Bloggers Guide To Social Media Jargon

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Because I've had a blog for a little over two years, I've spent a fair amount of time browsing Twitter, Tumblr, and probably hundreds of other blogs. I would venture to say that I am now pretty savvy when it comes to understanding the language people use in social media and on their blogs. Savvy, yes, fluent, no way. Not even close.

It seems there are new bits of jargon and acronyms for weird things that pop up every week. I often finding myself using Google to find out what these phrases, words and random letters mean. A lot of them are humorous or joking in nature, but to stay relevant in the digital age, it's important to understand them even if you don't use them.

To save you some time, I have listed some of the online jargon I've picked up, from the basic to the absurd. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a selection of highlights I thought would be both amusing and hopefully helpful!

Jargon & Acronyms for Bloggers & Social Media Users

Avatar: In internet speak, an avatar is a graphical or visual representation of you or your blog. On Twitter, your avatar is the square photo that appears next to your handle.

Blogroll: A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs or websites that the author of the blog regularly likes to read. Usually located on the side column of a blog homepage, a blogroll is most commonly installed through a widget.

FTW: For The Win. One might use this acronym to indicate their preference for something when compared to another, or just as a way of expressing their opinion that this person or thing “wins,” meaning they have done something great. For example, if you were to watch this video of Ryan Gosling breaking up a fight, you might post a link to the video on Twitter with the text, Ryan Gosling FTW.

Hashtag: A hashtag started as a way to make text within Twitter a click-able link, to help people find out if other people were talking about the same thing. The most popular ones often show up in your Twitter sidebar as “trending topics.” Hashtags have since evolved as a way to make jokes or to summarize one's thoughts. My personal favorites include #whitegirlproblems and #FF (Follow Friday).

IRL: In Real Life. Which means, you know, not on the internet.

Lurking: In internet terms, this means that you look around at Twitter, blogs, etc., but don't participate yourself – you just, lurk around.

Meme: This was one I had to look up on Wikipedia to grasp. Since I cannot really think of how to paraphrase, here is an exert from this page: “The idea may take the form of a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase, such as intentionally misspelling the word “more” as “moar” or “the” as “teh”. The meme may spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct email, news sources, or other web-based services. An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, parody, or by incorporating news accounts about itself. Internet memes can evolve and spread extremely rapidly, sometimes reaching world-wide popularity and vanishing within a few days.”

Pingback: A pingback is a notification letting you know that your blog (or website) has been referenced (or linked to) by another blog. Pingbacks usually include a short excerpt of the post containing the link.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization.

Trackback: This is another one I couldn't really define without help, so here is paraphrasing from Wikipedia: A trackback is one of three types of linkback methods for bloggers to request notification when somebody links to one of their posts. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to their articles

Trending Topic: Started on Twitter, these are popular words (often indicative of a larger subject, news piece, or a hashtag) that are being widely discussed on the internet. Other news sources and sites have started using this terminology to round up their most talked-about topics.

Widget: Widgets are used by blogging applications like WordPress, Blogger, OnSugar, etc., to enable bloggers to customize the appearance and content of their blogs without CSS, HTML or other coding knowledge. Widgets usually appear on the sidebar, or in the header or footer of a blog, and have a huge variety of capabilities. Some let you post your Twitter feed, some let you link to largers sites like Bloglovin' and IFB (natch).

Wiki: A Web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content. Examples include Wikipedia (obviously) and Foodista.


Did I forget any great acronyms or terms you just don't understand? Or better yet, ones you do understand that I should have included? Leave them in the comments with your definition!


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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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9 Responses

  1. blahblahbecky.co.uk

    Where was this post 2 years ago?! Amazingly concise but insightful, THANKS!

  2. Camille

    Still a bit of a newbie in twitter so this was a lot of help!
    Nice to note that some words are still in use.

  3. Myisha Marsh

    Great post… most I knew… some I’ve never seen ever! LOL I swear a new one launches everyday and just when I think I’ve caught up… I’m lost again!

  4. sandy

    Thank you, very helpful! What does “lens” mean, it was about sharing a lens, posting to a lens?

    Is it another word for post or blog? LOST

    • Salina

      Hi Sandy! A lens refers to Squidoo… you make a “lens”, kinda like a one page blog, on any given topic… I think you can have multiple lens’ on one account. 🙂

  5. Cate

    a meme is basically a recurring idea within the blogosphere. it becomes a meme by being reproduced and spread.