Language and the New Social Web

(Note: I originally wrote this on Slack, as part of a thread about Micro.blog as a name.)

I know naming isn’t easy but I think I find it hard because M.b gets used for the company, individual blogs, the app and the timeline respectively in the following sentence (although arguably the second “Micro.blog” should be “microblog”):

“When I post to my Micro.blog hosted Micro.blog using Micro.blog it gets cross-posted to Micro.blog”

– Matthew Lindfield Seager (@matt17r), in the Indie Microblogging Slack

I think part of the issue here, especially if you’re going to compare to social media silos, is that they are not interested in differentiating these things… whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, whatever… they are simply interested in people not ever thinking about the technical side of things.

Meanwhile, Micro.blog fully embraces the technical side of things yet is also driven by a desire to make things as simple as possible.

As such, tbh, things aren’t cleanly and easily tucked into a nice little marketable pocket of jargon. If people don’t like the inevitable downsides of social media silos then they’re going to have to at least become aware of things like “blogs”, “posts”, “microblogs”, and so on.

That doesn’t mean people have to become experts or even especially comfortable with these concepts but they will need to acknowledge that there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer for posting and sharing things on the web. Maybe over time the language will get easier but I don’t think it’s going to be because the marketing improves; rather, it’s time for people on the web to become better citizens.

Mumblings @simonwoods

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