Visible Strategy

Using the web to propell your business to visibility

Archive for the category “social media”

The media glossary, thanks to friends

Social Media and other Internet Definitions: straight from Constant Contact

I friended Constant Contact, you see, so they said I could use these definitions … actually that is a lie, but I am grateful to them for doing the work that I can just copy here for now.

So a big shout-out to the folks at Constant Contact, who put all kinds of great information into their learning tools and on their website.

Here is a shortened list of definitions from that site, with the link. Because it is referenced, my post here is kind of like free advertising for them, and not considered plagiarizing. I think! You can get the full long list by visiting Constant Contact’s learning center, just as I did when I tried to look up hashtag. I am separating out the Big Four (Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter and YouTube) definitions for a different post!

I invite you to glance through them and to remember that everything, everything under the sun and more is available if you just do an intelligent search on the web. (My personal definition of intelligence these days: ask Mr Google and see what comes up…)
is the link for the entire list.


Short for Application Programming Interface, this is a programming format that a website or piece of software uses to allow other websites to interact with it. For example, Constant Contact’s Join My Mailing List app for Facebook ( was created using an API that integrates Facebook and Constant Contact.


Short for Application, this is a program or add-on, usually for Facebook or for a mobile device (i.e., an iPhone or Blackberry). Its purpose is to deepen user interaction and provide greater depth of functionality and engagement. An example is the Constant Contact Join My Mailing List app for Facebook (, or the Facebook app for the iPhone and Android phone.


An online picture that’s associated with your social media accounts. Business people typically use a headshot for personal accounts, while companies and organizations use their logo.

One of many sites that generate shorter URLs that can be used for posting links on Twitter, and other sites where users are limited to specific character lengths. Users paste the long URL into a text box and the site generates one that is shorter. The service is free, but businesses can sign up for an account that will let them create a more personalized short URL. For example, Constant Contact links are shortened to (Other URL shortner websites include,, and


There are a lot of different definitions for a blog, but put simply, a blog (short for “web log”) is a website or part of a website where you can post regular entries of opinion pieces, news, case studies, your email newsletter archive, or anything else you want to share with your customers or prospects. The best blogging platforms provide an indexable content management system that makes it easy for you to categorize and publish content (ie: “posts”). Your blog posts can provide the content you need to fuel your email newsletter and other social media marketing efforts. Blogs can also be distributed outside of a website context by RSS feed.


Many social media sites encourage readers and viewers to leave comments on what has been posted, whether it’s a quick status message, a video, an article, or a picture. Some sites, like Facebook, use the number of comments to determine how a post is included in a person’s news feed. On YouTube, video “owners” have the ability to turn off comments for an individual video.


The practice of asking a collection of individuals online for opinions, suggestions, or submissions. For example, you might not be able to choose between two newsletter articles, so you’d ask the people who Like you on Facebook or are following you on Twitter which one you should include. Or you can simply post both stories to Facebook and Twitter and discover which one resonates most based on the number of Likes, shares, comments, or retweets. Crowdsourcing can also be helpful if you’re planning an event and can’t decide on a date or location, or if you’re looking for suggestions for a vendor.


The act of adding code to a website so that a video or photo can be displayed on that site while being hosted by another. For example, YouTube provides a simple snippet of HTML code that can be used to embed a copy of any video on a website or blog. The video will play inside a YouTube-branded player. Owners have the ability to turn embedding off, but that limits the viral potential of a given video.


People who interact with a business or organization or an individual (on social networks, in email, etc.) by posting comments and sharing content are said to be engaged. (See also “Lurker.”)



The largest of the social networks (it boasts more than 500 million active users), Facebook has become a favorite destination for people, businesses, and organizations to connect and share information because of its easy-to-use interface and interactive features. It’s the most multimedia-friendly of the big three networks as members can post text, pictures, audio, and video. It also offers tons of applications and widgets that can make your Facebook Page engaging and fun.
(For more on Facebook, See The Big Four blogpost here on Visible Strategy)


An online photo sharing site owned by Yahoo!, Flickr lets individual users upload photos and short videos to their account and share them in photo groups based on a certain subject. Free accounts have monthly upload limits and other usage restrictions.


A geo-location service that allows users to check in at businesses and other locations, earning badges and other virtual rewards along the way. Users can share their check ins with fellow Foursquare friends as well as through their social media networks if they choose. Businesses can use Foursquare to see who their regular customers are and offer special deals to them. Foursquare is a competitor of Gowalla.


When you add location-based data to a photo, video, or tweet to identify where the content was posted.

Google Alert

A service offered by Google that allows users to save specific searches and receive an update whenever a new result appears on the Internet for that particular search, typically delivered by email or RSS. This is particularly useful for businesses or organizations that wish to monitor mentions of their brands on blogs and websites.


A geo-location service that allows users to check in at various businesses and locations, while sharing their adventures with friends and earning badges and rewards in the process. Business can use Gowalla to see who their regular customers are and offer special deals to them. Gowalla is a competitor of Foursquare.


Often described as the more professional of the big three social media networks, LinkedIn lets you connect with friends, colleagues, and other people you’ve worked or done business with. Your profile on the network is akin to an online resume, complete with the ability for others to write recommendations for you. Like with Facebook, connections made on LinkedIn must be verified by both parties. Companies can have their own profile pages on the site, and there are group features available to build discussion areas around a central topic.


Term used to describe when someone reports “live” from an event by posting short entries to a blog during the event. (See also “live-tweeting.”)


Someone on social networks who simply listens and watches, but doesn’t participate in conversations or the activity on the site.


The act of broadcasting very short messages to an audience, such as on Twitter, where posts are limited to 140 characters each. Other microblogging services include Plurk and Jaiku.


One of the first big social media networks, it’s now mainly used by music acts and other entertainers. MySpace uses many of the same conventions as Facebook. It’s not recommended for businesses outside the entertainment industry.


This can refer to a social network like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or the people you are connected to on those sites.


Audio programs or recordings that are syndicated online. They can be streamed or downloaded. Many are posted on and downloadable from iTunes.


Literally, this stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed allows the content from regularly updated websites (like blogs or podcasts) to be aggregated and posted to one website (often called a “reader”) or mobile device. Choosing to follow an RSS feed is often referred to as “subscribing” to it.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A marketing tactic that, when combined with SEO, helps a business or organization attract customers, generate brand awareness, and build trust by increasing its website’s visibility. This is done through the purchase of pay-per-click advertisements and paid inclusion in search engine results.


A level of assessment that determines whether the tone of an article, blog post, tweet, or other content is positive, neutral, or negative.


Search Engine Optimization. This is the process for improving the chance that a webpage will rank high in the results for a specific search query. Different search engines use different algorithms for how they rank results, but some ways to improve results include using qualified keywords (i.e., frequently searched-for keywords) in headlines and first paragraphs of blog posts, and naming photos and videos with those same keywords. There are also many on- and off-page technical considerations.


To post or re-post content on a social media site is to share it. Facebook specifically has a Share option, which allows you to post someone else’s content on your page. On Twitter, this is called re-tweeting.

Share Button/Bar

A feature that people can add to their website or an email that will allow the content to be easily shared on a variety of social media sites. Popular, free share buttons/bars have been created by Addthis (


An online community for sharing presentations. You can upload PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, Word and PDF documents, and video to the site for sharing publicly or privately.

Social Bookmarks

Websites where users can store, search, organize, and share web-based content. Some examples are Delicious (, Digg (, Posterous (, and StumbleUpon (

Social Media Marketing

Building your social network fans, followers, and connections using relevant and interesting content that is shared, allowing you to reach and engage more people and drive more business.

Social Media

Tools that allow the sharing of information and creation of communities through online networks of people.

Social Networks

The social media sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) where people connect and interact with friends, colleagues, businesses, and organizations.


A service that allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to monitor, manage, and schedule their social media marketing activity.


The social media network based on 140-character micro-blog posts. Users post short updates that can be seen by anyone, even if they are not logged into the site. Posts can only include text and links; any multimedia content (photos, video, audio) must be linked to. The people who follow you will see your updates in their timeline when they log in. Unlike with Facebook, you do not have to confirm or reciprocate the follower connection, meaning people can follow your updates without you have to see theirs. (See The Big Four for more on Twitter)


A collaborative learning event that is organized and created by and for its participants.


The technical term for a web address, e.g.: (URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.)


A blog that contains videos instead of text entries.


When a piece of content on the Internet is shared organically, without prodding or encouragement from the business, organization, or person who created it, it is said to have “gone viral.” This means it has been shared on social networks, posted and reposted, tweeted and retweeted multiple times.


A web-based seminar, where the presentation, lecture, or workshop is transmitted over the Internet instead of in person.


Similar to an app, a widget is a small block of content that one provider can offer to another, for use on another blog or website. Widgets have a specific purpose such as showing weather forecasts, stock quotes, or news updates and are constantly updated by the creator of the widget, not someone who hosts it on his site.


A type of user-generated and -edited website where multiple people can write and manage the content. A great example of this concept is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia.


An online encyclopedia written, edited and reviewed by users worldwide.


An online directory that lets customers review local businesses, including restaurants, dentists, mechanics, and more. The site is free to join for users and business owners.


A video sharing site owned by Google. Users can freely upload their own video content to the site (you must have the rights to the content), as long as it is less than 10 minutes in length and the file is less than 100MB is size. YouTube makes it easy for people to embed videos on their own site or blogs, which helps with viral marketing efforts. Google results include YouTube videos as well.

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