Josh Bernoff of Forrester’s Groundswell blog says words are important. He also suggests we stop using one word, “users.”
Try, just for a day, to stop using this word. You’ll be amazed at how differently you think about the world.
Web users become people looking for information.
Application users become employees trying to get stuff done.
Users of your Web site become customers. (Forrester’s group focused on usability of Web sites and other technologies is called the Customer Experience team. I like that.)
User-generated media becomes amateur media.
And most importantly, social media users become people connecting with other people. Once you think about it that way it becomes a lot easier to understand. And it focuses you on the relationships, which will always be around, not the technologies, which are always changing.