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2014 Toolkit

New Media Glossary

Download PDF version of "New Media Glossary" (206 KB) Download PDF version of "New Media Glossary" (206 KB)

New media, also known as social media or digital media, facilitates online communication and content-sharing.  These user-friendly web tools make it easy for people with similar interests to interact with each other.

Every year, National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The annual observance engages thousands of individuals within the recovery community and the prevention, treatment, and recovery support services fields, as well as local organizations.

To help you engage the online community and reach this year’s target audiences (community leaders, health care providers, young adults, and families and caregivers of young adults), review the following glossary for background information on key online terms:

Blog:  User-generated websites, short for “web log,” which give online users an opportunity to share news or opinions on a particular subject, such as a person’s success in achieving recovery or the hardships of untreated mental and/or substance use disorders.  Blogs can be hosted on a variety of platforms.  Some of the most popular include Wordpress, Tumblr, and Blogger.

Discussion Board (or Forum or Message Board):  Conversations, or “threads,” which are made up of multiple posts about specific topics.  Recovery community discussion board communities include The Sober Recovery Community and In the Rooms.

Facebook:  A social networking site where people create an online profile and “friend” people or “like” organizations or campaigns to form an online network, as well as share interests, photos, and other information on a personal profile.  Also consider joining Recovery Month’s Facebook page to engage others in the ongoing dialogue.  Below are some terms specifically related to Facebook that might help when navigating the site:

  • Event:  A page to post information about an event and send invites to friends or networks.
  • Friend:  An action that allows users to add other individuals to their overall network.
  • Like:  An action that shows interest in and support of an organization’s page or status; “liking” an organization’s page will then allow users to receive the organization’s status updates in their feed and may allow the users to comment on the page.
  • News Feed:  A feature that shares status updates from friends and “liked” pages in real time. It also shares personal updates with others.  A news feed can be sorted by “Most Recent” or “Top Stories.”  Users can also “comment” or “like” stories within their News Feed to show support.
  • Pages:  These help businesses, organizations, and brands share their stories and connect with people interested in their activities.  Pages can be created and managed from a personal account.
  • Questions:  A feature that allows users to pose questions/polls to Facebook audiences for feedback and recommendations.
  • Share:  A feature that allows users to share status updates, photos, and videos posted on their timeline as well as content posted by a friend.  Users can also choose who they would like to share content with.
  • Status:  A feature that allows users to display a short message of up to 420 characters.  Statuses can describe a user’s whereabouts and actions and can also be used to “share” photos, videos, events, news, and links.
  • Tag:  A designation for status updates and photos to link directly to another Facebook user’s timeline or to an organization’s page.
  • Timeline:  A collection of personal photos, stories, and experiences that help to tell your story throughout the years.  Timeline allows users to upload a cover photo, add life events, and view highlights from each month.
  • Wall:  The space on a profile or page that allows friends and users to post messages for the network to see.

Flickr:  A popular site for photo sharing, storage, and searching.  Search for photos of other recovery events to post, get ideas from other events’ visuals, or find members for your coalition.  Also upload and share photos from a Recovery Month event.

Foursquare:  A location-based social application that allows users to “check-in” from locations using applications on smart phones (e.g., iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm) or using mobile Internet.  “Checking in” updates a location for other Foursquare users to see if anyone else on the network is at the same location or if there are any “tips” with recommendations to try or avoid particular things.  People can check in at Recovery Month events to indicate a large following.

Google+:  A social networking site where people can create a profile and organize connections through “Circles.”  In a Google+ profile, users can share personal information, photos, videos, and events.  Below are some terms specifically related to Google+ that might help when navigating the site:

  • Circles:  A feature that allows users to select and organize people into groups or “Circles” for optimal sharing, as well as the option to view content streams by “Circles.”  The default “Circles” include friends, family, acquaintances, and following. Circles also gather posts from people Google+ recommends based on a user’s interests.
  • Hangouts:  Virtual rooms that allow a maximum of 10 people to participate in a single group facilitated video chat.
  • Sparks:  A search box that allows users to enter an interest to have Google+ pull related elements from the web to share with others, such as blog posts, videos, or books.

Google Blog Search: A tool that continuously collects and updates blog posts which can be viewed and filtered by relevance or date.

Instagram:  A virtual pinboard that allows users to organize and share items such as recipes, crafts, decorations, and other ideas with other users.  Users can browse other users’ pinboards for inspiration and new ideas.  Below are some terms specifically related to Pinterest that might help when navigating the site.

Pinterest:  A virtual pinboard that allows users to organize and share items such as recipes, crafts, decorations, and other ideas with other users.  Users can browse other users’ pinboards for inspiration and new ideas.  Below are some terms specifically related to Pinterest that might help when navigating the site.

  • Board:  A set of pins that a user wants to group together.  Users can create a board on any topic with as many pins as desired.
  • Following All:  Shows all of a user’s pins on all of their boards in real time, as well as any new boards the user creates.
  • Like:  Adds an image to a Pinterest profile’s “likes” section, but it does not add the image to a personal board.
  • Pin:  An image that a user uploads to Pinterest or adds from a website using the “Pin It” button.
  • Repin:  When a user adds another person’s image to their own board.

Podcast:  A digital media file that can be downloaded through web syndication and played back on a mobile device or computer.  Recovery Month offers a large selection of audio and video podcasts to promote on personal websites.  A video podcast, or online delivery of a video clip, also can be referred to as a vodcast.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Web Syndication:  A feature that enables users to avoid constantly refreshing their favorite websites to check for updates.  An RSS reader collects individual posts from blogs and news sites, and presents them as they arrive.  Set up a feed to receive the latest news and blog posts from the recovery community directly to an inbox.

Social Network:  An online gathering place that links individuals based on similar interests, beliefs, or relationships.  Use these social networks to build a coalition that spans communities across the country. (See Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr.)

Twitter:  A social media platform that allows its users to send text-based posts of a maximum of 140 characters to their profiles.  These posts then appear on other Twitter members’ home pages, who have subscribed to a user’s feed.  Follow Recovery Month’s Twitter page and engage others in the ongoing dialogue.  Search Twitter for other people who “tweet” about their Recovery Month events or treatment or recovery resources, or talk about their personal recovery experience.  Below are some terms related to Twitter to help navigate the site:

  • @:  A symbol that when placed directly before a Twitter user’s name directs a re-tweeted tweet to a specific person.
  • Direct messages:  Private tweets that can be sent between Twitter users.  Both accounts must be following each other to send or receive a direct message.  This is sometimes referred to as “DM.”  Direct messages cannot be longer than 140 characters.
  • Followers:  Twitter users who follow another user’s tweets.  Settings can be adjusted to only allow approved followers to see your updates.
  • Following:  A feature that allows subscription to other Twitter user’s updates, which will appear on the Twitter home page.
  • Hashtag:  A feature that enables you to use the # (hashtag) symbol in front of a phrase or word so it can be easily grouped and found through a search of that keyword.
  • Reply:  A feature that allows you to click “Reply” at the bottom of the tweet to connect a post with an original tweet.  By replying this way, others will be able to open the details of the tweet to view both the original tweet and any subsequent replies.
  • Re-tweet:  The act of re-posting another user’s tweet on a personal account to share someone else’s tweet with “followers,” or add commentary on what was posted.  “RT” is usually in front of the text if it is a re-tweet.
  • Trends:  The most common phrases appearing in tweets and a list of trending topics can be found on the sidebar.

Viral Marketing:  Using the Internet to brand a campaign or product.  Recovery Month uses Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Widget:  An online tool added to websites that displays or shares information from various sources.  Instructions for adding the Recovery Month event or inspirational quotes widget to a blog or site are available at

Webcast:  A file that streams over the Internet to allow people everywhere to tune in to a coalition-building meeting or event.  Recovery Month presents the Road to Recovery Television and Radio Series that features panels of nationwide experts in the field of treatment and recovery available for online viewing.

Wikipedia:  A community-researched encyclopedia with more than 22 million entries and an estimated 365 million readers worldwide.  The site is community-oriented, and anyone can update entries.  Organizations are discouraged from editing their own entries, as it is considered a conflict of interest.

YouTube:  A site that promotes online video-sharing and allows users to post videos they have created.  Users create their own Channels that host all their videos and allow others to find them based on related interests.  Check out Recovery Month’s channel and SAMHSA’s channel often.

  • Featured:  An optional tab that lets users pick from three templates to organize and display their videos to highlight the content that the Channel’s audience will find most engaging.
  • Feed:  A tab that allows Channels to push content to subscribers even when there is not a video to share.  This tab will include the latest activities, such as liking or commenting on a video, subscribing to a Channel, uploading a video, or adding a video to a playlist.
  • Playlists:  An organized collection of a Channel’s uploaded videos and videos from other YouTube users.  Playlists can be used to organize related videos, put together a sequence of videos, or to share lists with others.
  • Tag:  A word used to describe a video to help other users find a video when they search the site.  
  • Videos:  The place where viewers can watch all of a Channel’s uploaded videos. Choose to sort the videos by date or popularity.

Inclusion of websites and other resources mentioned in this document and on the Recovery Month website does not constitute official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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