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Your Online Glossary

For those of you that are learning how to use various social-media applications, this glossary of online terms should help.

I realized that I learned a completely new language when I became seriously involved with communicating using the web and digital tools and technologies. I love being online and figuring out how to use new communications tools, meta tags for my website to optimize it for search engines.

Many of my colleagues are still learning how to use RSS feeds and bookmarks and wading their way through the new language would be a lot easier with a non-technical reference guide to social-media communications. For those of you that are learning how to use various social-media applications, this glossary of online terms should help. I would like to think of it as a work-in-progress. If you have additions, please send them as comments and I will add them. And if you know of a reference website that is good, please share it.

Aggregator – Google Reader and MSN Feeds are two of the most popular aggregators. Others include Pluck, Newsgator and Bloglines.

Blogs – Blog content that is posted to a website or blog site that can be in any form, including video, text, photos, podcasts and is used to provide information or inspire discussion

Micro Blogging – Micro-blogs consist of posts that are limited to a specific amount of characters or words. Twitter, the best-known of the micro blogs, is like a teenager, still trying to find its place in the online world.  Other micro blog sites are Plurk and Jaiku.

Moblogging (Mobile blogging) – With the advent of the smart phone, mobile blogging has allowed bloggers and content providers to publish updates from whereever they have a wireless connection…”real time” took on a whole new meaning when the iPhone came to market.

Blogosphere – Akin to “the universe,” in Internet-speak.

RSS Feeds – content that is published in a “really simple syndication” format that the aggregator can pick up from blogs and websites that you have subscribed to.

News Sites – Handy, Informative Sources


Digg – A social news site. You can Digg a site, thereby sharing content from anywhere on the web. Subscribers to Digg submit links and stories and the community votes and comments.

StumbleUpon – Ever just stumble on a site that was interesting? Now instead of bookmarking it for your own use, you can subscribe to StumbleUpon and let the online world know about it. It also acts as a repository for sites you like and will push interesting sites to you, in the form of a newsletter.

Mashup – This is where two or more sites combine and mash together. Take, for instance, a real-estate company that mashes with a database and identifies the homes on a Google map. This is getting a bit technical. I’ll leave it to you to check out if interested.

Podcasts – An audio blog.

Syndication – Much like the traditional use of the word, syndication is the distribution of content; however, in web language, it’s about syndicating online content. This is how it works. You select information you want to read or review by setting up an aggregator or newsreader that gathers news content from RSS Feeds. The result allows you to access all the news from a single website instead of subscribing individually. An example: you collect antique dishes; there are several blogs that have great information about this topic and all of them publish at different times. Instead of bookmarking them and remembering to go and read them, the system brings them into one source, under a heading that you have created, called, of course “antique dishes.”

Web 1.0 – The first generation of the World Wide Web, commonly called the static web or one-way broadcasting, where the owner of the site publishes information and viewers read it.

Web 2.0 – The second generation – the participatory web, conversations between the publisher, the readers, and connections being made with other people through the web.

Wiki – A web page that is collaboratively edited. Wikipedia is the best-known Wiki, it allows for reference material to be added to a document and shared. Private wikis are great for groups to share information that may be published at a later date. Public wikis are open and can be edited, and information added, to be reviewed by the general public.

Read Jai’s blog post on Social Media terms.

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