Socializing: Wikis, Blogs, Widgets, Oh My!

Like everything else today, your brand needs to be socialized properly to become the heatlhy, well-adjusted brand it ought to be. Navigating the social media landscape, however can be daunting. Here I have highlighted some common terms & technologies associated with social media and Web 2.0:

Terms & Technologies

User-generated content- Content (pictures, videos, text) posted to a website that is not posted or controlled by the site publisher/administrator, but by individual users of the site.

Blog- A blog is a simple publishing tool that allows for instantaneous publishing to the internet. Blogs allow for users to post reply comments to each entry. Because every entry in a single blog is indexed as an individual page by search engines, blogs can help organically increase SEO.

Widgets- A widget is an embedable chunk of code that links to an external site that may be installed by end-users on personal blogs, social network profiles, or other web sites.

RSS Feed
- RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. XML files allow syndication of content to be aggregated through search engine readers and other feed readers such as FeedBurner.

Podcasts- Syndication of mp3 or video files through RSS/XML feeds. Podcasts can be downloaded to a user’s iTunes or desktop.

- Groups are the second generation forum/message boards. Most social networking sites have “groups” that multiple users join to discuss issues and share group related content (photos, videos).

Tags, Tagging & Tagclouds- A tag is a keyword applied by the end user for the purpose of organization. Tagging is the act of adding tags to content. Tagclouds are modules that aggregate tags within a site, and displays these tags in varying font size to indicate popularity. Usually a tagcloud appears on a landing page or may be on a separate page entirely.
Implementing tagging into a site is important for gathering search data, gaining insight into user behavior, organization within the site, and for SMO.

Folksonomy- Folksonomy refers to information organization based on tags. Its "organization by the masses." The name is derived from “taxonomy” which is an hierarchical organizational scheme.

Social Bookmarking & Link Sharing- Bookmarks are URL’s which are saved to a browser or to a bookmarking site such as del.icio.us or StumbleUpon.com. These kinds of social sites allow users to save URL’s (links) in an individual account, and then share their saved links with other users. Most sites also provide RSS feeds to users’ accounts so that other users may subscribe to a person’s feeds, receiving real time updates each time that person saves another link to the account.

Search Engine Optimization- (SEO) A site’s search engine rank is determined by the content and structure of the site itself. Optimization of the site is implemented in the coding of the site. A site’s rank also increases with the number of other pages that link to it. Google’s PageRank technology uses an algorithm which determines a site’s rank based on inbound links.

Other Technologies

- A wiki is a collaborative website which can be directly edited by anyone with access to it.

- A “blidget” is a live feed of blog posts in widget form.

Mashup- A mashup is a website or application that combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience (by embedding widgets, for example).

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