When you first jump into the blogging world, you might encounter terms that you’re unfamiliar with. Although this list may seem overly basic to more experienced bloggers, everyone has to start somewhere, so list is geared towards beginners. We’ve tried to define most terms that a newbie blogger might come across, even if they are not directly related to blogging. I’m sure I’ve missed a few however, so if you happen to think of a term that you would like me to include, please contact me or comment. In addition, I’m aware that some of these terms also apply to non-blogging related concepts, but for the sake of brevity (hah!) and relevancy, I’ve limited my definitions to the blogging world.
About PageThe page that tells readers what a particular blog is about, in a nutshell. It may include the author(s) bio and background, additional sites they contribute to, and any other important or interesting details.
Aggregators Also known as a feed reader, an aggregator combines syndicated web content into one location for easy viewing and reduced web-surfing time.
Ajax A web development technique used for creating interactive web applications,
Ajax is fundamental to the rise of social media and Web 2.0.
Algorithm The list of well-defined instructions that a search engine uses to accomplish a search and answer a query.
Archives On a blog the listing of past posts organized chronologically (usually by month), possibly divided into categories.
Blog/Weblog – A website where entries are posted in reverse chronological order (e.g. the most recent ones at the top) that provides commentary on a given topic or niche, along with personal details about the blogger(s). Blogging has combined the concept of a personal web page with tools like blogrolls, permalinks, and trackbacks that make blogging an incredibly interactive, community-driven form of media. Blog is also used as a verb – the act of writing a blog.
Blog Carnival A collection, or round-up of links to blog posts written on a particular topic. Bloggers host them and participate in them as a method of drawing traffic to their own blogs and to discover new blogs in their niche.
Blogger – Either an individual who blogs or Google’s free blogging platform, www.blogger.com.
Blogosphere - The entire online community of blogs and bloggers can be referred to as the blogosphere.
Blogroll – A list of other blogs that a blogger enjoys, reads regularly, and wants to recommend to their readers. Usually the blogroll include blogs in the same niche, and can be divided into categories in order to properly classify the different links.
Bookmarks Web page locations that are easily stored, organized, and retrieved. You can bookmark a site with your web browser (the Favorites list in Internet Explorer, for instance), or you can use a social bookmarking site to share your favorites with other users.
Broken Link When the URL of a hyperlink hasnt been entered correctly or when a site, page, or other content has been moved the link will not connect the reader and thus has literally been broken.
Categories The titles, or tags, that a blogger has chosen to organize their content with. A well-chosen and defined system of categories can help with SEO and with the overall user experience of a site.
Comments - Where readers can respond to your individual posts and interact amongst themselves – the ability for readers to comment is an important part of any blog. Comments are often valuable source of content ideas for your blog and as a promotional tool (comment on other blogs in your niche to get your name out there).
Contact Page A very simple but essential page that allows readers of your blog to email you directly and privately, without leaving a comment.
CSS CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it is used by the creators and readers of web pages to define the color, font, layout, and other presentation aspects of web pages. The theme of a blog is typically CSS based, so users can make changes to the theme without changing, moving, or losing their entire blog.
Deep Linking – Linking to specific posts and content as opposed to the main page of a site; when you deep link on your own blog, it encourages readers to stick around check out more of your content, as well works as a kind of blogging shorthand – if you’ve already covered a topic, you can just link to your previous post.
Del.icio.us. A social bookmarking service that allows users to tag favorite sites and articles with descriptive keywords, discover new content, and share their favorites with other users. del.icio.us
Digg A community based popularity website that combines social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication. Users submit content and stories find their way to the front page (or not) through a democratic user-based ranking system. www.digg.com
Directories A site that specializes in linking to other sites and organizing those links into categories according to niche and subject matter. Directory owners usually allow bloggers and webmasters to submit their site for inclusion and have human editors review the site for relevancy.
Facebook One of the many social networking websites, Facebook was originally confined to users with college or university email addresses, it is now open to anyone and is currently one of the fastest growing social networking sites. www.facebook.com
Feeds A feed is a data format that allows readers access to constantly updated content; a blogs feed is syndicated through RSS (Really Simple Syndication), allowing users to subscribe to it and view it through aggregators like Google Reader and Bloglines.
Flash Flash is the term generally used to reference the Adobe Flash Player, which allows bloggers and website owners to create sites with interactive and animated aspects, such as banners, games, and video clips.
Flickr A searchable social image sharing site that allows users to tag pictures with specific keywords and descriptive terms. www.flickr.com
Folksonomy A user generated taxonomy (a classification system) designed to categorize and tag web content. Sites like Del.icio.us and Flickr fall into the folksonomy category, because their users have developed a shared, familiar vocabulary to use when classifying articles, images, and other web-based information.
Forums – A web application for holding discussions (typically organized into threads) and posting user generated content. Also referring to as message boards, discussion boards, bulletin boards, or discussion groups.
Hits The amount of traffic a site generates can be referred to as the number of hits; unique hits refer to new visitors.
HTML HTML stands for “hypertext mark-up language, and it is the predominant language used for the creation of web pages. It defines the appearance of a website and denotes the placement of titles, text, images, and other objects. Thanks to the ease of use of the current blogging platforms, it’s not necessary to know HTML in order to create a blog.
Hyperlinks - Generally described simply as a “link”, a hyperlink is a navigation element of a website that takes the reader to another site (or section of the original site) with the click of their mouse. Typically, bloggers will use
Hypertext – This term refers to text on a website that leads the viewer to other related information when the reader clicks on it or hovers over it with their mouse. Hypertext makes the dynamic organization of information possible through a system of links and connections. Bloggers tend to use hypertext in the form of links or bubbles, such as WordPress’s Snap Preview.
Incoming Links Links that generate traffic towards your blog, these can either link viewers to the main, or they can be deep links to specific posts.
Images Basically anything used to illustrate a website, ranging from photos, logos, and graphics.
Keywords The key search terms and phrases that define a website or blog. From an SEO point of view, these are the terms that bloggers and webmasters want to use liberally in titles, headings, tags, and text.
Keyword Density The amount of keywords placed on any given page the higher the better in terms of SEO, but one must also consider the human readers as well.
Landing Page The specific page that a visitor reaches after clicking on a link, for a blogger, it typically your blog main page.
Link Popularity A measure of both quantity and quality of other websites that link to a specific site.
Link Baiting Any content or feature within a website that somehow entices other bloggers and webmasters to link to it. Attempts to catch people’s attention through link baiting is considered an important SEO technique, and it can be an extremely powerful form of marketing due to its viral nature.
Link Building The process of gathering lots of incoming links and traffic through SEO, link baiting, and simply creating compelling content. It tends to be a slow and steady process versus a viral one.
Long Tail - A term coined by Chris Anderson (The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, 2006) used to describe certain business models, like Amazon or Netflix, that offer tons of different of obscure, niche items because the total units sold of those low popularity items exceeds that of high popularity items. Thanks to the growth of the web, the long tail, or catering to niche markets, has become a viable business strategy. The actual phrase “long tail” is a reference to the tail end of a demand curve.
Main Page The home or front page of your blog, where the most recent posts are typically located, along with other important data like blogrolls and links to the About and Contact Pages.
Mashup A website or application hybrid that combines content from more than one source, such as Google Maps and Flickr.
Meme – In regard to blogging, a meme is a bit of viral internet phenomena (like the macrocats and Chuck Norris facts) that becomes extremely popular (sometimes for a short time, but stickier memes can last for a while) due to the ease of self-publishing and information dissemination on the web.
Microblog – Using services like Twitter to post short but constant updates on a blog.
MoBlog A mobile blog, or a blog written on the go primarily from a mobile device such as a cell phone or Blackberry.
Myspace A social networking website that allows users to post images, personal profiles, blogs, music, and videos, as well as form networks with each other that span the globe. www.myspace.com
MyTypes The key to you eSuccess, a free blogging platform with built in SEO Tools
Netiquette A catchall term for the conventions of politeness and the unwritten code of conduct that good “netizens” follow, e.g. no trolling or spamming other blogs and always linking back to sites that you quote from.
No Follow Links Links that do not influence a site (the link targets ranking in a search engine”s index. No follow is an HTML attribute that does not block content (readers can still access the targeted site by clicking on the link), but it prevents spamming and spamdexing.
Organic Links Also called natural links, these links occur indirectly when a blog has good, compelling content that catches the attention of and proves beneficial to a variety of readers. Outgoing Links Links that send readers to other blogs or websites. It’s important to have some outgoing links to other resources on your blog. Pages – Like a blog post, but pages live outside the rest of the blog’s chronology and can be hierarchal; they are usually listed in the header or sidebar of a blog.
PageRank Google’s link analysis algorithm that assigns a weight to each indexed site on the web.
Permalinks A URL that points to a specific blog entry even after that entry has moved from the front page to the blog’s archives.
Photoblog A blog with content that is primarily photographs and other images.
Ping A alert on a blog’s track back system that notifies the original blogger when someone has linked to a particular post.
Platform The framework of software that blogs, websites and other web applications are built upon and run from, examples include WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, and of course, Mytypes.
Plug-ins An extension or add-on to a program that interacts with the host to perform (typically very specific) function on demand. Many new plug-ins, add-ons, or extensions are developed for blogging platforms.
Podcast A digital media file, or series of files, residing at a unique web feed address and distributed over the internet for playback on portable media players or computers. The term is a combination of “broadcast and “pod” referring to a container of some sort or the ubiquitous Apple Ipod.
Posts – An entry in a blog, usually listed in chronological order. The content and the basis of your blog.
Profile Similar to the About Page but less customizable, your profile on a blog or social networking site includes basic information and statistics about the user, along with some personal details and usually, a picture or two.
Reciprocal Linking When you agree to link to another blog or website as long as they link back to yours. It can be a good way to build traffic, but repeatedly spamming another blogger for a link is considered poor netiquette.
RedditAnother social bookmarking site that allows users to post links to web content, and other users can vote the content up or down in the rankings.Ã‚Â The site also has discussion areas where users can share comments. www.reddit.com
RSS RSS is used to refer to “really simple syndication, and that is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, breaking news headlines, or podcasts.
Search Engines An information retrieval system designed to locate information on a computer system such as the World Wide Web; search engines operate algorithmically or by a combination of algorithmic and human input. Google is currently the most popular search engine, with Yahoo and MSN also possessing significant market shares.
Search Engine Optimization/SEO The process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to websites via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results. Generally, the more highly a site ranks in a search engine’s results, the more searchers will visit that site.
SERPs - Search engine result pages, or the response you get when you type a query into google, yahoo, and other search engines.
Sidebars The columns on the sides of a blog (apart from the main text, which is typically centered) that normally contain a blogroll, links to the archives, a list of categories, and any widgets that the blogger has chosen to add.
Site Map A basic outline of a website or blog that allows readers to find their desired information quickly.
Social Media Sites and services that allow users to share, bookmark, and tag web content, such as Digg, Stumble Upon, and Del.icio.us.
Social Bookmarking A way for users to classify and share links to sites that they find helpful, entertaining, or otherwise compelling on social media sites such as Reddit, Digg, and others.
Social Networking On the web, a community of people who post profiles, and share interests and activities, connect with each other, and otherwise generate content and form network.
Spam Broadly defined as the use of electronic messaging systems to indiscrimately send bulk messages, bloggers can be affected by spam in their comments section. Spamming is considered annoying and widely reviled in the blogosphere.
Spam Filter A system designed to block out comment spam; email services tend to have spam as well as blogging platforms.
Spamdexing The attempt to manipulate a site’s rank in search engine indexes in manner inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system, e.g. using hidden links and keyword stuffing (placing tons of keywords on a site with little to no actual content).
Stumble Upon A web browser plug-in that allows users to discover and rate web content, videos, and images, and to “stumble upon new ones based on previous rankings and ratings by friends and users with similar interests. www.stumbleupon.com
Tags Also known as a metadata tags, these are the relevant keywords or terms assigned to a piece of information (examples include articles, blog posts, images, and video clips), describing the item and allowing for keyword based classification.
Tag Cloud A weighted visual depiction of the content tags used on a given website or blog; more frequently used tags are displayed in a larger font or bold text. Social media sites such as Flickr, Technorati, and Del.icio.us all employ tag clouds.
Technorati - A search engine dedicated solely to indexing blogs, Technorati tracks the state of the blogosphere, ranks blogs according to popularity, and lets bloggers see who is linking to them.
Themes In the blogging community, your theme is the skin, or appearance of your blog (a theme is CSS based and easy to change without altering or losing your content).
Time Stamps The stamp at the top or bottom of the post that shows the date and/or time of day that entry was posted.
Titles – The title or headline of each post, these are important because search engines index according to title and so readers know what they are getting when they click on an incoming link.
Trackbacks An acknowledgement of a linkback, which is a notification method for bloggers and webmasters that lets them know when someone links to one of their articles. Some blogging platforms, including WordPress and Mytypes, automatically allow for and support trackbacks.
Trolling An internet troll is someone who purposely posts derogatory or inflammatory comments or messages in order to invoke a response; trolling is clearly not considered polite behavior.
Twitter - A social networking and microblogging service that allows users to post short updates (text-based posts up to 140 characters long) through SMS text messaging, email, or the twitter website (www.twitter.com).
URL Technically, this term means “Uniform Resource Locator, but for a blogger’s purposes, the URL is whatever shows up in your browser’s address bar. For example, the URL of Create Compelling Content is http://www.mytypes.com/jacqueline/. I is important to enter the correct URL when you’re linking to another site or section of your blog, or the reader will encounter a broken link.
User Generated Content Any kind of web content created by the end user, from blog posts to video clips; also known as consumer generated media. User generated content is a central component and key aspect of Web 2.0.
Viral Content/Marketing Technically, viral marketing refers to using pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand or product awareness; web content can go viral due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to links on popular blogs or as a result of a positive reception on social media sites.
Web 2.0 This term is typically used to describe the “next generation of the world wide web, characterized by the social media networks, user generated content, and the rise of the internet as an interactive platform and community.
Web Browser A software application that enables the user to surf the web, e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox.
Widget A portable chunk of code that can be embedded, installed, and executed in an HTML based web page by an end user through the placement of the small snippet of code within a blog or web page’s template.
Wiki – a web application designed to allow multiple authors to add, remove, and edit content, allowing for collaborative authorship, sometimes on a grand scale. Wikipedia, the massive online encyclopedia, is probably the most famous example of a wiki.
WordPress Another popular blog publishing platform. www.wordpress.com
YouTube A popular video sharing website where users can upload, view, rate, comment on, and share video clips. www.youtube.com