media update’s Jenna Cook takes you through the 10 digital media terms that should be a part of your vocabulary.

Let’s jump into the 10 terms you need to know:

1. Algorithm

An algorithm is a set of logical rules followed by a computer program to complete a certain task. These tasks can range from determining insights of online data to altering content social media users see on their newsfeeds.

Used in conversation: “Did you see? Facebook made changes to its algorithm – again.”
Now that you know what an algorithm is, find out Why algorithms matter.

2. App

An app – short for application – is a software program that can run alongside another service. The most common kind of apps for journalists range from ones that allow you to automatically transcribe interviews, such as Happy Scribe, to apps that directly link freelance writers to freelance editors, such as HackPack.

Used in conversation: “Hey Siri, download the newest office planner app – I need to update my schedule.”

3. Civilian journalism

Civilian journalism is when members of the public (as opposed to professional journalists) take it upon themselves to collect and report news. Civilian journalists usually report about events that directly impact them as a way to get support or expose issues.

Used in conversation: "Did you hear about the #BlackLivesMatter movement? That was a great showcase of civilian journalism.”

4. Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO – is when you fine-tune your website’s content in order to increase visibility on search engines. It's done by choosing main keywords and incorporating them into your copy.

Used in conversation: "We need to adjust our content if we want to increase our SEO."
Improve your website content with these 15 Tips to whip your content into SEO shape.

5. Embed

Embed is a term that refers to placing a specific piece of content, such as a song or a video, from one web page onto another. It is done by using an embed code, usually HTML or Javascript code, that users can simply copy and paste into content, allowing users to view the content without having to leave the page.

Used in a conversation: “Don’t forget to embed the image or else it won’t upload with the rest of the article.”

6. Paywalls

A paywall is an addition to websites that requires users to pay a fee in order to access content. They are becoming more and more popular on sites that publish journalistic articles.

Used in conversation: "Did you hear, Conde Nast is going to put all their publications behind paywalls."
Are paywalls the future of media? Find out in our article.

7. Mash-up

A mash-up is the collaboration of content from multiple online sources. An example of this would be if a publishing house includes a Google map on their website. The website uses its own content while also including content from Google.

Used in conversation: “Should we consider creating a mashup with the app store?”

8. Metadata

Metadata is, quite simply, data based on data. It’s no secret that the Internet is host to A LOT of information – metadata is the best way to organise all of it into more manageable and understandable chunks.

For example, if you're looking for an article written by a specific author, metadata will have categorised this author (along with all their work) by name. Once the information has been located, all the relevant results will be available to you. Think Google search engine.

Used in conversation: “I think we should use metadata to explain our online information.”

9. Monetisation

Monetisation is what happens when journalists take their writing, editing and reporting skills and turn it into a stream of revenue. They can do this by incorporating paywalls onto their publishing sites or encouraging paying subscribers to their content.

Used in conversation: “We need to look at how we can monetise our site.”

10. Platform

A platform is any software that applications are built on. For example, any online blogging programs that allow users to create and publish their own content acts as a platform.

Used in conversation: “Social media platforms are becoming more and more popular.”

Are there any digital media terms you didn’t see here? Let us know in the comments section below.

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In journalism, your name is everything. While it takes a long time to build it up in the industry, it can break down in an instant. But don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you put your best foot forward. Check out The beginner's guide to making a name for yourself in the journalism industry.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy