Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 88 - A Glossary of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 brought us a host of new buzzwords. In fact, Web 2.0 is really just a buzzword that sums up the latest generation of Internet technology. For those who are new to the Internet's latest incarnation, I've pulled the most popular definitions from a variety of online sources to encompass the latest technologies.

These terms describe the methodology and technology used to create Web 2.0 pages. AJAX means Asynchronous Java and XML and is used to make web pages more responsive while avoiding the need to load the page each time new information is needed. XML, which stands for Extensible Markup Language, is used to make websites more interactive.

The visual representation of a person inside a virtual world or virtual chat room.

BLOG / Blog Network / Blogosphere
A blog, like this one, which is short for
web log, and is actually a series of articles, usually written in an informal tone. While many blogs serve as online personal journals, a blog network is a series of blogs hosted by the same website or company. The blogosphere refers to all the blogs across the Internet regardless of whether they are individual blogs or part of a network.

This refers to those crazy letters and numbers you have to decipher and type in every time you fill out a form on the web. It is a mechanism computers and companies use to determine whether or not you are human. This is necessary in order to prevent spam.

CLOUD/Cloud Computing
The Internet is sometimes referred to as the "Cloud." Cloud Computing refers to the trend of using the Internet as an application platform, like using an online version of a word processor as opposed to using the word processing program installed on your computer's hard drive. It also refers to using the Internet as a service, like storing your pictures online at Flickr rather than keeping them on your hard drive.

No, I'm not referring to my favorite M-Class Starship. Enterprise 2.0 refers to the process of using the new Web 2.0 tools and ideas in the workplace, like creating a business wiki for holding online meetings or using an internal blog tom communicate as opposed to sending out email memos to employees.

The process of including location information, like a file storage tag for a photo or using the GPS on your cell phone to 'geotag' where you were when you posted an update to a blog or social networking site.

The process of creating potentially viral content in the hope of obtaining a large number of incoming links. For example, you might write an article about a current event in the hope of attracting some attention. The negative thing about link-baiting is intentionally saying something unpopular in the hope of creating a debate. Some users will create hyper-provocative titles to articles toward the same goal.

This refers to the trend of websites that recognize mobile devices (like phones) and utilize their special features. like Facebook (a popular application). When users sign onto their smart phones, linked social networking sites know they are available to communicate. The GPS in most phones also tell where the user is located.

This was an early term that lost out to 'cloud computing.' Office 2.0 refers to the trend of taking office applications and turning them into web applications, again, like online versions of a word processing or spreadsheet program.

CUSTOM HOME PAGES/Personalized Start Pages
This is a web page that is highly customizable, often featuring a news reader and the ability to add widgets. It is designed to become your web browser's "home" page. Find excellent examples of personalized start pages with iGoogle and MyYahoo.

The simultaneous distribution of audio and video across the Internet, such as video blogs or Internet radio programs. Many businesses are conducting live 'Webinar's' in the same manner. Like blog formats, they can range in subject matter from personal to business to political to serious to entertaining.

RSS/Web Feeds
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is the system that transports articles across the Internet. An RSS feed (sometimes simply called a 'web feed') contains either full or summarized articles without all the fluff from the website. These feeds can be read by other websites or by an RSS reader.

RSS READER/News Reader
The program used to read an RSS feed. RSS readers allow you to aggregate multiple web feeds and read them from a singular place. There are both online and offline RSS readers. (I like Google Reader, personally.)

You don't have to be a genius to figure out computers, programs or how to use the Internet these days, just be willing to experiment and search. Remember, Google really is your friend!

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