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Top 20 Social Media Buzzwords of 2010 – diyD Edition

January 13, 2010

I’m a fan of plain english. Calling a spade a spade and what have you. As such, I tend to react violently to cutesy bullshit marketing terms. So when I saw this list of 20 Social Media Buzzwords for 2010, I was immediately reminded that my gag reflex does, indeed, still function.

Now…it’s easy to point and laugh at this particular brand of stupidity. But as Joe Jaffe says, that’s just perpetuating the status quo. So in the interest of being part of the solution, I’m going to go through the list, item by item, and offer plain, unadorned alternatives. Or in some cases where we don’t need a word because the behavior described is so random and pointless, pointing and laughing.

Let’s begin, shall we?

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.”

Otherwise known as…drumroll…bad PR. Or bad press.

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.

Not paying attention or, as I prefer, “lack of situational awareness”. Not at all related to the bullshit term “Eyevoidance”, which is more akin to developing a temporary fascination with the elevator buttons or urinal or whatever to avoid awkward and forced social interaction.

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.

Commonly known as a “selfish asshole” or “dickhole” depending on regional dialect. Unless the person in question is working on a Sony VAIO, in which case they probably need the constant stream of electricity because the battery life is crap.

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.

Bad PR or bad press.

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.

How the hell are you supposed to respond to Twitter if you’re asleep?

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.

To be known as being 1) boring 2) annoying or 3) a spammy whore.

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!)

A sign that you are an inconsiderate asshole, or talking to one. And if they notice your unrelated tweet in real-time, they’re screwing around on Twitter, too. Pot, meet kettle.

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.

Oh, like CONfusion. I get it. Hah. If only the iPhone had the functionality to let you SEARCH for what you are LOOKING FOR. Oh, wait…

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.

Also called a “consumer”. Particularly if your brand is “focused on selling its own shit instead of providing worthwhile interaction”.

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.

Okay, I’ll own up. This one’s not so bad. But what we’re really getting at here is the massive difference between talking about something and actually executing on it.

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.

This has nothing to do with shelving. Please continue using already established terms of “shitstorm” or “clusterfuck”.

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.

Also called “oneupsmanship”. No different from all other forms of material, um, compensation.

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!)

Buck sucked? I have no words…

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.

Passive-aggressive form of oneupsmanship.

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.

Also known as a “person”.

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.

Also known as a “lazy person”. Though personally I’ve seen blogging making a rebound lately. Right tool for the job, people.

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.

I have an idea. Let’s describe every possible niche behavior with some cutesy bullshit term and call it a buzzword.

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.

Common sense or, depending to the degree, paranoia.

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.

Not in Austin. The cacophony of voices on street corners here usually come from crazy homeless people and Greenpeace solicitors. But there is a term for people who talk on bluetooth headsets in public. That term is douchebag.

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.)

Also called discretion or consideration. If you can’t keep it in your pants, you may as well excuse yourself and go off somewhere private before you play with it.

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.)

Also known somewhat less bullshitishly as “unplugging”.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2010 3:15 pm

    I didn’t realize just how horrible these buzzwords could be. I thought you were gagging at real, honest buzzwords like ‘synergy’, ‘high-impact’, et cetera… not bullshit, made-up terms.


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