The other day I was flipping through the Daily Telegraph when I came across the headline “Chaos as Amazon dries up”.
My first thought was “Wow, is Amazon.com in some kind of financial trouble?” Reading on, my folly was exposed as I realised the article was about that other great Amazon, the river in South America. That I immediately thought along tech lines got me thinking about the extent to which the internet, Web 2.0 and social media have influenced our language.
Terms that didn’t exist or were little-known just a few short years ago are now part of our day-to-day dialogue. Phrases like “I googled it”, “read my blog”, “send a tweet” and “I’ll IM you later” are now common.
Instant messaging too has spawned a language all its own. This clip explains some of the lingo that the tech generation have embraced as second nature (You’ll have to click through to YouTube as the video has had embed disabled):
But it’s not just the messaging folk that have all the fun. Here are some other terms associated with Web 2.0 and social media doing the rounds:
Avatar: The visual (oftentimes cartoonish) representation of a person in a virtual world or virtual chat room.
Blog: Short for “weblog”, it is a series of articles usually written in a slightly informal tone. You’re reading one right now.
Blogosphere: This refers to all blogs across the Internet regardless of whether they are an individual blog or part of a blog network.
Enterprise 2.0: The process of taking Web 2.0 tools and ideas and introducing them to the workplace.
Mashup: A recent trend, it is the ‘opening up’ of websites whereby they allow other websites access to their information, allowing information from multiple websites to be combined for creative effect.
Podcast: The distribution of audio and video “shows” across the Internet, such as a video blog or an Internet radio show.
Tweet: An individual message or status update on social networking service Twitter.
Viral: 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.
Webcast: An audio/visual broadcast that takes place over the web. How is this different from podcast?
Having trouble keeping up? You might have something in common with this guy.