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Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 5 months ago

Questionable Definitions

I have attempted to literally "scrape" together a cursory glossary of terms associated with computer mediated communication. This list is not definitive but it offers help to newcomers to social software.


Blog (or Weblog) -- a blog is basically an online journal that is available on the Web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the journal. Blog content ranges from news and information, personal reflections, to family photographs and political commentary (and everything else in between).


Cyberspace -- coined by author William Gibson in his 1984 novel "Neuromancer," cyberspace is now used to describe all of the information available through computer networks.


Feed -- documents containing headlines and descriptions used for Web syndication, often with links to new articles or blog entry posts and brief descriptions.


Flash -- Macromedia Flash is an application used to create animations, advertisements, design elements on a web page or to add video to web sites.


FOAF or Friend Of A Friend -- a way to describe people and relationships to computers in a machine-readable format.


Folksonomy -- an informal means of categorizing information on the web (often referred to as "tags" or "tagging"). Examples of web services that use folksonomies or tags include those designed to allow users to publish and share photographs, personal libraries, bookmarks, which allows authors to assign categories to each entry.


HTTP -- the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the set of rules for exchanging files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web.


HTML -- short for Hyper Text Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.


Hyperlink -- the text or elements you find on a Web site which can be "clicked on" with a mouse, which in turn will take you to another Web page or a different area of the same Web page.


Hypermedia -- a document that can include text, images, sound and/or motion and that may provide links to other media or documents.


Hypertext -- textual data that is "linked" across multiple documents or locations.


Instant messaging or IM -- a form of electronic communication which involves immediate correspondence between two or more users who are all online simultaneously.


Internet (or The Net) -- an electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world. Also jokingly referred to as "the intarweb."


Internet Forum -- a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions, or the web application software used to provide the facility. Web-based forums perform a similar function as the dial-up bulletin boards.


Long Tail, The -- first coined by Chris Anderson, drawing on an influential essay by Clay Shirky, "Power Laws, Weblogs and Inequality" that noted that a relative handful of weblogs have many links going into them but "the long tail" of millions of weblogs have only a handful of links going into them.


Meatspace -- the physical world as opposed to cyberspace.


Metadata -- simply, "data about data;" metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. Metadata is essential for understanding information stored in data warehouses and has become increasingly important in Web applications.


MP3 -- an acronym for MPEG layer 3, which is a compressed audio format that has become commercially popular for encoding music and audio recordings.


PDA -- stands for personal digital assistant -- a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cell phone, fax sender, mailbox, and personal organizer. Many PDAs incorporate handwriting and/or voice recognition features. They are also called palmtops, handheld computers, and pocket computers.


Podcasting -- podcasting is like broadcasting wherein audio content is delivered via an RSS feed presenting a downloadable or streaming file (often mp3).


Network-- specifically, computer networks are a system for communication between computing devices.


Node -- any device connected to network; e.g., PCs, servers, and cellphones,printers are all nodes on a network.


Peer-to-Peer (P2P) -- a sharing and delivery of user specified files among groups of people who are logged on to a file sharing network.


RSS - Really Simple Syndication -- it is an alternative means of accessing the vast amount of information that now exists on the world wide web. Instead of the user browsing websites for information of interest, the information is sent directly to the user.


RDF -- stands for Resource Description Framework; a method for specifying the syntax of metadata, used to exchange metadata.


RSS Aggregator -- an aggregator is able to subscribe to an online feed, check for new content at user-determined intervals, and retrieve the content.


RSS Reader -- is an application that reads many RSS feeds on behalf of one or more RSS subscriber. Most RSS readers are also RSS aggregators.


Scale-free network -- a type of power law, scale-free networks tend to contain centrally located, highly connected "hubs", which dramatically influences the way a network operates.


Screencast -- a recording of computer screen output, usually containing audio narration and typically published as a video file. It requires special software to capture screen events and narration.


Semantic Web -- an extension of the current Web that will allow you to find, share, and combine information more easily. It relies on machine-readable information and metadata expressed in RDF.


Small Pieces Loosely Joined -- Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web is a book by David Weinberger who's central premise is that the World Wide Web has significantly altered humanity's understanding or perception of the concepts of space, matter, time, perfection, public, knowledge, and morality, all of which comprise the titles of chapters in the book.


Social Bookmarking -- a way to locate, classify, rank, and share Internet resources through the use of shared lists of user-created Internet bookmark lists.


Social network -- a category of Internet applications to help connect friends, business partners, or other individuals together using a variety of tools. It indicates the ways in which social structures between individuals or organizations (actors) are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds.


Syndication -- a section or content on a website made available for other sites to use.


Tags or tagging -- a means of categorization using freely chosen keywords that function as descriptors that individuals assign to web objects or web postings.


Tipping point -- a sociology term that refers to that remarkable moment when something unique becomes common.


URL -- stands for Uniform Resource Locator; an address that specifies the location of a file on the Internet.


Virtual Reality -- A computer simulation of a real 3-dimensional world, often supplemented by sound effects.


Web 2.0 -- what some people see as a second phase of development of the World Wide Web, including its architecture and its applications. Many recently developed concepts and technologies are seen as contributing to Web 2.0, including weblogs, social bookmarking, podcasts, RSS feeds and other forms of many to many publishing. Proponents of the Web 2.0 concept say that it differs from early web development, retroactively labeled Web 1.0, in that it is a move away from static websites, the use of search engines, and surfing from one website to the next, to a more dynamic and interactive World Wide Web. The term is still being defined as we speak.


Wiki -- A website or online resource which allows users to add and edit content collectively.


World Wide Web or WWW -- A network of servers linked together by a common protocol, allowing access to millions of hypertext resources.


XML -- stands for eXtensible Markup Language; a flexible way to create and code common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web.





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