Social Media Terms and Definitions
What is social media?
Social media is a tool that allows information to be shared, and groups or communities to be created, through online or mobile networks.
What is a social network?
A social network is an application which enables users to communicate with each other online. The means of communication is usually by posting comments, information, messages, or photographs.
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What types of social media are there?
Personal sites, usually written by one person
- Content-Sharing Sites
Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube
- Microblogging Sites
- Online Forums
HubPages' forum, other discussion forums
- Social Networking Sites
Facebook, Google Plus, Klout, LinkedIn
Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia
Popular Social Media Sites
Facebook is considered by many to be the world's most popular online social networking site. Users post profiles, photographs, and lists of items of personal interest in various categories. They communicate with friends via both public and private messages. Facebook's name is derived from a book given to students at some United States universities at the beginning of the academic year. The intent of the book, which contains photographs of the students enrolled, is to help everyone identify their fellow students.
Google Plus (Google+ / G+)
Google Plus is a social network owned by Google. G+ users share links to articles, paragraphs of text, videos, photographs, and other content. Fellow users can be organized into "circles," groups based upon a common interest or relationship. Features of Google Plus include Google Plus communities and Google Hangouts.
Instagram is a photo-sharing social network. Users share photos they have taken, usually with a smartphone or other phone, with people who have chosen to follow them.
Klout investigates how a person’s social media actions influence other people. Users are recognized for how influential they are.
LinkedIn is a social media site used primarily for business networking. Users create networks of contacts in order to search for jobs and exchange information about business opportunities.
Pinterest is an image-sharing social network. Users collect images from the Web and post ("pin") them on theme-based boards.
Twitter is a message-distribution site in which users post brief messages and view similarily-short messages posted by others. The content is delivered in a continuous stream of 140-character tweets (messages).
Social Media Sites Serve Different Purposes
As you can see from the descriptions in the table, social media sites serve different purposes. My personal favorite for the dissemination of information is Google Plus communities. The posted information can be organized into categories, making it very easy to find posts related to a specific subject.
I created a Google Plus community called International Poetry. It's a worldwide community for poets and poetry lovers. The community is organized into categories such as poems, articles about poets and poetry, poetry books, and poetry contests. Members reside in nearly 60 countries and are not restricted to posting their poems in English.
Social Media Terms and Definitions
Android is an operating system created by Google which is used in tablets and smartphones. My Kindle Fire uses an operating system called Silk, an Android version which has been modified for use in Amazon's tablets.
An app (application) is program that runs inside another service. Two examples of apps on my Kindle Fire are an e-mail program and a word processing program.
An avatar is an image which represents you in social media and video games.
A blog is a personal Web site in which short entries are presented in reverse chronological order—the most recent entry at the top of the page. Blogs posts may contain commentary, news items, opinions, photographs, poetry, videos, or other items.
Bluetooth is a standard for short-range wireless transmissions. One example is headsets which enable hands-free use of cellphones.
Circles are the organizational units into which users place their followers on Google+.
A cloud is a collection of apps, books, computing services, and data which can be accessed through the Internet via remote servers.
Curating is the practice of organizing and presenting data online to the public in a more personalized way than that which one sees via automated news feeds.
Direct Message (DM)
A DM is a personal message you send via Twitter to one of your followers. Direct messages can only be seen by the recipient and you.
A feed is a stream of constantly updating material.
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Google is the trademarked name for a Web search engine. The terms Google, Googling, and Googled are used in conjunction with searching for information on the Internet.
A Google Hangout is a function within Google Plus. Hangouts allow users to have live, face-to-face, multi-person video chats. I live in Southern California and have had Hangouts with people on the east coast of the United States and Europe.
Google Hangouts on Air
Google Hangouts on Air are Hangouts in which the video stream is displayed publicly on the G+ profile page of the person who initiated the Hangout.
A hashtag involves using a number or pound sign (#) in a tweet to convey the subject or subjects about which the user is writing. If hashtags are used, the message can be indexed, enabling the post to appear in other users' Twitter feeds.
Keywords are terms embedded or included in a Web site or blog so that it becomes searchable.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization refers to methods used to ensure that online content shows up in search engines. If one's content appears in search results, traffic to the Web site or blog in question will increase.
Skype is a service which allows users to communicate over the Internet via instant messaging, videos, or voice communication. Skype has been a fun way for me to communicate with my friends in Europe.
A smartphone is an advanced mobile device—such as an iPhone—which can be used to browse the Internet, check e-mail, and download apps.
Status is a phrase or short message used on social networks to alert followers to a user's recent activities.
Streaming is a method of processing and delivering media, such as YouTube videos, over the Internet in real time.
A tablet is a touch-screen device, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire, that can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
To tag is to identify someone in a post or photograph.
Trending is used to indicate that a topic is receiving a lot of attention on search engines, social networks, or Web sites.
A tweet is a public message no more the 140 characters long on Twitter.
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