Top Five Jargon Terms

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I like to think I'm fluent in English, being born and raised in America and all. But sometimes I feel like I'm learning a new language: technospeak. Every industry is rich with its own jargon, but because so many people use the Internet, the technology industry's jargon frustratingly works its way into common speak (remember when we all laughed about the word "blog"?). You don't need to know what all this terminology means (like undercooked spaghetti not all of it will stick), but here are what I consider the top five most important tech terms that are worth learning.

  1. SEO (search engine optimization): “… the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via … search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it 'ranks,' the more searchers will visit that site." From Wikipedia. See blog postings on SEO.
  2. Open source: “… a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.” From the Open Source Initiative. Software code that is created under open source guidelines (such as Drupal – our CMS of choice) is open to anybody to use without licensing restrictions.
  3. RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication or RDF Site Summary, depending on who you ask): “… a format used to publish frequently updated works – such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video. An RSS document (which is called a 'feed', 'web feed', or 'channel') includes full or summarized text … [that] benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an 'RSS reader', 'feed reader', or 'aggregator', which can be web-based or desktop-based.” From Wikipedia. Here's the Friendly Web Tools Blog RSS feed and instructions on how to use it.
  4. Microblogging: “… the practice of sending brief posts to a personal blog on a Web site, such as Twitter or Jaiku. Microposts can be made public on a Web site and/or distributed to a private group of subscribers. Subscribers can read posts online or request that updates be delivered in real time to their desktop as an instant message or sent to a mobile device as an SMS text message.” From Follow Talance on Twitter.
  5. Social network fatigue: “The ennui induced by persistent solicitations to join new social networks. It is especially acute in those who are already members of more MySpaces than they can remember." From Wired.
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