A-L | M-Z
Have you ever heard a high-tech term and wondered what it meant? Too many vendors in our industry talk over their clients' heads by regularly using "geek speak" they don't understand. This page exists to answer the question, "What on earth is THAT?"
Just click on a phrase below for its definition, in "laymen's terms:"
Affiliate marketing is the use by a website that sells products of other websites, called affiliates, to help market the products. Amazon.com, the book seller, created the first large-scale affiliate program and hundreds of other companies have followed since.
A banner is an advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across a Web page or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads. Banner ads are usually Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images. In addition to adhering to size, many websites limit the size of the file to a certain number of bytes so that the file will display quickly.
Betaware is a nickname for software which has passed the alpha testing stage of development and has been released to a limited amount of users for software testing before its official release. Beta testing allows the software to undergo usability testing with users who provide feedback, so that any malfunctions these users find in the software can be reported to the developers and fixed.
A beta version is the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety. Beta version software is likely to be useful for internal demonstrations and previews to select customers, but unstable and not yet ready for general availability release. Some developers refer to this stage as a preview, a prototype, a technical preview (TP) or as an early access. As the second major stage in the release lifecycle, following the alpha stage, it is named after the Greek letter beta, the second letter in the Greek alphabet.
A blog (short for "weblog") is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or reflect the purpose of the website that hosts the blog. Topics sometimes include brief philosophical musings, commentary on Internet and other social issues, and links to other sites the author favors, especially those that support a point being made on a post.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML. CSS can be used locally by the readers of web pages to define colors, fonts, layout, and other aspects of document presentation. It is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation (written in CSS). This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control over presentation, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content.
A directory listing of all a company's contacts and their information, typically presented in a table format. Such listings are typically stored in a database which can be searched using a web-based form.
Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a database-driven system used to manage the content of a website. It allows anyone on the planet with Internet access and the proper permissions to update a website quickly and easily using a web browser without needing to know programming. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a website without needing the expertise of a webmaster. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the website. The features of a CMS system vary, but most include Web-based publishing, format management, revision control, and indexing, search, and retrieval.
Distance learning, sometimes called e-learning, is a formalized teaching and learning system specifically designed to be carried out remotely by using electronic communication. Because distance learning is less expensive to support and is not constrained by geographic considerations, it offers opportunities in situations where traditional education has difficulty operating. Students with scheduling or distance problems can benefit, as can employees, because distance education can be more flexible in terms of time and can be delivered virtually anywhere.
Strictly speaking, in the Internet's domain name system (DNS), a domain is a name with which name server records are associated that describe subdomains or host. For example, the website you're visiting right now is "theweboasis.com," and Google, the popular search engine website is housed at the domain "google.com." In the simplest of terms, a domain is the technical name for an organization's address on the World Wide Web.
E-Commerce (short for electronic commerce), consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily since the spread of the Internet. A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.
An e-newsletter (short for electronic newsletter) is a regularly distributed publication generally about one main topic that is of interest to its subscribers which is delivered via e-mail. E-Newsletters have gained rapid acceptance for the same reasons as traditional, hardcopy newsletters, and e-mail in general is gaining popularity over printed correspondence.
Many e-newsletters are published by clubs, churches, societies, associations, and businesses, especially companies, to provide information of interest to their members, customers or employees. Some e-newsletters are created as money-making ventures and sold directly to subscribers. Sending e-newsletters to customers and prospects has become a common marketing strategy in today's "wired" world of e-business.
Flash, a popular authoring software developed by Adobe, is used to create vector graphics-based animation programs with full-screen navigation interfaces, graphic illustrations, and simple interactivity in an antialiased, resizable file format that is small enough to stream across a normal modem connection. The software is widely used on the Web, both because of its speed (vector-based animations, which can adapt to different display sizes and resolutions, play as they download) and for the smooth way it renders graphics. Flash files, unlike animated but rasterized GIF and JPEG images, are compact, efficient, and designed for optimized delivery.
Forum/discussion board system
A discussion board (known also by various other names such as discussion group, discussion forum, message board, and online forum) is a general term for any online "bulletin board" where you can leave and expect to see responses to messages you have left. Or you can just read the board. The first discussion boards were available on bulletin board systems. On the Internet, Usenet provides thousands of discussion boards; these can now sometimes be viewed from a Web browser. Today, many websites offer a discussion board so that users can share and discuss information and opinions. Special software is available that provides discussion board capability for a website.
In a business enterprise, a help desk is a web-based software program that allows a user of information technology (IT) to submit requests for help with a problem. The software can save an organization significant time and money by increasing the efficiency of its IT staff. The World Wide Web offers the possibility of a new, relatively inexpensive, and effectively standard user interface to help desks (as well as to call centers) and appears to be encouraging more automation in help desk service. Some common names for a help desk include: Computer Support Center, IT Response Center, Customer Support Center, IT Solutions Center, Resource Center, Information Center, and Technical Support Center.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page. The markup tells the Web browser how to display a Web page's words and images for the user. Each individual markup code is referred to as an element (but many people also refer to it as a tag). Some elements come in pairs that indicate when some display effect is to begin and when it is to end. HTML is a formal recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is generally adhered to by the major browsers, Mozilla's Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which also provide some additional non-standard codes.
XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), as the W3C describes it, is "a reformulation of HTML 4.0 as an application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML)." HTML 4 is the current version of it. XML is a structured set of rules for how one might define any kind of data to be shared on the Web. It's called an "extensible" markup language because anyone can invent a particular set of markup for a particular purpose and as long as everyone uses it (the writer and an application program at the receiver's end), it can be adapted and used for many purposes - including, as it happens, describing the appearance of a Web page. That being the case, it seemed desirable to reframe HTML in terms of XML. The result is XHTML, a particular application of XML for "expressing" Web pages.
XHTML is, in fact, the follow-on version of HTML 4. You could think of it as HTML 5, except that it is called XHTML 1.0. In XHTML, all HTML 4 markup elements and attributes (the language of HTML) will continue to be supported. Unlike HTML, however, XHTML can be extended by anyone that uses it. New elements and attributes can be defined and added to those that already exist, making possible new ways to embed content and programming in a Web page. In appearance, an XHTML file looks like a somewhat more elaborate HTML file.
An image gallery is simply an online photo album which visitors to your website can click through at their leisure. Typical features of the software that provides this functionality include subject-based categories, subfolders, thumbnail image creation and pop-up effects.
The Internet, sometimes called simply "the Net," is a worldwide system of computer networks... A network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have permission, get information from any other computer (and sometimes talk directly to users at other computers). It was conceived by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. government in 1969 and was first known as the ARPANET. The original aim was to create a network that would allow users of a research computer at one university to be able to "talk to" research computers at other universities. A side benefit of ARPANet's design was that, because messages could be routed or rerouted in more than one direction, the network could continue to function even if parts of it were destroyed in the event of a military attack or other disaster.
Today, the Internet is a public, cooperative, and self-sustaining facility accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Physically, the Internet uses a portion of the total resources of the currently existing public telecommunication networks. Technically, what distinguishes the Internet is its use of a set of protocols called TCP/IP (for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Two recent adaptations of Internet technology, the Intranet and the Extranet, also make use of the TCP/IP protocol.
Internet marketing (IM) / Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Internet marketing, also referred to as online marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), Internet advertising and e-marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet, especially utilizing search engines. Effective IM/SEO results in getting a website to rank in the top 10 search results for a particular keyword phrase. When applied to the subset of website-based advertisement placements, Internet marketing is commonly referred to as Web advertising (Webvertising) and/or Web marketing. The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing, one of which being lower costs for the distribution of information and media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, both in terms of providing instant response and eliciting response, is a unique quality of the medium. E-Marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope since it refers to digital media such as web, e-mail and wireless media, but also includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management systems (E-CRM systems).
Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including design, development, advertising, and sales. Internet marketing methods and strategies encompass a wide range of services. Internet marketing does not simply entail building or promoting a website, nor does it mean placing a banner ad on another website. Effective Internet marketing requires a comprehensive strategy that synergizes a given company's business model and sales goals with its website function and appearance, focusing on its target market through proper choice of advertising type, media, and design.
An Intranet is a private network that is contained within an enterprise. It may consist of many interlinked local area networks and also use leased lines in the wide area network. Typically, an Intranet includes connections through one or more gateway computers to the outside Internet. The main purpose of an Intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees. An Intranet can also be used to facilitate working in groups and for teleconferences.
An Extranet is a private network that uses Internet technology and the public telecommunication system to securely share part of a business's information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers, or other businesses. An Extranet can be viewed as part of a company's Intranet that is extended to users outside the company. It has also been described as a "state of mind" in which the Internet is perceived as a way to do business with other companies as well as to sell products to customers.
The term "keyword" refers to the terms or phrases submitted by a user of a search engine for the purposes of finding information on a specific topic. For example, if you were interested in finding greek recipes to experiment with in the kitchen, you might go to Google's website (http://www.google.com) and type "greek recipes" into the search form. There are many different search techniques, and the more specific you are when querying the Web, the more likely it is you will find exactly what you're looking for.
A knowledge base is a machine-readable resource for the dissemination of information, generally online or with the capacity to be put online. An integral component of knowledge management systems, a knowledge base is used to optimize information collection, organization, and retrieval for an organization, or for the general public.
A well-organized knowledge base can save an enterprise money by decreasing the amount of employee time spent trying to find information about - among myriad possibilities - tax laws or company policies and procedures. As a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, a knowledge base can give customers easy access to information that would otherwise require contact with an organization's staff; as a rule, this capacity should make the interaction simpler for both the customer and the organization. A number of software applications are available that allow users to create their own knowledge bases, either separately (these are usually called knowledge management software) or as part of another application, such as a CRM package.
In general, a knowledge base is not a static collection of information, but a dynamic resource that may itself have the capacity to learn, as part of an artificial intelligence (AI) expert system, for example. According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), in the future the Internet may become a vast and complex global knowledge base known as the Semantic Web.
The number of links to your website. Link popularity is a very important factor in high search engine ranking. Webmasters use a number of methods to increase their site's link popularity including article Page Rank, link exchange (link partners / reciprocal linking), link buying, and link directories.