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The Internet and Smart Phones are accelerating the evolution of language
Posted by Stefan
17 Aug 2010 8:41 PM

Are you familiar with ’txt spk’, ’rickrolling’, ’lols’ / ’lulz’; do you ’Google’ and ’Tweet’ text in abbreviated leet or chatspeak?

Do you indulge in this kind of malarky?:


thx daz 2g2bt cya thr l8r 2mro

(Thanks that’s too good to be true, see you there later tomorrow)

SMS and Instant Messenger chat were the last signficant leaps forward in stimulating language development, and currently Blogs, Micro Blogs and Tweets are the key means of etymological evolution.


In terms of cultural milestones and benchmarks, all are familiar with the stereoptycially over-tanned (tango’d), heavily made-up, over-preened and under-dressed role models in society. The UK has Peter Andre and Katie Price, who continue to influence even though split up; the US has Snooki and the Situation and the remaining cast of the GTL lifestyle show ’Jersey Shore’ (Gym, Tanning, Laundry). It’s taken the Icelanders to come up with a generic name for these stereotypes - ’Skinka’ for girls (Skinka = Cured Ham, possible associated derivation also from ’Skank’); overly tanned, muscled and preened boys are known as ’Hnakki’ (Hnakki = Nape of neck / Saddle; tanned leather derivation). One of these words - ’Skinka’ although Icelandic, has already found its way into the Urban Dictionary, which has become the de-facto reference for modern language use, alongside various snippets on Wikipedia and other specialised blogs.


Music journalism has long been responsible for coming up with the descriptive terms and genres to describe emerging musical movements, fairly recent derivations have included grunge, crunk and dubstep. But back then, terms first appeared in print, within musical journals and newspapers, now they almost always appear online first, in someone’s blog or tweet, or even in an associated comment or message.


Back in the day when we worked for Emojo, we introduced and popularised a number of industry phrases which have now found their way into common usage, among them were ’Social Content Management’ , ’Social Marketplace’, and indeed ’Social Commerce’. We needed to ’invent’ these terms to best describe and explain what we were offering, and what our solutions and services entailed. We will soon be introducing ’Automated Customer Ladder’ to the world, as this is the latest evolution of Affino.


How does all this impact on the typical website or brand owner then? Well, just as there was a kind of metaphoric land-rush for particular Domains and URLs, now the same game is on for vocabulary. This is how you end up with brand names as verbs - ’Google’, ’Hoover’, ’PhotoShop’, ’Xerox’ (US specifically) and ’Digg’ amongst them.


The clever way to ’grab’ the key words and terms for yourself is to create a classic Affino Topic Channel. A central hub for all information related to a single defined Topic. On Comrz we currently have for instance a Topic Channel for ’Social Commerce News’ which pulls in all content - internal and 3rd party via content and media feeds and twitter, and concentrates this information on one super SEO-optimized page. You cannot fail to achieve a high ranking this way, and we encourage all Affino Store Owners to create key Topic Channels / Hubs for their most important category areas. For instance, you could argue that Twilight and Harry Potter are the key cultural hotspots right now, and you would benefit from collecting together all related products and info for each of those Topic Areas on one page. This is exactly the same psychology as in a high street store, when a new release comes out, and the store will put together a display stand featuring all related products and merchandise; say it’s a DVD release, you would have prequels, CD Soundtrack, books, posters, T-Shirts, special edition bundles etc. all in one concetrated area, reasoning of course that interested parties are likely to buy more than one thing at a time. From an SEO perspective, this is completely priceless, as you get so much SEO reinforcement in one place, with key terms and topics reinforce again and again via related editorial, feeds and media.


We’ve always emphasized the importance of positive NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), but now you have the added imperative of claiming the strongest descriptors for yourself, and reinforcing them with targeted and absolutely relevant related content and media ... this is a cretive process, and you can create your own generic terms - which you can then particularly capitalize on.

Posted by Stefan
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