The Top 10 Internet Trends of 2013

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Everyone's talking tech again this year and NetLingo continues to track the most popular online trends. Shocking, innovative, and definitely a sign of the times, here are the The Top 10 Internet Trends of 2013.

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To see this list with each of the terms linked, go to: http://netlingo.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-top-10-internet-trends-of-2013.html.

1) big data – All of the news about the NSA leaks is bad, it is a reminder that no app is free; apps are paid for with privacy. Privacy is the right to freedom from unauthorized intrusion and it is eroding. Not only is the widespread use of email, apps, cell phones, and spyware documenting every move, so are checkout scanners, electronic tollbooths, closed-circuit surveillance cameras, and other monitoring technologies. All of these make it extremely easy for “big data” to gather enormous amounts of information. Resist the desire to give away personal information. Even though consumer advocacy and privacy watchdog groups are calling for legislated protection, it is way behind the curve. A digital footprint starts with the person.

2) frape – An unprecedented amount of online violence dominated the Internet this year, from cyberbullying suicides to YouTube chemical gas videos to tweets threatening rape. Fraping is not as serious. Short for “Facebook rape,” it is when someone changes profile pictures, sexuality, or interests on someone else’s Facebook page when that person left the account signed in and unattended. Always sign out of online accounts.

3) hashtag - Newly added to Facebook this year, the hashtag has truly gone mainstream. Originally the domain of Twitter, the hash sign (#) is added to a word or phrase that lets users search for posts that are similarly tagged. It was nominated as “word of the year” by several organizations, and has even penetrated nighttime television in the video stream and on popular shows including #DWTS, “OMG, hashtag this is so intense. OMG, you talk in hashtags? Please hashtag stop!”

4) influencer - Leave it to online marketers to take social media and create another category: influence marketing carried out by brand advocates, specific key individuals who are active on social media sites and have "influence" over other users. These other users are considered potential buyers by online marketers who then orient marketing activities around the influencers (rather than the target market as a whole). In 2013 the adoption of social scoring in mainstream pop culture helped build personal brands that could generate millions of dollars in sponsored post revenue for the influencer, usually a celebrity.

5) listicle - Last year was infographics, this year it's all about listicles, in fact this is a listicle! A combination of the words "list" and "article" a “listicle" is a short-form of writing that uses a list as its basic structure, but is beefed up with sufficient verbiage to be published as an article. According to a 2013 cover story by Time, millennials love listicles. 6) revenge porn - Imagine surfing the Internet and stumbling across pictures of yourself naked and finding out an ex had posted them to get back. That's revenge porn. It happens when people's intimate photographs and/or videos have been posted on the Internet without their consent, usually by an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. It includes "cell-phone nudes," or sexts, submitted by scorned exes, embittered friends, and/or malicious hackers along with personal information including the subject's name, location, and social media information. Remember, nothing is private anymore.

7) selfie - A "selfie" is a self-portrait you post online. Selfies are fun; sometimes it’s just an ego boost, sometimes it’s to update the twitterverse on a location, sometimes it’s receipt porn, sometimes it’s to flaunt a picture in a white bathing suit for all to see on one of the many social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Voted the “2013 Word of the Year” by Oxford English Dictionary, the term can be tracked back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum.

8) TBT & MCM & WCW - Throwback Thursday, Man Crush Monday, and Women Crush Wednesday are each considered Internet theme days on social media sites like Instagram, Tumblr, etc. :) TBT is when people post old pictures of themselves, MCM is when both men and women post a picture of a man they have a crush on (usually a celebrity), and WCW is when both women and men post a picture of a woman they have a crush on (again usually a celebrity). Often seen as #mancrushmonday or #womencrushwednesday trending online, this indicates a lot of people are posting their crushes.

9) twerk – No list in 2013 would be complete without the word twerk. Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMA’s generated an online buzz about twerking, a dance movement characterized by a rhythmic gyrating of the hips in a low squatting stance meant to elicit arousal or laughter in one's dance partner and/or audience. Its 15 minutes of YouTube fame was over by the end of this year after everyone and their mother went as a twerking Miley for Halloween.

10) 3-D printers - Once the stuff of science fiction, 3-D printers have rapidly evolved becoming smaller, faster, and cheaper. A basic, microwave-size 3-D printer now costs less than $1,000, making almost anyone a potential manufacturer, as was the case this year with the making of the first 3-D printer gun. There is speculation that someday 3-D printers could help us build a base on the moon so even though the 3-D printing trend is starting to take off, it’s one to keep an eye on in the future.

The Top 10 Internet Trends of 2013 is compiled by Erin Jansen, founder of NetLingo.com and author of NetLingo The Dictionary and NetLingo The List.

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Erin Jansen
NetLingo Inc.
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