OOMF Explained

The BBC Trending page wants to know--what does oomf mean and what context does it have in relation to social media?

The hashtag #oomf has a number of definitions, and I'm not going to say that mine is the definitive one. But I will take a crack at what it implies. Translated, the acronym "oomf" means "one of my friends" or "one of my followers." This is an important distinction when it comes to giving others credit for something.

Much of what you see on social networking sites comes from things that are shared; the number of people who do original work or come up with original items is much smaller than the overall network. You have one out of ten people, perhaps, supplying the fodder or the material that others talk about. One way to rise up is to create unique things and have been share what you've done with their followers.

Now, there are two things to remember. One, ometimes, people want to make it clear that they didn't come up with the original idea that is being shared around the social networking site. They want to be honest and say, "this is cool, but one of the people who follows me or a friend of mine came up with it." This properly assigns credit; it can mark the user as being an honest person. This is why putting down #oomf works--it shows credibility and character; being trustworthy and having a semblance of ethics makes people want to connect with you.

The other use for #oomf is when you want to deflect criticism. "Don't blame me--I didn't come up with this!" is one way out of trouble. Say that you have decided to share something foul or outrageous. If you put #oomf in there and claim one of your followers came up with the filthy joke, then you can reassign blame or accountability. This can help preserve fragile relationships.