Definitions of tech "hot-topics" and buzzwords
I write this in response to a recent LinkedIn post bemoaning the lack of publicly available definitions of “buzzwords” in tech. There is, it seems, a perceived tendency that companies and investors throw around terminology without knowing, or at least without adequately describing, what exactly it means.
These terms do mean different things however and, when used correctly, describe modern processes that underpin cutting edge technology and innovation. However, the public’s appetite for soundbites mean that often these complex areas get distilled into buzzwords and hashtags. This is where, I think, the disconnect begins between what people mean and what is actually communicated, leading to misunderstanding.
In this digital age, it’s so easy to connect with each other, that communication has become fairly care-free (or careless, if you’re more cynical than I). Whilst texts ushered in the death of the phonecall, whatsapp and instant messaging led to the demise of the long-form text. As day-to-day methods of conversation get shorter and snappier, it’s no surprise that the way we communicate in other areas of our lives do too. Shorter headlines, tweet length news stories, elevator pitches…. minimising the time and space to describe a new product or technology means that people invariably reach for high-level, *shiny* words to convey what would otherwise require more minutes, sentences and characters.
Whilst the meaning of these words can get lost in translation, a quick brush-up on what they mean can go a long way to ensure that people are a) using them correctly and b) ensuring they are appropriate for their audience. In the field of tech, where these words are used more and more frequently, there is a duty (who’s, I can’t be sure) to ensure that the meanings don’t get diluted.
This is my attempt to create a public “table” (it’s a list) of definitions of these hot topics. It’ll undoubtedly be a resource that grows as people suggest and request more. I hope that you find it useful and that it stimulates good discussion surrounding how we use these terms carefully and, crucially, correctly.
Please do comment with suggestions of new “buzzwords” that you’d like to be included or whether you have any thoughts or insights on the definitions I’ve gone with here. Conversation around, and including, these words should be encouraged. I hope this proves a good starting point….