“Did u ping me re: that issue w/ GA?”

Confusing, right? Out of context, I’m sure that instant messaging jargonsentence makes absolutely no sense. But believe it or not, that’s actually a message I sent to a colleague the other day via Skype.

As a freelance marketing consultant, I spend a lot of time chatting with clients on instant messaging services. Skype, Google Chat, Microsoft Lync, Apple iMessage, and Facebook Chat are just a few of the tools I use each day.

When I look at the transcripts of things I’ve typed, I must admit that my 8th grade Grammar teacher wouldn’t be proud. (Sorry Mrs. Schmidt.)

In this post, I thought it would be fun to pull out some of the crazy abbreviations (and definitions) commonly used when communicating via instant messenger. Post a comment with your favorite one that I may have missed.

The Basics

Ping – verb; the act of sending someone an instant message. “John pinged me today on Skype.”

IM – noun or sometimes a verb; abbreviation for “instant message.” “John sent me an IM today on Skype.”

VM – noun; abbreviation for “voice mail.” “Did you leave me a VM today?”

Conf – noun; abbreviation for “conference,” usually used in tandem with the word “call.” “Did you set up the conf call?”

NP – phrase; abbreviation for “no problem.”

LOL – phrase; abbreviation for “laugh out loud,” indicating something was funny.

Ha – exclamation; indicates something was funny.

Re: – noun; abbreviation for “regarding.” “Did you see my email re: the website project?”


WP – noun; abbreviation for “WordPress,” a popular content management system used to manage websites. “Did you load the blog post in WP yet?”

CMS – noun; abbreviation for “Content Management System,” a tool used to manage website content, images, and site structure. “Which CMS do you use?”

GA – noun; abbreviation for “Google Analytics,” a tool used by marketing nerds to track website traffic, leads, etc. “Did you see my report in GA?”

WMT – noun; abbreviation for “Webmaster Tools,” another tool used by even bigger marketing nerds to track website performance indicators. “Did you add the XML sitemap in WMT?”

IFS – noun; abbreviation for “Infusionsoft,” a marketing automation and CRM software application. “Did you set up the nurturing campaign in IFS?”

SF – noun; abbreviation for “Salesforce,” the world’s most popular CRM software application. “Is that a lead or a contact record in SF?”

PM – noun; abbreviation for “Project Management,” typically used in tandem with the word “system” when referring to tools such as Asana or Basecamp. “Did you put the delegation in the PM system?”

Drive – noun; abbreviation for “Google Drive.” “Did you share the document via Drive?”

Docs – noun; abbreviation for “Google Docs,” typically used with the word “in” preceding it. “Did you put the file in docs?”

FB – noun; abbreviation for “Facebook.” “Did we share that on FB yet?”

Virtual Work-Related

Manual Time – noun; hours that are added manually by a contractor to oDesk’s Work Diary. This typically happens when a contractor logs time and oDesk’s software fails to track his or her time properly or there’s a poor Internet connection. “May I add manual time?”

Work Diary – noun; each contractor has an oDesk Work Diary that shows how much time was billed to a particular client or contract. “Did the time show up in your work diary?”

Activity Codes (aka Task Codes) – noun; specific activities that can be allocated to a contractor to bill against within an oDesk contract. “Did you see that new activity code I added for you?”

Rapid Fire – One Letter Abbreviations

u – you

k – OK

y – yes

n – no

w – with

* (asterisk) – indicates something was previously typed incorrectly. For example, if you typed the word “football” as “ftooball,” you would acknowledge and fix your mistake by typing:  *football

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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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