What's Up with Urban Dictionary?

What’s Up with Urban Dictionary?

Have you ever used Urban Dictionary? It’s an online dictionary where the user community creates definitions, mostly of slang terms and abbreviations, that anyone can read. The site provides helpful references to younger readers who are just learning to read and older readers who aren’t familiar with common slang. I grew up on Urban Dictionary and still use it today, but lately I’ve noticed changes on the site that have made me question its future as my go-to resource for new slang terms.

What happened?

During the last few weeks, Urban Dictionary has been going through an update and their old posts are not working properly. This issue appears to be affecting a huge number of the sites pages and one could only guess how much of their data is lost from this event. What is even more troubling about this incident is that it seems as if nobody knows what exactly caused the problem or when it will be fixed. There are a lot of people out there that were using this site for work or have lost files due to this glitch and it is unknown whether they can get them back at all.

It looks like we will just have to wait and see what happens, but there are many people who fear that this might be a permanent issue and they will never get their information back.

It is unclear why these issues are happening and nobody knows whether or not they will continue to be an issue. The best thing that we can do at this point is just wait until it gets fixed and hopefully, most of their lost data can be recovered as well. It would be a tragedy if everything is gone forever.

Will it return?

The co-founder and CEO of UD, Aaron Peckham, announced that he would be resigning as CEO and that UD would be shutting down to build a new mobile app. It’s not clear yet when the company will return or what its purpose will be. For now, all we can do is wait to see if it does.

It may seem like no big deal since the site was never on good terms with lawmakers or businesses trying to keep secrets in their posts, but it still has quite a following among Internet natives and young people who haven’t been told what words are appropriate to use in conversation. Plus, they were able to get jokes off the ground before they were inevitably picked up by other social media platforms.

So what does this mean for me?

First off, if you want to save any new words you encounter or invent on UD, go ahead and make a note now. You never know when UD might cease to exist. Second, do your due diligence: see if there are other sources for the definition of the word (even good old fashioned dictionaries). Who knows, maybe the word won’t even be considered as offensive in years to come as it is today. Or maybe you’ll like what you find on ED or wikiD; who knows! Last but not least: don’t panic! We’re not getting rid of our dictionaries either. All they’ve done is switch horses in midstream by changing their focus from one form of content to another.

Relevance in 2018

The website has been struggling lately due to many changes in management and staffing. It was also most likely affected by the web publishing giant, Google’s recent policy update. Google now penalizes websites with disruptive or low-quality content. Its ranking algorithm is constantly changing, so it can be hard for smaller sites like UD to keep up. Despite these challenges, the company is still trying to innovate and find ways to grow that make sense for the company going forward.

It’s clear that Urban Dictionary has an impressive history, and its content is valuable. But it’s difficult to look at UD today without feeling that something has been lost. It’s hard to see how you can maintain relevance as a media company when your user base keeps getting older while new trends rise up in terms of what people share and consume online. There are valid questions about whether or not UD will have any purpose in its current form beyond another year or two. Despite all of these challenges, we must remember that UD was once a great success story, and nothing is impossible if you keep trying different things until you find what works for your audience.

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