Social Buzzword Bingo

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Just in time for the social holidays, Seersucker Social Media introduces social promotion, a powerful new social marketing tool for your social media toolbelt! Our advanced social intelligence and buzzword-compliant social functions will help you build social capital in your social networks—


I don't know about you, but I'm about done with prepending social to every word in the business vocabulary to "invent" a new, socially enhanced concept. A few years ago, Web 2.0 led a rush on 2.0 Jargon, and before long everybody was sick of it. All we need now is Social 2.0 to complete the cycle.

But that's just hype, and we can filter that. What's really bugging me is how the social buzzword generator is running roughshod over existing concepts—expropriating perfectly useful terms that had the temerity to get there first.

It all started with social marketing, meant as a more manageable contraction of social media marketing. The problem is that social marketing was an existing specialty, having nothing to do with social media. You could probably even make a case for social media social marketing, but I'll deny it if you tell anyone I said so.

I'm seeing more social takeovers lately, and to help you keep up, I'm collecting them here. Just to speed things along, I've taken the liberty of making up some that haven't shown up in the wild yet. See if you can tell them apart.

TermOriginal meaningSocial media buzzword
social (n.)see social function "I'm too hip to call it social media."

social capitalsomething about the strength of connections in social networks WPwhere Foursquare mayors go when they're promoted to governor

social functiona party with a dress codea business function with a social media makeover (or social media with a business makeover?)

social intelligence"the ability to understand and manage [people], to act wisely in human relations" WP"harnessing social media data to inform your business strategy" (Forrester)

social justice"the idea of creating an egalitarian society... based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognises the dignity of every human being" WP

when mean people lose Twitter followers
social marketingmarketing that supports desirable social outcomes, such as improving public health or education WP

social media marketing
social maturitylevel of social competence, self-help skills, and adaptive behavior (Vineland Social Maturity Scale )

progress toward implementing social [computing] technologies (Forrester)
social networka social structure made up of individuals or organizations WP

same thing, only on the web
social ordera set of social structures, institutions and practices which preserve 'normal' relations and behavior WP

a list of popular bloggers or tweeters
social promotionfailing a grade but advancing anyway WP

marketing promotion in social media
social unrestprotests, riotswhat happens when you spend all night on Facebook when you should be sleeping

social worka professional and academic discipline committed to the pursuit of social welfare and social change WP

reading RSS feeds and tweeting at work

Just remember, social x is not the same as social media x. We've been social a lot longer than we've had the Internet to mediate our connections.


Photo by greeblie.

Add to the list. You know you want to.

1 Comment

Oh thank goodness, you scared me with your first paragraph! :D

but why not :

social government (@JohnFMoore actually calls it "government 2.0" - get the full definition from him)

social workplace - work environment that fosters collective learning and collaboration

social religion - I'm not kidding.



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About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
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