February 13, 2012

#03-011: Social Networking Jargon

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Note: This lesson and #03-012 were written in 2012. Social media is more popular--and more challenging--since then, but I think most of what you'll read here is still useful.

Get Ready: Do you use any social networking sites? If so, how many friends (fans, followers) do you have? Do you think that's a good number? Why or why not?

Keesha asks Sunny some questions in the Common Room of their dorm.

Keesha: Hey, Sunny, I heard you're a whiz at social networking.

Sunny: Well, I spend enough time at it; I ought to be good!

Keesha: So, can you answer a few questions?

Sunny: Sure!

Keesha: OK, first, what's an avatar?

Sunny: Oh, that's your "face" on a social networking site.

Keesha: You mean, a picture of my real face?

Sunny: Maybe, but a lot of people like to use the names and faces of cartoon characters or other cool personalities, like Spiderman or Yoda.

Keesha: Got it. Now, what's a tag?

Sunny: Oh, that's when someone includes your name in a post, or labels you in a picture. That way, you and others can find it easily.

Keesha: OK, but what's a post?

Sunny: Oh, that's just a short entry, or a picture, that people put on a social networking site.

Keesha: I see. Now, what's the difference between friend, fan, and follower?

Sunny: Ah, those mean the same thing, but different sites use different words.

Keesha: Like Weibo uses fan, right?

Sunny: Right. And friend and fan, which are really nouns, have now become verbs.

Keesha: So someone can say "please fan me" or "please be my fan."

Sunny: Exactly. And follow, of course, is the verb for someone who is a follower. OK, what else do you want to know?

Keesha: Well, what are the different ways to respond to a post?

Sunny: Well, you can comment on it. Or, some sites let you click a "Like" button. You can also forward it to your friends...

Keesha: Is that also called reposting?

Sunny: Yes, and a lot of other re- words, like re-pin or re-tweet.

Keesha: What else?

Sunny: You can bookmark a post to find it again.

Keesha: How does that work? I mean, I see a lot of posts on my site's main page. How would I bookmark just one?

Sunny: Uh-huh. That page is called a news feed, and you're right, it has a lot of posts. But each post has a unique address, called a permalink.

Keesha: For "permanent link"?

Sunny: Yes, and that's the one you bookmark.

Keesha: OK, what if I don't like a post?

Sunny: Just delete it!

Keesha: Cool. Now, I heard about something called trending.

Sunny: Yes, a "trending topic" is one that is very popular right now.

Keesha: For example?

Sunny: Ummm... when there's a big event, like the Olympics, a lot of people will be posting about that.

Keesha: So we'd say, "The Olympics are trending"?

Sunny: Right.

Keesha: Great! Thanks, Sunny!

Sunny: No problem!


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. avatar
  2. bookmark something
  3. comment
  4. delete something
  5. friend, fan, follower
  6. "Like" something
  7. news feed
  8. permalink
  9. post
  10. reposting
  11. tag
  12. trending
  13. uh-huh
  14. whiz

  1. mark something so you can easily find it again
  2. passing on what someone has posted to all of your friends
  3. get rid of something you don't want
  4. the place where you can always find a post
  5. a casual way to say "Yes."
  6. Someone who is very good at something
  7. include someone in a post so they will see it
  8. the place where you find your friends' new posts
  9. show someone that you approve of what they have posted
  10. a person you are connected with
  11. experiencing a lot of activity; being popular
  12. a response to what someone has posted
  13. a short statement, picture, etc. on a social networking site
  14. your "face" on the internet

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for February 13, 2012

This lesson received 219 visits on my old site between February, 2012, and July, 2021.

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. n; 2. a; 3. l; 4. c; 5. j; 6. i; 7. h; 8. d; 9. m; 10. b; 11. g; 12. k; 13. e; 14. f