Friday, June 18, 2010

Language of “Social” — Defining Five Key Social Technology Terms

This week, at the PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) 2010 Education Conference attendees were treated to a keynote presentation on Social Technology, by Scott Koslosky.  Scott, an accomplished business leader, is an expert on this subject.  His presentation, which offered a “Blueprint For Socially Augmented Events” was highly engaging, and thought provoking.

Social TechnologyMore than once, over the past year, I have tripped over my words when trying to have a conversation with someone about Social Technology.  The problem has not been understanding what to talk about, it has been knowing which words to use when discussing a certain part of this world.  Did I just completely confuse you?  Well, Let me explain…

You’ve all heard the terms Social Media, Social Networking, Social Relevancy and Social Technology.  You’ve probably even used the terms interchangeably, as I have,  in conversation.  Yet, the reality is they mean different things.   And… they all have a symmetrical relationship to one another.

Social Technology Terms Explained?

Early on, in his presentation, Scott spent a few moments providing some clarity regarding the meaning and context of various social terms.  Here are his thoughts:

Social Technology — is a blanket term referring to all technology with a social component.

Social Relevance — is your online reputation, whether that be personal or organizational.  These are your online credentials.  Examples of this are LinkedIn or the brand new “Unvarnished” community. (in beta stages currently)

Social Media — refers to using some form of technology to communicate messaging.  This could be video, pictures or audio files.  Examples are YouTube and Flikr, or Animoto.

Social Networking — is the term for technology used to connect, or network,  with other people.  Twitter and Facebook are classic examples.

Social Tasks — are taking a task and putting the word “social” in front of it.  Two examples of this are Social CRM and Social Recruiting.  On a high level this means you are utilizing social technology as a tool to help accomplish a particular task.

Scott believes that over time the word “social” will get dropped from all these terms, as they will become embedded in our culture and implied in everything we do.  Interesting thought.

By the way an archive of Scott’s webcast is available through PCMA.  I think you will find it fascinating!  For a copy of his slides you should contact Lori McKanna, tell her you read about Scott’s presentation on this blog and ask her to send you a link to his slide deck. It’s a large document so you will be sent a link to download it from the Internet. (Thanks to Jeff Hurt for these instructions)

Question:  How do you use these terms and the applications/technology that accompany them?  Does Scott Koslosky’s explanation resonate with you?  What would you add to the conversation.  Do tell!

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