Digital Citizenship: Why both proactive AND experiential knowledge are important

Reinventing Writing bookI came across this book after reading an article on Edutopia by Vicki Davis, an inspirational educator known on Twitter as @coolcatteacher.

Vicki’s article is about Digital Citizenship and she shares her 9Ps for proactive knowledge. Within the book (which I have now purchased) there is a chapter specifically dedicated to reinventing citizenship, but there is also so much more and is certainly a book I would recommend to all educators.

Edutopia created an associated infographic (see below) which captures Vicki’s 9 key Ps of Proactive Knowledge.


Vicki refers to two approaches when delivering digital citizenship curriculum – proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge. (You can read the full Edutopia article here).

The proactive knowledge looks at concrete examples of how educators as role models and our students can proactively take ownership of being a safe and responsible Digital Citizens. Experiential knowledge is linking these good practice tips to real life scenarios and activities. Vicki uses current scams and cons in her classroom as discussion points with her students. For example: Snopes  (a reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation) has a section on frauds and scams e.g. phishing and identity theft. Other examples might be gathered from current news articles. There are many ‘newsworthy’ articles where individuals have not been good digital citizens, and there is much to be learnt from others mistakes.


Experiential Knowledge

In a hyper-connected world it is important we give our students the scaffolded support and knowledge they need to manage their own personal digital identities responsibly. We need to show them how to positively use digital spaces to connect, communicate and collaborate with others confidently, and consider how this might help to build their professional online profiles.

Using social media for example contributes to the digital footprints we leave behind and this can be a positive impression or a negative one. Understanding the impact of these footprints is therefore vital. However whilst talking to students about the benefits and pitfalls of online identities is important, providing activities to critique and develop exemplar profiles can help them to avoid the errors some make.

It is also important to give students activities within digital spaces so they can experience these first hand and learn how this can help to develop skills they will go on to use when they look for and find graduate jobs.

Some activities I have given my students to explore include:

  • LinkedIn
    Creating a LinkedIn profile and joining discussion groups. ‘Listening in’ to how others communicate in this professional networking space is part of the learning experience.
  • Google hangouts and Skype
    Holding a Google hangout or Skype for a group meeting; recording a segment using a screencasting tool and embedding this in a blog post to reflect on and consider their personal contributions.
  • Twitter
    Using Twitter as a search tool to identify companies the students aspire to work for and then consider how those companies are using Twitter as a communication and potential recruitment tool.
  • Good practice artifacts
    Taking the Sheffield Hallam guidance on using social media effectively leaflets and creating digital artifacts e.g. short animated videos and infographic posters


Proactive Knowledge

Vicky captures some really useful points that everyone should consider. It is important to help our students take a proactive approach and realise the importance of each of the 9Ps below.

What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship by Vicki Davis

1. Passwords
Do students know how to create a secure password? Do they know that email and online banking should have a higher level of security and never use the same passwords as other sites? Do they have a system like LastPass for remembering passwords, or a secure app where they store this information? (See 10 Important Password Tips Everyone Should Know.)

2. Privacy
Do students know how to protect their private information like address, email, and phone number? Private information can be used to identify you. (I recommend the Common Sense Media Curriculum on this.)

3. Personal Information
While this information (like the number of brothers and sisters you have or your favorite food) can’t be used to identify you, you need to choose who you will share it with.

4. Photographs
Are students aware that some private things may show up in photographs (license plates or street signs), and that they may not want to post those pictures? Do they know how to turn off a geotagging feature? Do they know that some facial recognition software can find them by inserting their latitude and longitude in the picture — even if they aren’t tagged? (See the Location-Based Safety Guide)

5. Property
Do students understand copyright, Creative Commons, and how to generate a license for their own work? Do they respect property rights of those who create intellectual property? Some students will search Google Images and copy anything they see, assuming they have the rights. Sometimes they’ll even cite “Google Images” as the source. We have to teach them that Google Images compiles content from a variety of sources. Students have to go to the source, see if they have permission to use the graphic, and then cite that source.

6. Permission
Do students know how to get permission for work they use, and do they know how to cite it?

7. Protection
Do students understand what viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft are, and how these things work? (See Experiential Knowledge below for tips on this one.)

8. Professionalism
Do students understand the professionalism of academics versus decisions about how they will interact in their social lives? Do they know about netiquette and online grammar? Are they globally competent? Can they understand cultural taboos and recognize cultural disconnects when they happen, and do they have skills for working out problems?

9. Personal Brand
Have students decided about their voice and how they want to be perceived online? Do they realize they have a “digital tattoo” that is almost impossible to erase? Are they intentional about what they share?


Digital Citizenship


Further resources

Reinventng Writing [Book]

Collaborative Writing in the Cloud [Wiki]

What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship [Edutopia]


Posted in Digital Citizenship | 3 Comments

Using Periscope (a live streamimg app) in Higher Education


Periscope app logo

What is it?

Periscope is a live streaming app that lets you share and experience live video from your mobile phone. When connected to Twitter, Periscope users can allow other users to see links tweeted in order to view the live-stream. Those watching the live stream can send ‘hearts’ to the broadcaster by tapping on the mobile screen as a form of appreciation.

For broadcasters, Periscope lets you share an experience with others. Press a button, and instantly notify your followers that you’re live. Whether you’re witnessing your daughter’s first steps or a newsworthy event, Periscope offers an audience and the power of a shared experience. Most mobile broadcasting tools feel far from live. Broadcasters on Periscope are directly connected to their audience, able to feel their presence and interact. Going live on Periscope means more than a blinking red dot.

For viewers, Periscope gives you a new set of eyes and ears. Travel the world and step into someone else’s shoes. See what they see, hear what they hear, and hopefully feel what they feel. Watching a broadcast isn’t a passive experience like television. On Periscope, viewers influence the broadcaster by sending messages, and expressing their love by tapping the screen to send hearts.

By default your broadcasts can be viewed by anyone, but you can set your broadcasts to be viewable only by those you approve.  Your followers will be notified when you start broadcasting. The live videos are called ‘scopes’ and can be replayed for 24 hours. You have the option of auto saving broadcasts to your camera roll as a video. This gives you the option to then upload to YouTube as a means of archiving. If you forget to save the recording, the alternative is to use a screen capture application such as Screencast-o-matic from your desktop to capture directly from Persicope, but this needs to be done within 24 hours of the broadcasting.

How do you use it?

Tony Vincent created this useful infographic which explains how Periscope works and some suggestions for using Periscope. These include:

  • Interviews with educators and students
  • Reflections and ideas after presentations
  • Demonstrations of websites and apps
  • Tips for using technology
  • Recaps of education conferences and events
  • Review of items recently bookmarked
  • Chats about photos taken

Other ideas I have added include:

  • Virtual campus tours on Open Days
  • Live practicals or demonstrations in the classroom, lab or workshop
  • Icebreaker activities where small groups of students interview each other, and share with the class
  • ‘About me’ clips situated in your favourite place which could be on holiday, hiking, sport or simply a place you resonate with – Thanks Prof Liz Barnes for this idea
  • Read your blog post or give a summary of a Slideshare presentation
  • Create a virtual library induction
  • Narrate a poem you have written summarising a research article read (Dr Sam Illingworth leads the way with this)

The fact that you can use this tool with your mobile device means that you can get out and about, and experiment. The scopes are only live for 24 hours and you can choose whether or not save.

Persiscope infographic by Tony Vincent

Created by Tony Vincent

Further reading

Periscope: top tips for using Twitter’s latest app Sharon Cook at Jisc

How Three Innovative Physicians Use Periscope

Cybraryman on Persiscope

The beginners to using Periscope for Education

@PeriscopeEDU  – not associated with the official Periscope but useful tweets

I’d love to hear about your ideas. Leave your suggestions in the comments or send me a tweet to @suebecks


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Understanding the concept of thick and thin Tweets (inspired by @BonnieZink)


The slide deck above was created by Bonnie Zink a fellow social media enthusiast and Hootsuite Ambassador. I first connected with Bonnie about 3 years ago when participating in the weekly #HSUchat (a tweetchat exploring the use of social media in business and personal development).

I was taken with Bonnie’s definition of thick and thin Tweets. With her permission I have embedded her presentation above and then taking each slide I have italcised Bonnie’s bullet points and responded to these below each section with my own thoughts.

Bonnie begins by asking a series of questions:

What is Twitter all about?

  • Share what you know
    ○ How will your expertise help others?
  • Learn from others
    ○ What do you need to know?
  • Make the connections that matter
    ○ Who will help you reach your goals?

My mantra about Twitter is that “Twitter is only as good as the people you follow”. The Tweets you see in your timeline are predominantly from the people you follow (plus any retweets they have posted). Choosing connections is a personal thing, however once you have a collection of people or organisations to follow, it is worth looking at who they follow as this may provide new contacts with shared interests that you would like to follow too.

When I first started using Twitter, I did a lot of ‘listening’ and found that I was learning so much from my growing personal learning network (PLN). Twitter is a social networking tool and as such is perfect for engaging in dialogues. Do reach out and ask questions.

As you build confidence you realise that you can also initiate conversations and share useful and relevant information with your connections and beyond. When your posts are retweeted a ripple effect occurs as others will also see these Tweets.


Bonnie’s next slide considers who we are on Twitter

Who are you on Twitter?

  • Content Curator
    ○ Share your unique perspective about what’s important in the world through sharing the content that matters to you.
  • Content Creator
    ○ Share infographics, blog posts, photos, podcasts, web pages, publications, events, and other content that you’ve created.
  • Content Supporter
    ○ Share content (reTweet) and engage (reply and comment) with the content shared by those in your network.

It is likely that as a new user of Twitter you will begin as a Content Supporter sharing and interacting with posts made by others. In time you will go on to gather or curate information on topics of interest to you and as a Content Curator share this with your connections. The next step as a Content Creator is where you promote content you have created yourself. Using Twitter is an ideal way to disseminate a wide range of content as not only will your followers see this, potentially they will retweet your posts and share with their followers.

I am now at the stage where I have been and continue to be a Content Supporter, Content Curator and Content Creator. I’m not sure I can separate myself as having just one of these roles. This I think is a good thing, as whilst being a Content Creator I can promote blog posts such as this, I think it is very important to support others in the work they create. Here I adopt the role of Content Curator or Content Supporter where I comment upon and share content others have produced.


Bonnie goes on to give examples of thin and thick Tweets

Tweeting: the thick and the thin of it 

Thin Tweets

  • Content lacks depth or context
  • Tweet about what’s happening now
  • Share links without comments
  • Text only tweets
  • Twitter feed is all about you – lacks reTweets, replies, and engagement
  • Twitter feed should be all about your audience, network, and connections

Thick Tweets

  • Tweet about what’s happening now, tag colleagues, and use hashtags
  • Include personal comments about why content interests you
  • Add good quality graphics
  • Actively reply to tweets
  • Engage your network by asking questions

When tweeting it is important to get a balance. A mix of thin and thick Tweets is fine. The brevity of Twitter and accessibility through mobile devices, means that we can quickly share succinct messages. Thick Tweets are clearly richer where a dialogue ensues, but this can be initiated from a thin Tweet. Adding images does enhance a Tweet as it stands out in the timeline, so has the potential to catch people’s attention as they skim through the Tweets they can see. Retweeting and acknowledging contributions made by others is not only good practice, it is also good etiquette.

Bonnie goes on to provides a number of screenshot examples of both thick and thin Tweets, so do look through her slide deck at the top of this post. Looking at Tweets through this lens has certainly got me thinking and I hope it has for you too. Thank you Bonnie!


Posted in Twitter | 2 Comments

Nettiquette and appropriate use of Web 2.0


Definitions of netiquette

  • The informal code of behaviour on the internet
  • Rules about the proper and polite way to communicate with other people when you are using the Internet
  • The etiquette of the Internet; polite online behavior
  • A breach of netiquette might include writing an e-mail message in all capital letters because it looks like you are shouting
  • Netiquette or good etiquette on the net now includes a wide variety of online spaces such as email, discussion boards, social networks, chat and texts

Advice: Think before you post

Rules of netiquette

The infographic below was created by Touro College’s Online Education Department and provides a useful list of 15 rules relating to netiquette for online discussion boards. The rules can also be applied to any social networking site or other online communication forum.

Netiquette in Online Discussion Boards infographic

Please include this attribution to the Online Education Blog of Touro College with this graphic.

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12 simple tips to get started on Twitter

Twitter logo

1 – Your Username

  • Choose a name that is easy for others to remember and use
  • Don’t make it too long as this will eat into the 140 characters if others retweet your posts

2 – Your Avatar

  • Don’t be an egghead….
    add a photo

3 – Your Bio

  • This your opportunity to create a first impression, make it a good one
  • Include a link to your blog or website within your bio

4 – Tweet regularly

By all means listen and learn, but then join in and contribute:

  • Post useful links
  • Add comments to other people’s posts
  • Ask questions

5 – Respond

  • Don’t just focus on your own tweets, read and respond to others questions and comments
  • Twitter is social so check and reply to your direct messages (DMs) and mentions from others
  • Thank others for retweeting your own posts

6 – Retweet

  • Retweet useful posts to share with your followers
  • Show your appreciation to the people you follow and acknowledge you have found it useful – they will reciprocate

7 – Consider the length

  • Don’t always use all of the 140 characters – allow space so that others can retweet your full post (which will include your username) and add a comment

8- Consider the content

  • Share tweets and information that show your expertise in your chosen field and of value to your followers
  • Engage in a dialogue: ask questions, share associated resources

9- Consider the tone

  • Be professional
  • Don’t use Twitter as a forum to vent and resist negative or sarcastic remarks
  • Have empathy and sensitivity

10 – Keep personal, personal

  • Use a DM (direct message) for personal messages meant for just one person or a selected group

11 – Getting organised

12 – Analyse link click-throughs


Is there anything you would add?

Twitter logo

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Call for papers: Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference #SocMedHe15

The inaugural Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference is to be held on 18th December 2015 at Sheffield Hallam University.  The call for papers has just gone out and closes Midday 3rd September 2015.

Full details can be found on the conference website

Do follow @SocMedHe on Twitter and updates via the conference hashtag #SocMedHE15

Below captures a snapshot from the conference page.

We are delighted to announce the inaugural Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference #SocMedHE15, a one day conference, with pre-conference dinner to be held at Sheffield Hallam University. #SocMedHE15 is about the use of social media for learning in Higher Education; it has been designed to create a forum for academics, their students, developers and strategic managers to consider the opportunities, challenges and the disruptive influence of social media for learning. The conference will be structured around three themes allowing us to explore the pedagogic possibilities of social media, as well as the strategic and operational challenges institutions face in supporting it.

The title of this year’s conference is:

“Finding Our Social Identity”

Conference aim
#SocMedHE15 will debate and examine our use of social media and its impact on the higher education learning landscape. Together, we will develop our understanding of good, sustainable practice by sharing accounts of emerging innovation in the pedagogic use of social media.

Teaching and learning in higher education is responding to the opportunities presented by social media, as its promise of increasing access and flexibility becomes clearer (HEA: ‘Conditions of flexibility’ 2014). Social media enables us to learn collectively by creating powerful, responsive Personal Learning Networks and social open learning environments (Dabbagh et al., 2012). It challenges us to understand and value the importance of openness and community in learning as we explore the rapidly developing phenomenon of MOOCs (Jisc, 2013). Social media is beginning to change the identity of higher education.

Although this newly forming landscape can be fascinating and rewarding, the challenge of developing digital capability (JISC) and confidence confronts us as institutions, teachers and students. Our understandings of employability and social and professional responsibility continuously change, making it difficult to put sustainable support and development strategies in place (Digital Skills Select Committee, 2015). The conference themes allow us to investigate the disruptive nature of social media; share our practice in the use of social media for networked, social and active learning, and to consider some of the challenges of being responsive, supportive and open for change. The conference keynote from Eric Stoller, will challenge and inspire us to review social media in our context, explore the opportunities of extending our networks for learning, and understand how we as universities need to respond to the Social Age.

Key dates for your diary:

  • Call for participation closes Midday 3rd September 2015
  • Early bird registration will open in early September 2015
  • Standard registration will open 2nd November 2015

Visit the conference website for more information


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Curating tweets using Storify #SHULT15

Storify logoStorify is a great way to bring together tweets at an event where participants have included a dedicated hashtag. These can be searched for within Storify and embedded into the story you create.

Here is an example from a previous Learning and Teaching Conference. The event hashtag assigned was #ACES2012. Delegates who chose to tweet about the event included this hashtag in their tweets. Continue reading

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Tips for tweeting at conferences

Tweeting at conferences

Twitter is a micro blogging tool that enables users to share short succinct messages, links and multimedia. When used at conferences, live-tweeting by delegates is a way to publicly share information about the event. Typically tweets may include:

  • quotes from the speakers
  • photos of visual slides or where the font is large enough to be snapped clearly
  • links to papers, books, websites or other resources shared by the speakers and delegates
  • discussion about the presentations/workshops attended

Continue reading

Posted in Twitter | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Guidance for students on using social media effectively

social media guidance leaflets

Sheffield Hallam University

Social media is a constantly evolving landscape of tools and functionality that affects the way that most of us live, learn and work. Regardless of how you currently use (or don’t use) it, as an educator or as a student and developing professional, it is important to understand how social media can impact on your learning, your current or future professional identity and your employability.

At Sheffield Hallam University we have developed a collection of resources which have been designed to help you take as much control as possible of social media and your digital identity, and to find out how you can use it to support you. As a student your use of social media may be to support your studies and improve your employability. As an educator it may be to develop your online presence, and to share your research and publications.

Using social media for learning – Make social media work for you and stand out from the crowd by identifying and harnessing opportunities.

Managing your digital footprint – Four ways to stop your social media past damaging your real-life future; simple steps to clean up and manage your social media identity.

How to use social media responsibly – How your personal use of social media relates to the University’s rules and regulations; what is inappropriate, and the associated consequences

Using social media to enhance your employability – Outlining the ways in which social media can improve your employability and develop a satisfying career.

Staying safe online – your guide to IT security – Advice on avoiding identity theft and online fraud; staying safe and protecting your equipment and information.

Permission to re-use

The leaflets have been given a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

This means you are free to:
Share – copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt – remix, transform, and build upon the material.

Posted in Tips | Tagged | 1 Comment

The growing social media landscape: an updated glossary

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3

Social Media not only keeps on growing but also changing. New vocabulary and new sites emerge and as sites lose popularity they disappear are quietly forgotten. The Conversation Prism above created by Brian Solis and JESS3 has gone through a number of iterations since its conception in 2008. This latest version is a visual map of the social media landscape. It’s an ongoing study in digital ethnography that tracks dominant and promising social networks and organizes them by how they’re used in everyday life. (The full size version can be found here.)

Below is a collection of social media terms  and a short explanation for each.

An [updated] A-Z Social Media Glossary

A A social networking site and customisable personal homepage. A social networking site for academics/researchers

App: An application that performs a specific function on your mobile device, allowing users to easily access social media platforms and more on smartphones and tablets.

Avatar: An image and/or user name that represents a person within social networks and forums.

Analytics/Insights: A collection of social media activity data (i.e. reach, impressions, engagement, etc.) that is used to understand and improve performance.


Blog: Is used as a noun or a verb, a blog is a frequently updated website or page to which an individual or organization posts opinions, articles and more, Tto blog refers to the act of producing new material for a blog.

Blogger: A free blogging platform owned by Google that allows individuals and companies to host and publish a blog.

Board: A Pinterest grouping feature that allows users to organize pinned content by theme.


Campaign: The planning, implementing, and measuring of marketing techniques used on social networks to achieve a defined goal.

Check In: A feature on some social networks that allows a person to share his or her current location to the social community.

Circles: A Google+ feature that allows users to cluster followers into specific groups for more targeted messaging.

Comment: A public response or reaction to a blog post, status update or any other piece of content on social media.

Community: A Google+ feature where users can create communities to share information around a specific theme.

Connection: A person that is part of a LinkedIn user’s professional network. Connections on LinkedIn are comparable to Facebook friends..

Content: Valuable, shareable online material including text, photos, videos, audio, etc.

Content Management System (CMS): A platform designed to enable non-technical users to manage website or blog content without having programming knowledge.

Cover Photo: The 851×315 pixel image found at the top of a Facebook page or profile. Cover photos for businesses are used for branding, campaign messaging and more.

Creative Commons: is a not-for-profit organization and licensing system that offers creators the ability to fine-tune their copyright, spelling out the ways in which others may use their works.

Crowdfunding: This refers to the act of soliciting donations or investments from online users outside your organization who collectively raise money to support a cause or to underwrite a project.

Crowdsourcing: This refers to the act of soliciting content, ideas or skills from online users outside your organization who collectively help you solve a problem.


Dashboard: An administrative interface that allows users to monitor and measure social network activity and performance.

Digg: Is a social news website that allows members to submit and vote for articles.

Diigo: A social bookmarking site where users can share annoted and tagged lists of saved favourites.

Direct Message: A private message on Twitter or Instagram between two users. Often abbreviated as ‘DM’.


Embed: The act of adding code from one website or blog to another so that social media content, such as a YouTube video, can be displayed while it’s being hosted on another platform.

Engagement: The amount of activity social media content receives including ‘Likes’, retweets, shares and comments.

Event: A Facebook feature that allows users to invite others to upcoming occasions, or share important life milestones with friends.


Facebook: Currently the largest social network in the world.

Facebook Advertising: A form of paid amplification on Facebook to help users expand post reach and engagement with an intended audience. Facebook advertising allows for audience targeting by geography, interest and other granular details.

Fan: A Facebook user that follows or ‘Likes’ a business or brand page.

Favourite: An action that represents a Twitter user’s approval and favourability of a tweet or piece of content on Twitter.

Feed: A stream of the latest social media and other content from select channels on a website or blog, powered by an aggregator.

Filter: An Instagram tool which allows a user to adjust the tone and look of a photo.

Flickr: A photo sharing site.

Follower: A Twitter user who has subscribed to another user’s tweets. Similar to ‘Like’ or ‘Friend’ on Facebook.

Follow Friday: This is a trend using the hashtag #ff every Friday on Twitter. Users select other usernames and tweet them with #ff in their post, meaning they recommend following those Twitter users.

Forum: An online site which is used for discussion.

Foursquare: A social network that helps users find the perfect places to go with friends with a focus on the best food, nightlife, and entertainment in your area.

Freemium:  is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.

Friend: A mutually agreed upon connection between two Facebook users.


Geotagging/Geolocation: The process of adding the exact geographic location of a user in social media updates including photos, videos, etc. This can be disabled by a user’s device privacy settings.

Goodreads: Lets users track and rate books and network with other readers.

Google+: Google’s social network that promotes branding, social reviews and search visibility. Businesses can share photos, contact information and more which will appear in Google’s local search engine results.

Group:  An exclusive social space that allows select individuals to share updates, photos and more with each other.


Handle: The user name that a Twitter user chooses to represent themselves. To communicate with or tweet someone, the update must include the @ symbol followed by the user’s handle.

Hangout: A Google+ feature that allows a select group of users to have conversations and share content with each other.

Hashtag: A searchable, interactive feature that allows users to relate a status update or photo upload to a broader topic, using the “#” symbol followed by a keyword.

HootSuite: Social media management tool that helps brands streamline and schedule content across major social networks.


Inbound Marketing: A permission-based marketing strategy focused on the process of attracting a target audience, converting and closing leads, and delighting customers. Social media is a common inbound marketing channel.

Instagram: A photo sharing application and social media network that allows users to take photos, apply filters, and share the photos instantly on Instagram and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.


Klout: This is a measure of social influence. The service allows users to connect various social accounts such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc., and then provides every user with his or her Klout score.


Like: An action on Facebook and some other social networks that allows users to show approval of a status update or other content.

Link Building: Generating links to your site or blog from social media platforms and other websites – and vice versa – with the hopes of improving search engine ranking.

LinkedIn: A business-oriented social media channel mainly used for professional networking. Users are able to post job experience and skills, make personal and professional connections, search for careers and more.

LinkedIn Ads: A self-service advertising solution on LinkedIn that allows users to create and place ads within

List: A select group of Twitter users organized by theme or interest. Users can develop original lists to follow, or subscribe to lists established by others.


Mention: The act of referencing a user in a social media post, notifying the mentioned person or business of your update.

Modified tweet: Re-posting another user’s tweet with minor modification to share with your Twitter followers.

Message: A private communication between two or more users on Facebook.

Myspace: An online social network that primarily caters to artists and bands. The platform provides extensive profile customization capabilities.


Network: A user’s social media connections, which includes those that are connected to your friends and followers.

News Feed: A complete, chronological feed of status updates from friends and fanned pages on the homepage of Facebook or another social network. A news feed also includes sponsored content.

Notification: A notice informing users of pertinent social media activity.


Open Graph:  Functionality that supports the integration between Facebook and other websites by allowing post elements to become rich ‘graph’ objects.  Site owners can integrate open graph tags in images, titles and descriptions and more to better assure content is rendered properly when shared.


Page: A Facebook profile for a business, brand or product. Facebook users can ‘Like’ these pages to receive status updates, but cannot become ‘friends’ as with personal profiles

Periscope: Twitter’s social media network that features live-streaming video.

Pin: A piece of content collected and shared by Pinterest users.

Pinterest: A pin board-style social network where users can share content and create theme-based collections.

Platform: A framework or content management system that runs software and presents information. For example, Facebook is a popular platform for sharing social content and WordPress is a popular platform for blogs.

Podcast: A digital audio file made available for download which you may subscribe to. A podcast is often available as a series of installments or in a series.

Post: Is where a user shares information which may include text, links and multimedia

Profile: A social network user’s personal, customisable page used to share and store updates, photos, videos, personal information etc.

Promoted Tweets: Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider, more targeted group of users to spark engagement.

Protected Tweets: Users choose to add this setting and require manual approval of each and every person who may view their Tweets.


Quora: A social media network where its users ask, answer, edit and organise questions.


Reach: The total number of people who saw a certain post due to both organic updates and paid promotion.

Repin: Sharing another Pinterest user’s pin.

Reply: Replying directly to a tweet on Twitter which only the people following you and the person you’re replaying to can view.

ResearchGate: A social network connecting researchers and a forum to share publications and engage in discussions.

Retweet: Re-posting another user’s tweet to share with your Twitter followers.


Scheduling: Planning social media updates and content ahead of time.

Second Life: An online virtual world where users are called ‘residents’ and interact with each other through avatars. Residents can meet other residents, socialise, participate in activities, create and trade virtual property and services with one another, and travel throughout the virtual world.

Sentiment Analysis: An attempt to understand how an audience feels (positive or negative sentiment) about a brand, company, or product based on data collected from social media.

SEO: The process of following best practices to improve the ranking of your websites and social media content in non-paid/sponsored search results.

Share: The act of posting a status, link or image from a friend or business’ page, or directly from the internet to share with your friends or followers.

Skype: A free program that allows for text, audio, and video chats between users.

SlideShare: A social network owned by LinkedIn for sharing presentations and documents. Users can favorite and embed presentations as well as share them on other social networks such as their own LinkedIn profile, Twitter and Facebook.

Snapchat: A mobile messaging app allowing users to send photos or 1-10 second videos to selected friends. The content then disappears from the screen unless the user takes a screenshot or becomes a Snapchat story which is posted for 24 hours.

Social Bookmarking. A method by which users locate, store, organise, share and manage bookmarks of Web pages without being tied to a particular device.

Social Capital: Refers to the good will and positive reputation that flows to a person through his or her relationships with others in social networks.

Social Media: Media designed to let users post content and communicate with others online through highly accessible and scalable online publishing techniques.

Social Media Marketing: A form of internet marketing utilizing the unique attributes of various social networking sites to increase brand exposure, communicate with consumers, as well as establish and maintain relationships.

Social Media Monitoring: A process of monitoring and responding to mentions related to a business that occur in social media.

Social Networking: The act of participating in an online community.

Social Media ROI: A measurement of the effectiveness of an organisation’s investment in social media.

Sponsored/Promoted Content: Paid advertisements targeted toward specific audiences based on demographics to increase the reach and relevancy of a particular post.

Status: Content shared by a social network user to express thoughts, show activities, disclose his or her location, tag friends and more.

Swarm: A social networking site that allows friends to check in to a physical location on their mobile device, share locations, and connect with others in the same place.


Tab: Separate sections within a Facebook page that organize content by updates, personal information, friends, photos, videos, etc.

Tag: To identify or mention an individual user in a photo or status update, which subsequently generates a link to the tagged user’s profile.

Targeting: Defining the audience of a social media update based the content and context to increase relevancy.

Thread: A strand of messages which represent a conversation or part of a conversation.

Throwback Thursday: A weekly social media tradition where every Thursday users post either a really old photograph of themselves with the hashtag #tbt.

Timeline: Facebook’s profile layout that displays a user’s collection of share content. Originally called a Facebook ‘wall’.

Trend: A topic or event which is currently popular and much discussed online. Trends are often signified by frequently used hashtags.

Tumblr: A microblogging platform and social networking site owned by Yahoo! Inc. that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.

Tweet: A Twitter status update that can be no more than 140 characters.

Twitter: A popular social network that lets members post short, timely updates.


Unfriend: To remove someone from your Facebook contact list.

User Generated Content: Media that has been created and published by the user.


Videoblog: Also called a vlog, is simply a blog that contains video entries.

Vimeo: A video-sharing platform where users can upload videos and/or watch other user’s videos.

Vine: A mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to post and share short videos (up to 6 seconds) that play in a continuous loop.

Viral: A piece of content that is organically, rapidly and widely shared online.


Web Analytics: The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding who your visitors are and optimizing your website.

Webinar:  Short for web seminar. A live meeting or presentation over the Internet where viewers can ask questions by voice or in the chat.

Whatsapp: An instant messaging app where users can share text messages, images, audio and video.

Wiki: A collaborative website that can be directly edited by anyone with access to it.

WordPress: A free blogging platform that allows individuals and companies to host and publish a blog.


Yammer: A freemium enterprise social networking service that allows users within a company to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Yik  Yak: A social media smartphone app that allows users to anonymously create and view “Yaks” within a 10 mile radius.

YouTube: A video-sharing platform owned by Google where users can upload videos and/or watch other user’s videos.


+1: A Google+ feature in which users can show approval for posts. Similar to ‘Like’ on Facebook.


Disclosure: This post was inspired by the following blog posts with further additions of my own.

Hootsuite: Social Media Glossary

Zag Interactive: Social Media Glossary

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