The Official Social Media and Mobile Glossary of 2010

Top 20 Labels, Buzzwords to Describe Our Curious Stampede to the Social-Media and Mobile Future

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Pete Blackshaw
Pete Blackshaw
My, how the digital times are a-changin'. We're downsizing to small screens, friending the world, thinking in 140 characters and downloading -- dare I say -- "billions and billions" of apps designed to make everything we do simpler, faster and more convenient (well, we think).

And so, only days into 2010, it seems fitting to take a big look over my shoulder (and even into the mirror) and affix labels and buzzwords to our curious stampede to the social media and mobile future. Here's my top 20. Miss anything? Leave comments or tweet me (@pblackshaw).

SPURNED MEDIA: Just like it sounds, earned media that goes horribly negative, invades otherwise pristine search results or bleeds into traditional media. Bad customer service is a top driver of "spurned media."

MOBILENECKING: The alarming tendency to have our necks titled down or shifted sideways -- ever glued to our mobile device. This anywhere, anyplace epidemic is increasingly common in cars, airplanes and crosswalks. Closely related to term "Eyevoidance," where no one looks at anyone anymore.

JACK RIPPER: The device warriors who hog outlets anywhere they can find them -- in the airport, via the USB port of a colleague's computer, even a restaurant reservation desk. They get a charge from a charge.

WIKI WART: A bad piece of news or an embarrassing brand episode (e.g., an activist protest or a social-media campaign that backfired) that just won't go away in a brand's Wikipedia description. PR pros often give false hope to brands of removing the warts, but relentless Wikipedia editors put them right back.

OEDIPOST COMPLEX: The curious neurosis that compels folks to sleep with their Blackberry or iPhone. The afflicted can't stop checking -- even in late hours -- for responses to tweets or blog and Facebook posts.

DECIPROCITY: When everything you post actually decreases your friend and follower count. Even when you friend or follow others, the rules of reciprocity just don't apply. Soul searching is typically in order here.

FAUX POST: When you are talking to someone on the phone and they notice an unrelated tweet or Facebook status update from you showing up in real-time. Bad form -- don't do it. (Trust me!)

APPFUSION: An inevitable outcome of app overload. Very common among iPhone users who download so many apps they can't find their address book. Appfusion can lead to as many problems as the apps solve.

BRAND TEASE: A consumer who "friends" or "fans" a brand, only to never return for a second date. Brands feed the cycle by forgetting to court the consumer with engaging, interesting or sustaining content or value.

CONVERSATIONAL DIVIDE: The huge gap between what marketers preach about social-media "conversations" and the brand's actual customer-service or call-center operations. Stems from cost vs. profit-center tension.

SHELF STORM: When organic search results suddenly go haywire, or shift to the dark side, thanks to the link-love logic of social media. Consider Tiger Woods' search-result shift from 95% positive to 60% hostile (in a matter of days). Or how brands with highly publicized service failures quickly acquire shelf-venom.

APPTOSTERONE: The mojo that fuels intense "mine's bigger/better" conversation about mobile apps. "Dude, you got Bump, but I've got FourSquare." Marketing techies are loaded with Apptosterone.

BUCK SUCKED: The condition that typically slaps you in the face when reading your credit card bill and you see dozens of "dollar" charges for music and "what the heck" iPhone or mobile apps. Expect much more of this as it gets worlds easier and more convenient to pay for online content. (Good news for publishers!)

TRUST LAPSE: The frighteningly popular tendency we have to "open up" our friend network to a cool, unknown social-media service or app. Ego, vanity and impatience often collide with rationality here.

RUNWAY REBEL: That guy (or gal) who keeps the "electronic device" going well past the airline warnings and prohibitions. We see them everywhere, and no one is innocent here.

BLOG DODGER: Someone who has abandoned his or her blog for Twitter or some other lower-hassle social-media substitute. This was big in 2009, and we'll likely see much more of it in 2010.

QUAD STALKERS: Folks from your past who "friend" you (e.g., folks you marginally knew from the high-school quad) and who seem to comment on everything you post on Facebook. Mostly benign, but a tad curious.

TWEET-SHIFTING: Delaying or mixing Twitter posts so axe murderers don't know you're miles from home. Increasingly common as a spousal and family covenant among folks who travel with high frequency.

CURBCASTING: The almost unstoppable cacophony of loud voices barking all manner of silliness into the airwaves thanks to Bluetooth devices. You see this on every street corner and curb.

TWITSTOP: A bathroom detour from a meeting or conversation in order to check e-mail, Twitter or the latest and greatest via an app. (Swear on the Bible, I don't do this ... but I'm told lots of others do.)

DIGITAL DETOX: What we all need -- at least in doses. As we've learned, total digital immersion has side effects. Let's all pursue a roadmap for balance in 2010. (This is likely the topic of my next book, so send feedback.)

Pete Blackshaw is exec VP of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services and author of "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000" (DoubleDay). He is also chair of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus. His biweekly column looks at the relationship between marketing and customer service in the age of consumer control.
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