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Interweb into the Dictionary

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The Internet has contributed several new words to the revised Oxford Dictionary of English, which has been released today.

Social Media‘, Interweb and netbook have all joined culturally relevant words such as ‘quantitative easing’, vuvuzela and ‘chill pill’.

The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) is periodically updated, unlike the Oxford English Dictionary which maintains a bank of words which is continuously updated.  An update to the ODE therefore marks a milestone of common usage and cultural relevance.

With language surrounding technology changing so rapidly, it’s easy to fall behind with the latest jargon.  Fish.Net strives to speak in ‘plain English’, but here’s a guide to some of the words which have made the ODE!

  • Social Media
    The tools (Web sites, applications) used for online social networking.
  • Tweetup
    A group meeting arranged via social networking service Twitter.
  • Microblogging
    Making short blog entries, typically on Twitter.
  • Netbook
    Small laptop typically used for browsing the Web, email and light word processing.
  • Interweb
    Humourous term for the ‘Internet’ or ‘Web’.  Satirises the amount of technology jargon!
  • Paywall
    A restriction on Web sites whereby only paid subscribers can access content.
  • Viral
    Rapidly-spread news or promotion, typically via social networks and email.
  • Defriend
    To remove the status of ‘friend’ from an online acquaintance, typically in social network Facebook.  Opposite of ‘befriend’.
  • Dictionary attack
    An attempt to hack into an account by entering complete words as found in the dictionary as passwords.

Are you confused by jargon?  Do you know of any other technology words which are creeping into common parlance?  Let us know 🙂

Google introduces Real Time Search

Friday, December 11th, 2009

real-time-searchJust days after we reported on Google bringing its dictionary results in-house, the search behemoth has continued to roll out new features with its much-vaunted real time search results.

We have an insatiable demand for instant access for the latest news.  Search engines have not traditionally provided this – it has previously taken days, if not weeks, for search engines to catch up with what Web sites are publishing.

Rolling 24-hour news coverage provides journalistic real-time coverage.  Services such as Twitter and the now established network of blogs has led to a constant commentary about emerging trends and current affairs.  Indeed, it is that content be published so quickly by anyone that makes the Web so unique.

Search engines have taken tentative steps into meeting our demand for as-it-happens content with News and Blog search services.  Google has taken this further with its new Real Time Search results, which amalgamates news, blog and even Twitter tweets related to a search in an automatically updated ticker box.

As I write, the Copenhagen Climate Summit is big news.  A search for ‘copenhagen’ returns not just the usual mash of Wikipedia and News results, but also this scrolling box within the search results:

An example of Google's Real Time Search results

Real time search and your company

Google will evolve the way real-time search works over time – if it’s a hit with its users, it’s likely to become more prominent within search result pages.  The consequences of this could be far-reaching for brands.

Real time search means a higher profile for social network and news content.  Whilst brands could get away with scant monitoring of user-generated content in the past by simply dismissing it as a trend or insignificant, all of a sudden content about YOUR brand which you have little or no control over could now be broadcast on Google.

Monitoring and responding to social media content will become more important.  How you do this – reactively when content appears, or proactively by engaging in social media – will depend on your target audience and the culture within your company.  Fish.Net can advise on the most appropriate method for you – contact us to find out more.

Engaging in social media activity will become more attractive as a marketing option.  Many companies filed social media under “one to watch” as they found it difficult to justify the time cost and with a lack of clear success indicators.  By creating social media buzz, you will be able to generate and somewhat influence content others are posting about you.

Ensuring you publish time-sensitive content not just on your own Web site but also on Web sites seeding the real time search results is also important.  You may be able do this with your existing site content such as a blog or news section – contact Fish.Net to find out how you can maximise the visibility of this content.