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Five terms that we need to rethink

January 19, 2014

There are five terms that need some rethinking. They were once good terms, now, not so much. In no particular order:

1. Website.

When it first came into being, the word website meant something with a .com. Then it meant .org for non-profits. Then .net, .ca (Canada), (UK), etc. These were sites on the web with a root URL. Fast forward, and a website is where you’re reading this post.

Websites are Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Klout…etc. For a brand, business, or person, they make up your digital presence (to find your digital presence, Google yourself.)

In higher ed, the website is Wikipedia, Freebase, College Confidential, Rate my Professor, the .edu, the YouTube channel – the list goes on. Know them, nurture them, and feed them when appropriate. For example, if Rate My Professor has faculty reviews of people no longer at your school, fix it. If Yelp offers bad reviews, well…

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

The role of a search engine is to help consumers (people) find content (websites) relevant to their search term. Google et al, doesn’t give a monkey’s about your home page. If someone searches [School] English Department, the search engine will land the person onto the department page. In the search engine brain, every relevant page is a landing page. Top down doesn’t work for them.

Search for yourself and your business weekly. Chances are good that half or more of your traffic is coming from a search engine, you should make sure it looks good and says what you want it to say (code for Search Engine Optimized.)

3. Social networking

TwitterFacebookLinkedIn UniversityGoogle+,  Delicious,  YouTubeFlickrPinterestLinkedInFourSquareKloutLivestream.


LinkedIn (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

Which one is a social network, which one is a website, which one or ones are part of your digital presence?

Quick talking about social media, social networking, and talk about engagement in your digital presence. I think you should look to the stars, but look wherever you want, just quit thinking it is separate from your ‘website’.

All websites are measured on how people click on them. A website owned by Facebook and operated by you should be measured in that way.

4. Blog.

Blog is maybe the ugliest word I know. Maybe its the way the b is almost an upside down g, or maybe is the way we say it, all exhaling. It sounds like we’re burping. Or maybe it is the notion that bloggers from the blogosphere do it from their parent’s basement.

Who cares? Lets move on and call it a continually updated website. Search engines like fresh content. Blog platforms are simple intuitive ways to update a website on a regular basis.

5. Mobile.

Quick, what is the USP of a laptop? You can easily take it with you. It is mobile. Or more specifically, you’re mobile and carrying a computer. Is an iPad a mobile device? Is an iPod? What about a 3 pound macbook air?

Who cares? The webpages listed in #3 are working hard to make themselves accessible to all devices. You should copy them.

So there you have it, my terms that mean something different and/or have meaning. What term do you think people misuse or don’t fully talk about?

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