at a micro level.  If you had an article that fits into the ‘social media monitoring tool’ category you could have tags for the names of tools.

12. Responsive – If you want your blog to appear in a suitable way on a mobile device you can make it responsive.  ‘Responsive’ means that the content automatically adjusts to the size of the device.

13. Creative Commons Licensing – This is licensing on creative works which gives people rights to use your work under certain conditions.  For example, if you go to Flickr (photo sharing site) you can search for pictures shared under ‘creative commons licensing’ and you can use these images as long as you mention the owner.

14. Mashup – A collection of content from variety of sources.  You could have a mashup of video, photographs, text etc.

15. Podcast – A series of audio or video files which are made available through a download.  I subscribe to various podcasts which are weekly voice only recordings and I listen to them on my mobile device on a weekly basis.  Podcasting is becoming very popular again as people have limited time on their hands and you can listen to the podcast when you are driving the car, out walking etc.

16. Klout – A score created by Klout the company which is out of 100 and assigned to an individual.  Your score is based on how influential you are through social media channels.  For example, if you are very active on twitter, you hang out with influential people online and your content gets shared by them a lot your klout score will increase.  There are various competitors to Klout such as Peer Index and Kred.

17. Cookie – A small file stored on your machine by a website you visit.  They store this file so that the next time you come to the website they  know a little more about you!

18. Avatar – A picture or a graphic that represents you online.  This could be your actual image or something completely different (e.g a caricature of yourself).

19. Link Bait – This is where you provide something through your website that encourages people to link to you.  For example, if we built a social media tools directory we could build it just to get people to link to it.  By more people linking to it this can increase the popularity of our site from a Google perspective.

20. Meme – An idea or concept that is re-mixed/altered and passed from person to person.  If the content is viral it is the same content passed but with a meme it is altered.

21. Wiki – It’s piece of software that lets user easily create and update web pages.  These web pages are collected together as a wiki.  For example, you might have a wiki in your workplace that shares out details of all the processes within your team.

22. Affiliate – This is where you promote a third party vendor and get a fee for doing so.  For example, you do a review of a social media tool on your blog and you link to the vendor using an affiliate link.  If the website visitor clicks on this link and then subsequently buys the product you can get a share of this purchase.

23. Adsense – This is allowing Google place advertisements on your site in return for you getting a fee.  If you are starting a blog and/or don’t have a lot of traffic avoid this because you will make no money until you get great traffic.

24. Anchor Text –  If you write an article and link to another article the text used in the link is known as the anchor text.  Anchor text is important because Google likes at this when it’s trying to rank content.

25. MetaTags – This is what search engines read to help index your content.  For example, you can have a title and description meta tag which are important to create for every page on your site.

So there’s a social media glossary of 25 terms.  Let me know if there are other terms that are confusing that you want ask about or there are ones you’d like to explain.  As always, we’d love to hear your comments!


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