Social Media Glossary I-L

Social media glossary of termsA to Z of Social Media Terms

Are you confused with all of the buzz-words that surround Social Media and Social Networking? Don’t know your podcasting from your vodcasting?

Ever wondered the meaning of Search Engine Optimisation? And what exactly is a vlog? Or blogging? Or the blogosphere?

Fret no more! Here for the first time, in my wonderfully simplified Social Media Glossary are my definitions for all the latest social media buzzwords doing their rounds.

Did I miss something?  CLICK HERE to tell me about the missing social media term and I’ll add it.

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ID3 Tag

An addition to MP3 files that allows data such as the file’s title, performer, category and even cover art to be stored directly in the file: see Enclosure.


One of the original podcast clients, iPodder is a free program that can automatically download new shows when they become available, and synchronize them with portable digital audio players.


The beginning of a podcast; can include a music lead-in with an announcer naming the show, the episode and possibly the sponsor. The ending of a podcast is commonly referred to as an “Outro”

Instant messaging (IM)

A method of chatting online with one other person using an IM tool like AOL Instant Messenger, Microsoft Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. The tools allow you to indicate whether or not you are available for a chat, and if so can be a good alternative to emails for a rapid exchange. Problem arise when people in a group are using different IM tools that don’t connect. One way around this is to use a common Voice over IP tool like Skype that also provides IM.

IOT – Internet Of Things

The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things was first used by Adam Baumgarten in 1999. The concept of the Internet of Things first became popular through the Auto-ID Center and related market analysts publications. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is often seen as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with radio tags, they could be identified and inventoried by computers.However, unique identification of things may be achieved through other means such as barcodes or 2D-codes as well.


A single entry in a news feed or podcast channel. In podcasts, each item contains the enclosure linking to the podcast file and various information about the file such as title, author, category, etc.


Apple’s multimedia player software. As well as playing multimedia files, iTunes links to a directory of podcasts and acts as a podcatcher by allowing users to subscribe to podcasts.

Joining up

A big opportunity – and challenge – in the world of social media and networking. On the one hand links, tags and feeds – together with the spirit of openness – means content in different places can be brought together (aggregated). On the other hand, the move from groups to networks, and forums to blogs, means that content is spread around and there is seldom a one-stop-shop.

Learning Style

There are three basic ways people learn: visual (reading, watching demonstrations, reviewing charts), auditory (listening, making a presentation) and tactile or kinesthetic (performing a task, actively doing). Most people use a combination of all three. Podcasting, either audio only or video, allows marketers to add depth to their communications and offer prospects more ways to learn about their product or service.


A small piece of music often used in an intro or exit/outro of a show; can also be used to break a podcast into segments.

Lifestyle Podcast

Typically personal commentaries on what is cool for a targeted demographic, psychographic or cultural group. Topics include music, movies, fashion, gaming, TV and other pop cultural trends. Because such podcasts rely so heavily on fleeting fads, they are not considered long-term branding opportunities. Marketing strategies, whether a business is considering series sponsorship or podcast commercials, should focus on short-term marketing goals based on the population of the audience.


A derogatory term used to describe a podcast that doesn’t provide the audience with meaningful information. May also be used when a sponsored podcast becomes too commercial; can also describe lifestyle podcasts that are boring or a narcissistic rant of the producer or host.

Link Baiting

The process by which websites, blogs, etc. encourage links from other sites to improve popularity and raise positions on search engines. The enticement may include content, online tools, free downloads, or anything else that another site owner might find worthy of a link.


The highlighted text or images that, when clicked, jump you from one web page or item of content to another. Bloggers use links a lot when writing, to reference their own or other content. Linking is another aspect of sharing, by which you offer content that may be linked, and acknowledge the value of other’s people’s contributions by linking to them. It is part of being open and generous.


In the blogosphere listening is the art of skimming feeds to see what topics are bubbling up, and also setting up searches that monitor when you or your organisation is mentioned.


The nature of location and presence is changed by the Internet and social media, because you can be active online in many different places, including in virtual worlds.

Logging in

The process to gaining access to a website that restricts access to content, and requires registration. This usually involves typing in a username and password. The username may be your “real” name, or a combination of letters and/or numbers chosen for the purpose.


The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare. Source: The Long Tail Blog


People who read but don’t contribute or add comments to forums. The one per cent rule-of-thumb suggests about one per cent of people contribute new content to an online community, another nine percent comment, and the rest lurk. However, this may not be a passive role because content read on forums may spark interaction elsewhere.


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