February 16, 2012

#03-012: More Networking Jargon

color drawing of a messy desk ad laptop with numerous social media logos around it, including Facebook, Twitter, flickr, LinkedIn, GMail, Skype, and many more
Social networking "site"

Note: This lesson, like #03-011, was written in 2012. Although a lot of things have changed on the internet, lurkers still lurk, and memes are still fun!

Get Ready: Are you ever a "lurker"? Where do you "lurk"?

Keesha and Sunny meet again in the Common Room of their dorm.

Sunny: Hi, Keesh! How are you doing on the social networks?

Keesha: Oh, great, thanks! But ... um... would you mind if I asked a few more questions?

Sunny: Not at all! Fire away!

Keesha: OK, thanks. First, what's a meme?

Sunny: Wow! That's a tough one! It's one of those things that lots of people know, but no one can explain. Let me try.

Keesha: I'm all ears.

Sunny: Cool. The word was invented by British biologist Richard Dawkins...

Keesha: A biologist?

Sunny: Yes! In 1976 he wrote a book called The Selfish Gene, and in it he tried to explain how an idea would reproduce itself throughout a culture, similar to a gene.

Keesha: So a meme is an idea?

Sunny: Sort of. It's a little like a trend, or maybe a theme, that gets repeated over and over.

Keesha: Example?

Sunny: Umm... You know how a phrase will be introduced on a TV show, and then people repeat it?

Keesha: Oh! Like how Sheldon says "Bazinga!" after he tricks someone, and then others do it?

Sunny: Exactly! "Bazinga!" is a kind of meme.

Keesha: How about on the net?

Sunny: You know those pictures of cats that say things like "I Can Has Cheezburger?"

Keesha: The LOLcats! I love them!

Sunny: They're one of the best examples of a meme.

Keesha: OK, I think I've got that one. Now...

Sunny: Go easy on me!

Keesha: Relax! What's a lurker?

Sunny: Phew! An easy one! That's a person who sits and watches activity on line, but never joins in him- or herself. The lurker just "lurks" and watches others.

Keesha: I've done that sometimes.

Sunny: I think everyone has.

Keesha: But the word sounds kind of negative.

Sunny: Sure! Site owners do everything they can to get people to participate, since that creates more traffic. So they see lurkers as a bad thing. Plus, it can be kinda creepy.

Keesha: OK, got it. Thanks!


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

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. fire away
  2. go easy on me
  3. I'm all ears
  4. LOL
  5. LOLcats
  6. lurker
  7. meme
  8. phew
  9. traffic

  1. an old and popular meme
  2. someone who looks at social media but doesn't participate much
  3. an idea that gets repeated over and over
  4. the sound of air being blown out in relief
  5. Don't ask me a question that's too difficult
  6. an abbreviation for someone who is laughing out loud
  7. the number of people using a website. Higher traffic on a site usually means more money in advertising for the owner.
  8. I'm listening carefully
  9. go ahead

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for February 16, 2012

This lesson received 187 visits on my old site between February, 2012, and July, 2021.

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. i; 2. e; 3. h; 4. f; 5. a; 6. b; 7. c; 8. d; 9. g