Custom Digital Marketing, Social & Interactive Media Consulting

What is Interactive Media?

Kind of seems like an important question, doesn't it? I mean, you came to us knowing enough about interactive media to know how important it is to your organization and its future.

Just so we are all on the same page ...

Interactive Media
, or iMedia, is a two-way system of communication. Instead of the usual communication setup where a sender transmits a message to a receiver, interactive media is defined by the back-and-forth nature of the communication, the ability for the receiver to send a message back to the sender. So, key to interactive media is active participation. The audience is simply not a passive recepticle, but an engaged, active participant in the process. Finally, an important component to interactive media is giving the audience choice and control. Giving them options in what they do and how they do it draws the audience out from its lean-back, passive stance, bringing them into a lean-forward, active position.


Analytics -- the collection and analysis of data related to how others use your website. Takes into account multiple measurements, such as length of time on the site, number of pages viewed and which are viewed the most, what links are clicked and which are clicked the most, where the traffic to your site comes from (how do they find your site), unique visitors, average number of pages per visit, among others. The analysis is used to improve website design and content in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Astroturfing -- 'fake grassroots' basically. The structuring a campaign in a way to make it appear like a naturally occurring, organic movement from the general public, giving the impression of genuine interest and legitimate buzz. Given that the iMedia community values transparency and authenticity, not the best move for your organization.
Avatar -- a user's representation of himself/herself. It can be a two-dimensional icon/picture or a three-dimensional character (i.e. - in Second Life or IMVU).
Cloud -- resources like servers, data and applications stored in a virtual location. Typically accessible via an Internet connection, it facilitates off-site (virtual) storage of computing resources that would traditionally require substantial physical resources (servers, software, etc.).
Champions -- advocates who are passionate about telling and spreading stories about your brand. These people tend to appreciate recognition for their efforts, but virtually always do it for free because they love your brands, product, services, etc. AKA evangelists.
Creative Commons (CC) -- a licensing system and non-profit organization that gives content creators the flexibility to fine-turn and customize their copyright, outlining the ways others may use their work.
Crowdsourcing -- the collection and harnessing of the skills and expertise of those outside an organization, individuals willing to give their time and effort to contribute content and resolve issues.
Face-to-face (f2f) -- what you think it is - meeting in real life (face-to-face) someone you know from online interactions.
Lurkers -- those who read the content and comments on a site but do not contribute any of their own
New Media -- term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized, or networking information and communication technologies. It revolves around the concept that there are new methods of communicating, characterized by collaboration and participation. This makes it easier for people to have a voice in their community and even in the world. Sometimes used in conjunction with interactive media or multimedia.
Online Community -- a group of people that interacts and communicates using online tools such as e-mail, instant messaging or message boards as opposed to face-to-face communication. People participate in online communities often for social reasons, but also for professional and educational reasons. Can coalesce around a particular topic or interest, such as a local team or league.
QR Code -- the two-dimensional, often square-shaped, black and white 'barcode art' intended for scanning by a mobile phone using the phone's camera. Short for Quick Response code, it typically directs to a website page.
Sentiment -- the broad attitude/feeling toward a given brand, individual, organization, etc. The overall consensus across the Internet for a given topic, it is generally broken down into positive, negative or neutral. More advanced sentiment monitoring is becoming an integral part of online strategies.
SEO -- abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Refers to the process of organizing, arranging and constructing your website to have the best chance to appear near the top of search engine results pages. Takes into account how search engines work and what people are searching for. Common methods include editing content, making use of high-traffic keywords and modifying site layout and design.
SMO -- abbreviation for Social Media Optimization. In the same vein as SEO, refers to the process of organizing, arranging and constructing your content/posts to maximize visibility on social media networks. Takes into account the nature of social media networks, accepted norms, best practices for each platform and how individuals use social media networks.
Tag -- stands for the labels given to pieces of content posted online. Examples include: keywords for blog posts and identifying people in a photo. Used across multipple platforms, they facilitate searching and aggregation of content. It can also be in reference to an HTML tag, used to format text.
Viral -- designed to spread. If a project or video is viral, it has a strong component of word of mouth communication. People attempt to create viral videos that are unique and interesting so that people will share them with others, but sometimes they just spread spontaneously. Sometimes referred to as being spreadable, the content having a quality that makes people want to spread it around to others.
Web 2.0 -- term used to describe the changing trends in the way the world wide web is being used. Web 2.0 aims to increase creativity and collaboration, while allowing for secure online sharing. It is marked by the emergence of blogs, wikis, social networking sites, and video sharing sites. Key to the changing trends is the improvement in technology that allows everyone to be able to create and self-publish their own sites, create and share media and share information. The Internet becomes an arena of self-expression.
User Generated Content -- content contributed by ordinary people on blogs, discussion boards, video sharing sites and social networks.