Brian Solis & Deirdre Breakenridge in their book Putting the Public Back in Public Relations talk about the new terminology in the social media era. Old terminology, before Web 2.0 and social media, refers to messages that get broadcast to users. New terminology refers to conversations that are shared with people. Brian and Deirdre also refer to what Josh Bernoff from Forrester wrote about his frustration with the term "users". Web users are no longer "users" he says. Knowing that we are at 80% of Net penetration in the US for instance, these "users" are now "people" looking for information. In the social media era, "users" are "people connecting with other people".
The most important part is not the terminology but the thinking that goes with the terminology. Thinking in terms of people and conversation changes everything. It creates a two-way street that allows all of us to change and learn in the process.
I believe that in training (or "learning" in the new terminology) and productivity ("accomplishment" in the new terminology) a similar terminology and mind shift are happening. Here is a start for comparing old and new terminology:
|Traditional ways to refer to things||The new terminology and mindset|
|Users, attendees, trainees|| People, participants, learners |
|Messages, course material, presentations||Conversations, topics, interactions|
|Time management, getting organized, being productive||Working well, optimizing, accomplishing|
You additions and comments are welcome!