New tech words for the new year
Every December, pundits predict what everyone will be talking about in the year ahead. But how can we talk about these predictions if we don’t have the words?
Here’s my list of words for 2013 that we can all use to talk about — and make fun of — emerging trends in technology. Some have been around for a while, languishing in obscurity. Others are brand new.
All of them need to come into our daily conversations.
Pay-to-spam. Facebook will soon start testing a new feature that would let Facebook messages and Facebook email skip the spam filter for a dollar. The sender pays, and their message will go straight to the Facebook Messages inbox.
Facebook has a folder nobody checks called the Other folder, a kind of limbo where email is neither deleted as spam nor delivered to the inbox.
(To check your Other folder — and you should — click on the Facebook logo while visiting Facebook with a desktop browser, click Messages in the left navigation bar, then click on “Other” on the top left next to “Inbox.”)
Messages in the Other folder are mostly from people who are contacting you on Facebook for the first time. Usually these messages are spam. But sometimes they’re important.
Which raises the question: Who is more likely to pay a dollar to get past the spam filters — people you know or spammers?
Of course, if you got to keep the dollar this might be a great feature. But, no. Facebook gets the dollar and you get the spam.
Now that Facebook is taking this concept mainstream, let’s all called it what it really is: “pay-to-spam.”
Plusify. Every week, Google seems to announce a new Google+ “integration” — the retrofitting of Google+ social functionality into an otherwise unrelated Google service.
Google added Google+ features into Google Search, Google Images, Gmail, YouTube, Reader and many others.
The process has become so frequent, so common, that it needs its own word: “plusification.”
In the past month alone, Google plusified two major properties, including Blogger and the Google Play Store. People who using the blogging platform can now plus-mention Google+ users by placing a plus sign in front of their names. After that, clicking on the name in your blog takes you to that person’s Google+ profile. In November, Google also added a “Followers Gadget” so you can display Google+ followers on your Blogger blog.
Google also recently plusified the Google Play Store in order to add accountability to reviews. Now, when you review an app, you’ll have to log into Google+. Your review will appear next to your Google+ profile picture, with a link to your profile.