I've been battling with the naming conventions here for almost a year. This post is my solution. Of course to get to the bottom of things, we have break things down to their simplest form, so here it goes…


Networking – This is the thing that you did at Chamber of Commerce meetings when you started your own business. You attended these events with hundreds of other people who were better dressed and who wore strong cologne. Basically, it sucked and nothing ever came from it. 

Internet – aka – the web, the interwebs and the place where the devil lives (if you listen to my mom). It's a digital medium that connects people around the world blah-blah-blah. Everyone knows what the Internet is, the important word here is Digital. 

Digital – It's not analog. Digital is electrical – computers, phones, etc. It's the only way to get on the Internet. Without digital, this blog goes away. 

Social – People communicating – that's all it is. Yes, it can also be people dancing, people working, people arguing, people interacting within in a community, etc. But social is still social – no matter what the experts say. 

Media – This is the car you drive. Yes, you're still the driver, and you control where you go, but your car is what delivers you from point A to point B. And there are different kinds of cars, as we all know. 

Now let's try to put it all together so that we're all on the same page, ok?  

Social Networking – This is really no different than normal networking (see above) except that you can jump around from conversation to conversation. Yes, being on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook is Social Networking – but so is going to a Chamber function.

Social Media – This is the term I use to describe what we do here. Just normal communicating via whatever kind of car you drive on the Internet and which garages you park in. 

There you have it. The correct term to describe what it is we're all doing here is probably Digital Networking via Social Media, but I'm thinking DNVSM is too cumbersome to really catch on. So let's just go with what I call it, Social Media (SM.) After all, this is my blog. I get to say what's right. You only get to comment. 


Jim is a father, husband, copywriter and founder of smashcommunications and really isn't a dick.  You can find him on Twitter @smashadv

The Right Words

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.