Social Media Glossary S-Z

Search engine friendly URLs
Or, for short, SEF URLs, implemented with a Rewrite engine.

For information on the Net is done using a search engine, of which Google is the best known. Specialist search engines like Technorati concentrate on blogs, Yahoo, etc. As well as searching by word or phrase you can search on tags, and so find content others have keyworded.

Semantic Web
This refers to the idea of a web capable of gleaning the subject matter of web pages without relying on keyword phrases within the content. In essence, it is the process of teach a computer to ‘read’ the page. Read more about the Semantic Web.

Sentiment Analysis
Refers to a broad (definitionally challenged) area of natural language processing, computational linguistics and text mining. Generally speaking, it aims to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic. The attitude may be their judgment or evaluation (see appraisal theory), their affective state (that is to say, the emotional state of the author when writing) or the intended emotional communication (that is to say, the emotional effect the author wishes to have on the reader).

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The process of building a website and creating content in such a way that search engines will rank the web page(s) higher in their listings.

The shortened form of ‘search engine results pages’ is commonly referred to as the SERPs.

Is offering other people the use of their text, images, video, bookmarks or other content by adding tags, and applying copyright licenses that encourage use of content.

A chat-like feature of some websites that allows people to quickly leave messages on the website, generally without any form of user registration.In their simplest form, shoutboxes are simply lists of short messages, possibly with information about their authors. The page may be automatically refreshed after a certain interval, or polled dynamically in order to keep new messages visible. Older posts are often deleted after a certain number of messages have been written in order to preserve space on the server.”

A feature on a website, particularly a blog, that allows one to communicate smaller snippets of information than an actual blog post. The reasoning is that a blog post will require thought, argument and some semantic structuring of the post, while a sideblog typically displays “brief asides”. A sideblog is meant to illustrate your immediate thoughts, movements or status update, and is usually less than 200 characters.

A sitemap is a page that lists links to all the pages on the site and every site should have one. Sitemaps come in two formats HTML and XML.

(A backronym for Slashdot-Like Automated Storytelling Homepage) is the collection of free software Perl modules and stand-alone programs which runs Slashdot, one of the oldest and most popular collaborative weblogs in existence. Slash was originally written by Rob Malda.

Slashdot effect
The Slashdot effect can hit blogs or other website, and is caused by a major website (usually Slashdot, but also Digg, Metafilter, Boing Boing, Instapundit and others) sending huge amounts of temporary traffic that often slow down the server.

Small Group
In the religious or spiritual world, a small group is a term for an informal gathering of people usually 10-25 people who join for discussion, study, support, prayer or activities. Other site is providing tools to help these “in person” groups use the internet to enhance their experience. They also enabling people who cant join together in person to do so through “virtual groups.”

Social blogging
Is a popular concept developed due to the advances of weblogging, micro-blogging, and social networking. These ever-changing constructions represent the new way of communicating for people who like to express their activities and share their common interests. On social blogs people inform each other about their activities by providing them with updates continually. These updates often include text (around 140 characters), pictures, audio or video. Through several ways messages can be transmitted to social blogs, including the web, instant messaging, text messaging and e-mail.

Social Bookmarking
Similar to web browser bookmarks, social bookmarking stores individual pages online and allows you to ‘tag’ them. For people who like to frequently bookmark web pages, this can provide an easier way to organize the bookmarks.

Social Engagement
Refers to the relationships or involvements – both positive and negative – with family members, peers, community members, local institutions, and at the broadest level, with society.

Social media
Is a terms for the tools and platforms people use to publish, converse and share content online. The tools include blogs, wikis, podcasts, and sites to share photos and bookmarks. (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs).

Social media analysis
The broad term for the services and tools users will use to pay attention. It incorporates monitoring, measuring and analysing Internet-based social media, usually combining automated systems and human insight to turn raw data into useful information. It’s most often used in marketing and communications/PR functions, which is why some people call it brand monitoring. It is also used in customer service, product groups, competitive intelligence, and investor relations—or any other “relations” function. Specialized applications for institutional investors, lenders and supply-chain managers are also available. If users’ use information, social media analysis opens vast new sources.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media marketing tools include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia, Orkut and YouTube.

Social media measurement
Refers to the tracking of various social media content such as blogs, wikis, micro-blogs, social networking sites, video/photo sharing websites, forums, message boards, and user-generated content in general as a way for marketers to determine the volume and sentiment around a brand or topic in social media.

Social Media Monitoring
Allows you to more effectively manage your reputation, track your competitors, and monitor market trends. What you find out in terms of the quality, volume, and scope of mentions online regarding your key terms will help you create the business case for social media adoption (or not) by your organization, and determine the resources you will require.

Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
Social media optimisation (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites.

Social Network Aggregation
The process of collecting content from multiple social network services, such as MySpace or Facebook. The task is often performed by a social network aggregator, which pulls together information into a single location, or helps a user consolidate multiple social networking profiles into one profile.

Social Network Listening
Similar to Social Media Monitoring but more focused on opinions and sentiment s. It is more focused in engaging with markets.

Social Network Marketing
See Social Media Marketing

Social Networking
The process of building online communities, often accomplished both through ‘groups’ and ‘friends lists’ that allow greater interaction on websites. Find out more about social networking.

Social News
A subset of social bookmarking that concentrates on news articles and blog posts and utilizes a voting mechanism to rank the content.

Social sculpture
Is a specific example of the extended concept of art, that was advocated by the Conceptual Artist and Politician Joseph Beuys. Beuys created the term Social Sculpture to illustrate his idea of art’s potential to transform society. As an artwork it includes human activity, that strives to structure and shape society or the environment. The central idea of a social sculptor is an artist, who creates structures in society using language, thought, action, and object.

Social television (also social interactive television)
A general term for technology that supports communication and interaction in the context of watching television, or related to TV content. It also includes the study of television-related social behaviour. Social television systems can for example integrate voice communication, text chat, presence and context awareness, TV recommendations, ratings, or video-conferencing with the TV set. Social television is an active area of research and development. Most existing social television systems are on a conceptual stage, or exist as lab prototypes, beta or pilot versions.

Sock puppet
The term sock puppet refers to someone who is simultaneously registered under different pseudonyms on a particular message board or forum. The analogy of a sock puppet is of a puppeteer holding up both hands and supplying dialogue to both puppets simultaneously. A sock puppet will create multiple accounts over a period of time, using each user to debate or agree with each other on a forum. Sock puppets are usually found when an IP check is done on the accounts in forums.

Unwanted, irrelevant and unsolicited content or communication. Websites that have irrelevant and/or low quality content are classed as spam and are usually created by spammers to exploit a perceived weakness in
search engine algorithms.

Spam blog
A blog which is composed of spam. A Spam blog or “any blog whose creator doesn’t add any written value.

An automated computer program, or, more rarely, a script, designed to assist in the sending of spam.

Usually e-mail addresses that are created not for communication, but rather to lure spam. In order to prevent legitimate email from being invited, the e-mail address will typically only be published in a location hidden from view such that an automated e-mail address harvester (used by spammers) can find the email address, but no sender would be encouraged to send messages to the email address for any legitimate purpose. Since no e-mail is solicited by the owner of this spamtrap e-mail address, any e-mail messages sent to this address are immediately considered unsolicited.

The term is a compound of the words “spam” and “trap”, because a spam analyst will lay out spamtraps to catch spam in the same way that a fur trapper lays out traps to catch wild animals. The provenance of this term is unknown, but several competing anti-spam organizations claim trademark over it.

A spider is the technology employed by search engines to discover and collect websites and add them to their indexes. Search engine spiders are also referred to as robots, bots or crawlers.

Spider trap
Is a set of web pages that may intentionally or unintentionally be used to cause a web crawler or search bot to make an infinite number of requests or cause a poorly constructed crawler to crash. Web crawlers are also called web spiders, from which the name is derived. Spider traps may be created to “catch” spambots or other crawlers that waste a website’s bandwidth. They may also be created unintentionally by calendars that use dynamic pages with links that continually point to the next day or year.

Start Page
Here we call it your “home page” but other social networks sometimes refer to it as a “start page.” It is users’ private page from which users can edit their profile, scan content feeds and regulate your public page.

As well as conversations, are a strong theme in blogging. Anecdotes, bits of gossip and longer narratives work particularly well on blogs if they have a personal angle. It helps others get to know the blogger – and helps the blogger find and extend their voice. Subscribing is the process of adding an RSS feed to users’ aggregator or newsreader.

StumbleUpon is an internet community that allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos.

The process of adding an RSS feed to your aggregator or newsreader . It’s the online equivalent of signing up for a magazine, but usually free.

Communications are those occurring in real time, like chat, audio or video. Face-to-face communication is synchronous in the same place. Telephony is synchronous, in different places, The Internet extends the scope for both types of communication.

Swing Comparison
A method of comparing two groups or audience, and expressing the difference in percentage between the two.

Tag / Tag Cloud
A ‘tag’ is a descriptive keyword or phrase often used to categorize a piece of content. For example, an article about World of Warcraft might have the tags “World of Warcraft” and “MMORPG” because those tags accurately categorize the article’s subject matter. A tag cloud is a visual representation of tags, usually with the more popular tags being shown in a larger font.

Keywords attached to a blog post, bookmark, photo or other item of content so you and others can find them easily through searches and aggregation. Tags can usually be freely chosen – and so form part of a folksonomy – while categories are predetermined and are part of a taxonomy.

An organised way of classifying content, as in a library. Providing contributors to a site with a set of categories under which they can add content is offering a taxonomy. Allowing people to add their own keywords is to endorse folksonomy.

Technology steward
Someone who can facilitate community and network development. Nancy White offers the definition: “Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs. Stewardship typically includes selecting and configuring technology, as well as supporting its use in the practice of the community”.

Is holding a meeting without being in the same place, using a network connection and tools like Voice over IP, Instant Messaging, Video, and Whiteboards.

Templates, used on the “back end” of a blog that work together to handle information and present it on a blog.

Terms of services
Are the basis on which users agree to use a forum or other web-based place for creating or sharing content. Check before agreeing what rights the site owners may claim over your content.

Text file
Text file (sometimes spelled “textfile”; an old alternate name is “flatfile”) is a kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines. A text file exists within a computer file system. The end of a text file is often denoted by placing one or more special characters, known as an end-of-file marker, after the last line in a text file. It also refers to a type of container, while plain text refers to a type of content. Text files can contain plain text, but they are not limited to such.”

CSS based code that when applied to the templates will result in visual element changes to the blog. The theme, as a whole, is also referred to as a blog design.

Are strands of conversation. On an email list or web forum they will be defined by messages that use the use the same subject. On blogs they are less clearly defined, but emerge through comments and trackbacks.

Translation of the Japanese “oyayubizoku”

Is used here as shorthand for a software applications on your computer, and also for applications that are Web-based.

In an online discussion is an idea, issue – talking point – in a conversation that is made up of threads.

A system used for a blog to automatically recognize when another blog links to an article, usually creating a list of ‘trackback’ links at the bottom of the article. Read more about how trackbacks fuel the social web.

The number of visitors in websites.

Enhancing searching, sharing, self-publish and commenting across networks makes it easier to find out what’s going on in any situation where there is online activity.

Tribe (internet)
Used as a slang term for an unofficial community of people who share a common interest, and usually who are loosely affiliated with each other through social media or other internet mechanisms. The term is a sort of semantic change for “tribe,” which traditionally refers to people closely associated in both geography and genealogy.

Tripcodes and capcodes
In a tripcode system, a secret password is added to the user’s name following a separator character (often a number sign). This password, or tripcode, is hashed into a special key, or trip, distinguishable from the name by HTML styles. Tripcodes cannot be faked but on some types of forum software they are insecure and can be guessed. On other types, they can be brute forced with software designed to search for tripcodes such as Tripcode Explorer[20]. Moderators and administrators will frequently assign themselves capcodes, or tripcodes where the guessable trip is replaced with a special notice (such as “# Administrator”), or cap.

A hurtful but possibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessed by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog. You may be able to stop them commenting on your blog, but you can’t ban them from commenting on other sites and pointing back to your blog, and you can’t ban them from posting things on their own blog that point back to your site.

A blogging platform that allows users to post text, images, video, links, quotes, and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users are able to “follow” other users and see their posts together on their dashboard. Users can “like” or “reblog” posts from other blogs on the site. The service emphasizes customizability and ease of use.

Twitter / Tweet
A micro-blogging service that allows people to type in short messages or status updates (called ‘Tweets’) that can be read by followers.

When you’re putting a photo, audio or video on our site, or others, it will sometimes ask you to “upload” it. That means pulling it from your own computer and putting it on our server.

Websites or industries that users visited immediately prior to the subject website or industry.

Unique Resource Locator is the technical term for a web address like,, etc.

URL Shortener 
A URL shortener is a tool/website that generates temporary, shorter versions of a URL that can then be re-used elsewhere.

User generated content is text, photos and other material produced by people who previously just consumed. See Content.

Usenet quoting
When Usenet and e-mail users respond to a message, they often want to include some context for the discussion. This is often accomplished by quoting a portion of the original message.

User groups
Internally, Western-style forums organise visitors and logged in members into user groups. Privileges and rights are given based on these groups. A user of the forum can automatically be promoted to a more privileged user group based on criteria set by the administrator. A person viewing a closed thread as a member will see a box saying he does not have the right to submit messages there, but a moderator will likely see the same box granting him access to more than just posting messages. An unregistered user of the site is commonly known as a guest or visitor. Guests are typically granted access to all functions that do not require database alterations or breach privacy. A guest can usually view the contents of the forum or use such features as read marking, but occasionally an administrator will disallow visitors to read their forum as an incentive to become a registered member. A person who is a very frequent visitor of the forum, a section or even a thread is referred to as a lurker and the habit is referred to as lurking. Registered members often will refer to themselves as lurking in a particular location, which is to say they have no intention of participating in that section but enjoy reading the contributions to it.

User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is any content that is created by end-users for others.

Many digital cameras and mobile phones take videos good enough to view on the Net. Sites like YouTube and now make it easy to open an account, upload and share your videos. These sites will also provide some unique code for each video so you can, if users wish, embed the video in a blog post. Short interviews that “capture the moment” work well, particularly if they provide a text summary so people can easily decide whether or not to view. However, check whether the audience you are aiming at is likely to have a fast enough connection, and up to date browser, to view your video easily.

Video Embed
One of the great new inventions enables users to take video that he or someone else have posted on YouTube or other sites and plop it right on to their personal page or blog. The garble of computer code that lets you do this is called the “embed code.”

Video podcast
(Also vodcast) A term used for the online delivery of video on demand video clip content via Atom or RSS enclosures. Web television series are often distributed as video podcasts.

A series of one or more page requests by a visitor without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity.

The digital version of grassroots, ‘viral’ refers the process of an article, video or podcast becoming popular by being passed from person to person or rising to the top of popularity lists on social media websites.

Virtual community
A social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. One of the most pervasive types of virtual community include social networking services, which consist of various online communities.

Virtual Group
The term “virtual group” refers to a group of people who haven’t necessarily ever met each other in person but rather connected through the internet.

Virtual novel
It is a new phenomenon in internet publishing. The term seems to have originated with William Gibson. Unlike a paper novel there is no reason why the virtual novel should ever be completed unless the author simply becomes bored with it or the novel achieves perfection. Given that perfect novels are so rare as to be non-existent the latter is unlikely. Also as the virtual novel is not confined to print, it may contain embedded music as MP3s, video clips, referenced links to other websites, etc. If the virtual novel ever makes it into paper form – which is by no means required – this would simply be Novel Title Release 1.0 and the author is still free to continue adding more sections, editing already existing sections indefinitely. For example If George Eliot had written Middlemarch as a virtual novel the edition of that novel that we have now would be Middlemarch 1.0 and minor edits would have produced Middlemarch 1.01, 1.02 etc; major edits would have produced Middlemarch 1.1, 1.2 and if she had even considered introducing new characters that would have produced Middlemarch 2.0 and so forth. Given that there are many aspiring novelists, that it’s difficult to find a paper publisher and that it’s cheap and easy to publish on-line the phenomenon is likely to increase.

Virtual worlds
Are online places like Second Life, where you can create a representation of someone (an avatar) and socialise with other residents. Basic activity is free, but they can buy currency (using real money) in order to purchase land and trade with other residents. Second Life is being used by some voluntary organisations to run discussions, virtual events and fundraising.

A video blog; a vlogger is a video blogger (e.g. someone who records himself interviewing people of a certain field).

Voice Case Management
Enables customers to create cases (incidents) over the phone without agent assistance.

Voice Contact Management
Automatically identifies, captures, and displays contact information on calls routed to agent.

Voice Knowledge Management
Provides immediate customer voice self-services to knowledge answers.

Voice Location Finder
Extends web-based locations information to the phone.

Voice over Internet Protocol
(VOIP) enables you to use a computer or other Internet device for phone calls without additional charge, including conference calls. By using headphones and a microphone user can also free their hands to use instant messaging to keep a shared note of conversations, or use other virtual presence tools. They can use Voice over IP to do interviews for Podcasts. The best-known VOIP tool is Skype.

Voice Screen Pop
Passes data collected in the IVR transaction into a case (incidents) that can be popped as the call is transferred
to an agent.

Voice Self-Service
An interactive voice response system that listens and learns. It gives customers an easy way to get the information they need over the phone, through natural speech, without agent assistance. And when a caller’s language indicates that an agent should be involved—- if a selling opportunity is signalled, for example, it will intuitively route the call to the appropriate agent. So customers can easily get routine information through self-service, or can be routed for more complex issues or sales opportunities.

Voice Self-Service Applications
A set of pre-packaged speech-driven voice self-service applications that enable callers to easily find information on a range of common topics.

Voice Status Management
Providing immediate customer voice self-service access to most current status information such as orders and shipping.

Voice Survey Management
Provides immediate customer voice self-services access to voice-driven surveys.

Wall Posting
A structureless social utility that connects you with the people in the same building as you.

A blog devoted mostly or wholly to covering news events concerning an ongoing war.

Web 2.0
Is a term coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004 to describe blogs, wikis, social networking sites and other Internet-based services that emphasize collaboration and sharing, rather than less interactive publishing (Web 1.0). It is associated with the idea of the Internet as platform.

Web Hosting
Is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data centre. Web hosts can also provide data centre space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data centre, called colocation.

Web Mashup
The most recent trend of the web is the ‘opening up’ of websites whereby they allow other websites access to their information. This allows information from multiple websites to be combined for creative effect, like the information from Twitter and GoogleMaps being combined to create a visual representation of ‘tweets’ coming in from all across the map. Check out the best mashups on the web.

Web Self-Service
Delivers answers at less cost than assisted-service interactions. Customers easily find the information they need at any time , from anywhere, without the need for agent assistance.

Web Template
Used to separate content from presentation in web design, and for mass-production of web documents. It is a basic component of a web template system.

Web-based tools
Google, Yahoo and a host of other commercial organisations provide an increasing range of free or low-cost tools including email, calendars, word processing, and spreadsheets that can be used on the web rather than users’ desktop. Provided they are happy to entrust their data to these organisations – and are always online when working – they can reduce their software costs significantly and forget about upgrades.

A broadcast that takes place over the web and uses both audio and visual effects. For example, a web-based conference call that sends a presentation with charts and graphs to go alongside the speech. Webcasts are often interactive.

The unshortened version of ‘blog’.

Also called a web architect, web developer, site author, website administrator, or (informally) webmeister, is a person responsible for maintaining a website(s). The duties of the webmaster may include ensuring that the web servers, hardware and software are operating accurately, designing the website, generating and revising web pages, replying to user comments, and examining traffic through the site. Webmasters “must also be well-versed in Web transaction software, payment-processing software, and security software.

Officially styled website by the AP Stylebook) is a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common Uniform Resource Locator (URL), often consisting of only the domain name, or the IP address, and the root path (‘/’) in an Internet Protocol-based network. A web site is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network.

White Hat
Strategies, tactics and practices in SEO that are ethical and compliant with the search engines.

Online are the equivalent of glossy surfaces where you can write with an appropriate marker pen and wipe off later. They are tools that enable users to write or sketch on a web page, and as such are useful in collaboration online.

A list or register of entities that, for one reason or another, are being provided a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition. As a verb, to whitelist can mean to authorize access or grant membership. Conversely, a blacklist is a list or compilation that identifies entities that are denied, unrecognized, or ostracized.

Widgets / Gadgets
A widget is a small piece of transportable code, for example a calculator or a countdown to a movie’s release. Widgets can be placed on websites like a social networking profile, a custom home page or a blog. The word ‘gadget’ is often used to refer to a widget that is designed for a specific website, like iGoogle gadgets.

A web page – or set of pages – that can be edited collaboratively. The best known example is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia created by thousands of contributors across the world.

Once people have appropriate permissions – set by the wiki owner – they can create pages and/or add to and alter existing pages. Wikis are a good way for people to write a document together, instead of emailing files to and fro. You don’t have to use wikis for collaborative working – they can just be a quick and easy way of creating a web site.

Word Censor
A word censoring system is commonly included in the forum software package. The system will pick up words in the body of the post or some other user editable forum element (like user titles) and if they partially match a certain keyword (commonly no case sensitivity) they will be censored. The most common censoring is letter replacement with an asterisk character. For example, in the user title it is deemed inappropriate for users to use words such as “admin”, “moderator”, “leader” and so on, if the censoring system is implemented a title such as “forum leader” may be filtered to “forum ******”. Rude or vulgar words are common targets for the censoring system. But such auto-censors can make mistakes, for example censoring “wristwatch” to “wris****ch”, “Scunthorpe” to “S****horpe”, or “shitaki” to “****aki.”

Wordpress is a free, open-source blog publishing system, which is customisable and can be adapted for different uses.

Extensible Markup language is an advanced language developed by the World Wide Web consortium(W3C) to complement HTML.  HTML is about displaying information while xml is about describing information.

YouTube is a video sharing website, which allow users to upload, share, watch and rate video content.