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Tech Terms You Should Know: Social Media

I think it’s pretty safe to say that just about everyone knows what Facebook is, even if they don’t use it. Does that mean everyone is an expert on social media? Do most people even know what social media means? If the only thing you are doing is milking your virtual cows and poking people on Facebook, then you need to get a new digital life.

Facebook is definitely an important part of the social media picture. With over 800 million active users, it’s hard to argue that point. But should a person or business stop at using Facebook and limit themselves to those 800 million users? Not if you want the full, social media effect. Here are a couple of social media terms that everyone should be familiar with.

Social Media – As Wikipedia, a very important piece of social media itself, puts it, social media builds on the foundations of Web 2.0 and allows for the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Easy enough, right? Anything on the internet that is created by one or more normal people.

Like – Like is a term that Facebook has recently coined to describe absolutely anything that a person could have an affinity towards. If a person appreciates, fancies or prefers and idea, that person likes it on Facebook.

Twitter – On it’s about page, Twitter is categorizes itself as an information network. It has also been described as a microblogging website because a user doesn’t necessarily need to interact with other people, the user can simply post information onto the site. These information posts are called Tweets.

Tweet – These 140 character, blasts of information make up what we know as Twitter. Tweets can contain much more information than one may realize, as well as links if there is simply too much to post. This short, headline style writing of Tweets makes a user’s updates very simple to read through.

LinkedInLinkedIn is often characterized as the Facebook of business. It’s a more professional space to share your profile, work experience, skills and specialties. This is also a great place to join industry related groups as well as look for your next job. LinkedIn, in my opinion, will be the next social media platform to explode like Facebook has, as soon as the users who started on Facebook are looking for jobs and want to appear more professional.

Google+ – I wrote about Google+(pronounced Google plus) in the September issue of 605 Magazine because it was only announced as a beta in late June. Now that G+ is open to the public, anyone is able to join. If you are a person that has been looking for an alternative to Facebook, Google+ is your savior. A person can now link all of their Google services, +1’s and Picasa albums in one, central location.

foursquare – Yes, you read that right. The name foursquare, is not supposed to be capitalized unless it begins a sentence. Besides that, foursquare is the hottest, location-based, social networking application and one of the first to make it into mainstream. A user can check-in to venues, earn points to compete with friends and even become the mayor of a venue to achieve discounts.

MySpace – I’m just kidding. Nobody needs to know about MySpace unless they are really into music. Even then, there are many other sites I would recommend first, such as Turntable.fm, Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and 8tracks. Even listening to music straight from Youtube would be more effective than going to MySpace.

Crowdsource – Crowdsourcing has become very popular and you have probably used the technique without even realizing it had a name. To crowdsource means to have a problem or a question and ask it openly on different social media platforms. The crowds that respond to your inquiries create a successful crowdsource. Quora.com is a great example of a successful crowdsourcing utility that was made specifically for this task.

The terms listed here are the social media phrases that everyone should at least have heard of, but this list is just a small byte in the infinite World Wide Web. There are many interesting, niche websites, applications and social media experiences out there that one list could not possibly contain them all. If you have any favorite social media platforms or want to know about any others in particular, feel free to leave a comment or tweet me.

Also, check out UnitedTechGuys.com for more great tech articles just like this one.

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