Social Media Tools and Terminology Explained

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1 Social Media Tools and Terminology Explained Social media Social Networks Microblogging Bookmarking is a term for the tools and platforms people use to engage with others and to develop as well as publish content online. Image/Video Sharing Blogging Wikis Blogs Weblogs, or blogs, are websites that usually combine text, images, and links to other blogs and web sites related to its topic. Many bloggers provide commentary or news on a particular subject while others use them as forms of personal online diaries. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of the tool. Blogs have been heralded as a revolution in mass communication, due to e.g. - Starting a blog is easy, there s no need for sophisticated knowledge of web publishing - Blogs are timely and allow for content updates without an editorial review - The immediacy gives them the leverage to pick up on breaking news stories - The tone of most bogs is informal and personal - Most blog host services are free Bookmarking and link sharing services Social bookmarking is a way of easily saving, tagging and sharing information online. In these systems, saved links are usually public, though they can also be saved privately and shared only with specified people or groups. Many services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to become aware and discover new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users. The sites are free. Del.icio.us, Reddit and Kippt are a few other examples of tools through which people can discover and share content on the internet by submitting links and stories to the site, as well as rating and commenting on submitted links and stories.

2 Microblogs Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write and publish brief text updates. The benefit of micro-blogging is that messages can be submitted rapidly in a variety of ways, including text and instant messaging, , MP3 or through the web. Messages can thus be sent on the move, for example from a mobile phone and are instantly updated on a blog and to subscribers/followers. The most popular microblog service are Twitter (up to 140 characters/each post) and Tumblr (unlimited characters). Mobile applications (mobile apps) This term is used to describe Internet applications that run on smart phones and other mobile devices. Mobile applications connect users to online services commonly accessed on desktops or laptops, and make it easier to use the Internet on their portable devices. Online chats Online chat is a way of communicating informally by sending text messages to people in the same online chat-room in real-time, using tools such as instant messaging. File sharing and web cameras are included in some programmes and almost all online chat or messaging services allow users to display or send photos. Among the more popular instant messaging services are Google Chat, Microsoft Network (MSN) Messenger, and Skype. Mobile messaging apps, such as Whatsapp and Kakaotalk operate on a mobile platform and have many of the same functionalities as traditional desktop apps. Podcasts A podcast is audio or video content that can be downloaded automatically through a subscription to a website so you can view or listen offline. The name refers to Apple s ipod system, and their itunes store is still the main source of podcasts. SoundCloud is also very popular for podcast and audio hosting and sharing and has the advantage of being open to all. Social networking services A social network site is a service, which enables the creation of an online community. The main types of social networking services contain directories, means to connect with other users, and recommender systems linked to trust. Popular methods combine these functions with a variety of externally built applications, with Facebook being the most widely used. Alongside blogging, social networking has become the most powerful new way of sharing information and connecting with people. The immensely popular service places peer-to-peer influencing at the core, and enables local conversations to rapidly spread on a global scale. Understanding the way people link through these networks, picking up, creating and sharing content on the way, is central to success in social media.

3 Video and photo sharing Video sharing websites enable users to upload, share and view video clips. The bulk of video sites offer free services and are easy to use. The most popular video site is YouTube. Other popular sites include Yahoo Video and Vimeo. With the tag line Broadcast Yourself, YouTube has fundamentally changed how video content is delivered. Previously one had to invest a significant amount of money to produce a sophisticated video that would attract attention. Now anyone with access to a handheld camera and a good idea has the means to create a video viewed by millions, opening up a completely new environment for marketing. Flickr is currently the most used photo-sharing site. In addition to being a popular web site for sharing personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Its popularity has been fueled by its organization tools, which allow photos to be tagged and browsed by a certain topic. Additionally, Picasa and 500px are photo sharing sites, and e.g. Dropbox file sharing can be used to share content in the cloud. Virtual Worlds A virtual world is a computer based, simulated environment intended for users to inhabit and interact through created avatars. The basic avatar is human in appearance, but may be of either gender, have a wide range of physical attributes, and may be clothed or otherwise customized to produce a wide variety of virtual life forms. The most popular of these worlds are Second Life, a 3D world created mostly by its residents, followed by Habbo. Due to their growing popularity, virtual worlds are increasingly being used by the private and non-for-profit sector for marketing, educational and information sharing purposes. Widgets A widget is a snapshot of a web page that is displayed in another web site by pasting a small piece of code on the page. It allows information to be shown on the site without the host having to create and update the content.

4 Commonly Used Social Media Terms Community building Commons Crowdsourcing Embedding Feeds Followers Hashtags Mashups Open Source Software / OSS Community building is the process of recruiting potential community or network participants, helping them to find shared interests and goals, use the technology, and develop useful conversations. Commons refers to online spaces, which are held in trust for people/users and are owned by everyone. The term has become particularly popular due to its use in the Creative Commons license. Crowdsourcing refers to harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of those outside an organization who are prepared to volunteer their time and skills, contribute content and collectively help solve problems. Embedding is a way of displaying content that is hosted elsewhere on the web (like videos on YouTube or pictures on Flickr), on a website or blog without hosting the files oneself. Most websites that host such content provide the embed code for users to copy and paste onto their own sites. Feeds are the means by which one can read, view or listen to items from blogs and other feed-enabled sites without visiting the site, by subscribing and using an aggregator or feed reader. Feeds contain the content of an item and any associated tags without the design or structure of a web page. They can also be read by other websites, allowing the content of a feed to be embedded in different forms on a range of websites and platforms such as mobile sites. Followers are the individuals who subscribe to a persons/ organizations RSS feeds, have connected with a networking space (like Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr anywhere that allows users to friend other users), or have joined a network based on ones blog, website, or group. Hashtags are used in Twitter to add a subject keyword to a post, such as #obama or #haiti. Mashups are the combination of two or more web applications to create an integrated application for specific repurposing; for example, combining Google Maps technology with an SMS service to automatically map the location of users. Open source software is any computer software whose source code is open for users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in some form. It is often developed in a public, collaborative manner and the main advantage is that it lets developers use each other s work to make quick progress building software and websites.

5 Platforms Profiles Streaming Tags Threads Tool User-Generated Content URL WEB 2.0 Wiki Platforms are the frameworks or systems within which tools work. A platform may be as broad as mobile telephony, or as narrow as a piece of software that has different modules like blogs, forums, and wikis in a suite of tools. Profiles are the information that people provide about themselves when signing up for a social networking site. As well as a picture (avatar) and basic information, this may include personal and business interests, a blurb about oneself, and tags to help people search for like-minded people. Streaming is a way of accessing audio or visual data that is hosted elsewhere on the web without downloading the file and opening it on ones own computer. Tags are keywords attached to a blog post, bookmark, photo or other item of content so people 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. Threads are strands of conversation. On an list or web forum they will be defined by messages that use the same subject. On blogs they are less clearly defined, but emerge through comments and trackbacks. Tool is used as shorthand for a software application. User-generated content refers to any text, photos and other material produced by people who don t own or control the space and previously just consumed content. Typically it refers to users of a website posting content directly to a web platform, but can also refer to any public content created by participants of a project, such as videos or SMS messages. URL stands for Unique Resource Locator, and is the technical term for a web address, like 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 promote community, collaboration and content-sharing, as distinct from the older content publishing and e-commerce websites (Web 1.0). A wiki is 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.

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