Glossary of Web Definitions for 2010

APPLICATION

In old money this is a ‘program’ or ‘software’. In new money it’s ‘Oh wow this device has access to 100,000 apps in the palm of my hand’. Grow up kids, it’s nothing new.

API (Application Programming Interface)

The ability to connect to a central data provider with different software. For example you can use Twitter with iPhone software or different windows desktop clients, as well as custom Twitter function providers such as Follower analysis etc. These services are provided (mainly) by non-Twitter affiliates through the Twitter API service.

AUTOBLOG

What you end up on when searching Google for something obscure. Often containing far too many links to be natural you may often be bombarded with adverts, banners, affiliate links and email subscription panels. These sites automatically churn out content copied and spun from reputable sources, such as here to look like a decent, original site. Google loves them because they also make money because so many use Google advertising. Just like a Content Farm, the information you actually seek will not be there, but you will be encouraged to spend money or click an advert.

BETA

A site or service that is not fully operational yet and is only open to select users to help find bugs and problems before full launch.

BLOG

(Professional) An updated online journal containing authoritative content within a niche.
(Personal) A diary to share favourite sites, photos, text, personal information and non-authority. Usually combined with Social Networks or some social interaction.

CAPTCHA

Those annoying, barely readable pictures of text behind grids from which a user has to enter said text when filling in a form. These are an anti-spam measure to prevent the site being bombarded with thousands of spam submissions.

CENTRALISED WEB

If you only ever search with Google, interact on Facebook and watch videos on Youtube on your iPhone you are a victim of the Centralised web. This is when very few companies are controlling most of the web and other services cannot get a word in edgeways.

CHECKING IN (location)

A new trend particularly with users of smartphones of pathetically mentioning where they are everywhere they go. Some location based services such as Foursquare promise that frequent visitors to select venues will be rewarded with discounts or free goods.

CLOSED SYSTEM

Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod products are the famous example of a Closed System where the source code remains secret and all applications must be approved by Apple and bought through the Apple App store. Apple even determines which websites can be viewed. Wonders never cease why people lock themselves into these systems and pour money and cash and more money into these Closed Systems. Other Closed System providers exist but are not as popular.

CONTENT FARM

Sites that churn out articles, press releases and other text specifically to pull in search traffic. Similar to an Autoblog in purpose though at least the content is original. Usually the information is not authoritative and of little value to the visitor who will be encouraged to click on adverts or affiliate links surrounding the content to earn the content farm money.

FANBOY

Somebody who bangs on about a particular brand, manufacturer or site and has to be the first to purchase every single product going, usually because they have very little self respect or any value in life.

FEED

A term given to technology such as RSS or ATOM where fresh content comes to you, rather than you having to keep checking for updates, mainly to a blog. A Feedreader is software that allows you to do this.

INTERNET-ADD

Internet Attention Deficit Disorder. The lack of ability to concentrate on tasks or content while browsing the web. Symptoms include revisiting favourites or checking emails several times in the space of 2 minutes. Can also be indicated by having many tabs and browser windows open.

MEME

A Meme is a trend that can spread virally, be copied or applied in a varied situation. Examples: ‘Motivational Posters’, ‘Chuck Norris one liners’, ‘You Sir, Are An *’ etc. A virally spread Youtube Video or other item does not make a Meme unless it becomes more than the feature itself. The ‘Zombie Kid Likes Turtles’ Youtube video has inspired tributes, tshirts, autotune remixes and other items with the boys face and the variation of ‘I Like *’ as an unrelated response to any question. This is then classed as a meme.

MICROBLOGGING

Updating a personal status where the character limit remains low such as on Twitter or Facebook.

NET NEUTRALITY / DE-CENTRALIZED WEB

The idea that no one company or collection can control the web. I.E. not Google. Everybody can access and create the web just like in the old day before censorship.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

(Process) Ensuring that search engines can understand and recognise the content and structure of a site, and earning vital inbound links to improve rankings in search engines results.
(Business Plan) The idea that most of a websites traffic (and subsequent income) will come via search engines rather than alternative advertising or marketing ideas.

SOCIAL NETWORK

A website or service where registered users can gain and interact with other people/friends. A general social network such as Facebook has no niche but some social networks bring users with common interests together, such as Cookery, Music or Motoring.

STREAM

A list of updates and news from your social circle such as on Twitter or Facebook.

TROLL / TROLLING

Inciting an arguement in a comments section by posting something racist or a needlessly derogatory comment about the poster. Sadly, people do this for self-entertainment.

WIKI-

Originally WIKI meant that a web page or piece of information could be contributed to, edited or moderated by any visitor. Though open to abuse many sites such as Wikipedia or Wikileaks require registration and an authority/trustworthy building process first.

Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0

Web 1.0 was the first generation where websites were generally static content surrounded with blinking GIFs. Web 2.0 was the generation of interactivity between user to site (comments) and user to user (social networks) along with great design. Web 3.0 is establishing itself with the ability to seamlessly connect data to data and device to device.

USER GENERATED CONTENT

A business plan where users to the site will create the content and the site will retain the rights and profit from it. Examples include Yahoo Answers and other blogging services.