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Creating a professional online presence- a Glossary

This is a glossary of key terms specific to the 'Create a Professional Online Presence' course.





  • Photo or image used in an account profile.


  • A set of rules or instructions given to a computer to solve a particular task. While algorithms are run automatically, they are first determined and created by people making editorial and other decisions.
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  • A sequence of (usually text) updates on a website, presented in reverse chronological order, with the archives viewable. Each blog post may also be tagged as belonging to a particular topic. Blogs came to popularity in the early 2000s, and although social media has largely overtaken their usage in the last 10 years, they are still a useful way of recording and exploring ideas in long-form text.


  • Under a news headline, the name of the person or people who authored the piece. On many media sites, the name is clickable so you can see all articles by the same author in one place.

Bio, Biography

  • Short fact-based statement about a person, used on most social platforms.

Brand, Branding

  • In the context of professional identity, the unique and identifiable impression and reputation of an individual person.
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  • A small amount of identifying data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. Used for remembering previous activity on the site, usage data and user preferences.

Crop, Cropped

  • Trimming or cutting an image to get rid of extraneous background or to focus on the main subject.

Character count

  • The number of characters you have available for a particular text field. Each letter, number, punctuation mark, line break, emoji and space is counted.

Community, Communities

  • A group of people coming together regularly to interact around a context of interest to all of them. Communities can exist online and offline, or both.
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Domain, Domain name

  • A web address owned by an individual or company, which usually points to a website. Can also be used for personalised email addresses.
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  • In the context of digital photo apps, a setting which allows the user to add to their image using augmented reality, eg masks, lipstick, bunny ears (see also: Filters).

Email, Email address

  • Electronic communication; messages sent to and from individuals using a universal internet protocol. An email address is the unique identifier of an individual.
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  • Particular posts or updates which have been highlighted by the person editing the page. Often means that the post is more visible to visitors.


  • In digital photo apps, a process which enhances the image by automatically adjusting image settings (eg exposure, saturation and shadows). Sometimes pre-formatted to mimic antiquated film photography techniques. May also use augmented reality to improve images by removing blemishes or smoothing skin appearance (see also: Enhancements).

Follow, Follower

  • The act of subscribing to someone else’s updates; a person who subscribes to someone else’s updates on a social platform.
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  • Photograph of an individual taken to include the head and shoulders, used often in a professional context.


  • Topic identifier on social media platforms. Any word or phrase can be preceded by a hash sign (#) to make it clickable, which would lead the user to a search for all other posts including the same hashtag term. Can be created officially or by any individual.


  • In the context of the internet, storing a website on a server so that it can be accessed over the web.
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Intentional information

  • Content or data which you have decided to share on purpose.

Internet cookies

  • See: Cookies
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Keyword, Keywords

  • A word or phrase which appears in the text of a web page but which is useful to people and search engines in understanding the meaning or importance of content. Can be used alongside hashtags (see also: Hashtag).
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Mask, Masked

  • In the context of images used online, a mask is a blank image with a shaped hole in it. This is layered on top of an image or photo (eg a user profile picture) to make it a particular shape (eg on Twitter, a user can upload a rectangular photo, but the Twitter website will apply a circular mask to make the image look round).


  • Using a variety of media formats, eg audio, video, images, text and animation.

Moderate, Moderation

  • Monitoring user activity on a website or platform and flagging up potential issues (legal, abusive, troublemaking, etc).
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Network, Networking

  • A group of interconnected people, ideas or things. In a professional context, connecting with others to exchange information and develop professional contacts and visibility.
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  • Anything that happens not on the internet or via the use of a mobile phone or other computing device. Sometimes jokingly referred to as “in the real world”.


  • Anything that exists or happens on or via the internet, including on a mobile or other computing device. The digital (computer created, hosted and viewable) version of a thing.
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Privacy settings

  • User preferences about what information or content to share, with whom.

Pinned, Pin posts

  • Selecting a specific post to remain visible at the top of a web page. Generally used for announcements and other important information.

Profile, Profile picture

  • A site or service user’s description of themselves, or the information about an individual user account that is visible to other users of the same service. The photo or image that accompanies the profile, and may be visible wherever the user’s account name appears throughout the site.

Platform, Social media platform

  • The services, apps, websites and technologies that form a single social media brand. We talk about social media platforms to encompass everything that those brands do, so as not to get distracted by worrying about whether the website is different to the mobile app, for example.


  • A collection of examples of work, especially things that the creator is particularly proud of. Often used by designers and artists to show the range of their skills, but increasingly used for other kinds of work, eg writing, decorating and consulting.

Press release

  • An official statement issued to the news media providing formal information on a specific issue or event.
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  • The total number of people who actually see your content. Confusingly, marketers sometimes use it to mean the potential number of customers it is possible to reach through a particular channel or campaign.
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Social media

  • Websites, apps and other platforms which enable users to connect with each other and create/share/consume/discuss content, ideas, interests, etc.


  • User preferences, which can usually be changed within the user account section of a service.

Search, Search engine

  • A program or service which looks for references to things (keywords) within a database or other set of information. This activity is triggered by a user, and could be on one site, or across the entire web.

Subject line

  • The part of the email message which is viewable by the recipient before they open it, usually indicating the content or subject of the main message.
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Tag, Tagged

  • In the context of social media, to attach another user’s name to a photo or other piece of content. Often used to show who is in a photo or at an event.


  • The act of posting an update on Twitter, or the term for an individual update on that platform.


  • The flow of data across the internet, or to a particular resource or web page.
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  • Presented without editing or enhancing.


  • Unique identifier for an individual user account on a platform. Usually visible to others.

User profile

  • See: Profile


  • Uniform Resource Locator. The unique address for a resource on the internet. This could be a web site, specific page, image, etc.
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