GEEK SPEAK SOMEWHAT EXPLAINED
This blog is dedicated to all of those who, like me, are bothered and bewildered by what I call “geek speak.” That is, terms related to internet communications and technology. I confess I am a right-brained person; one of those folks who can’t read maps, is easily confused by graphs, and can barely use an electric can opener let alone program a TV.
Acronyms are especially trying for me. I keep trying to make up my own definitions of the letters stand for. Like “URL” may officially stand for “Uniform Resource Locator.” But it could also mean “Useful Remote Location.” Well – it could! The point is, “Geek Speak” is a language I’m still learning and if you have the same issues you might appreciate a mini-glossary of terms to help you catch up with your kids and grandkids – not to mention the rest of the world.
Here are some terms that are used all the time and sort of understood by most of us, even if we don’t get all the nuances. Hopefully, this will make them a little more familiar to you.
The amount of data your internet connection can carry measured in bits per second.
The visuals or pictures that function as mini billboards around a website. They can be static words and images or animated (much more fun, don’t you think?) Banners are a quick way to present a special offer or, if you post them on other sites, to draw your target market from that site to your own.
A browser is the software you use to view information on the Web. Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Google Chrome are some examples. The hitch is because each browser is different from the others, a page that lines up perfectly on one may be off-center on another (bummer!) This is one of the problems designers face when developing Websites. (Not to worry, Crux is up to the challenge.)
If you know anything about Crux – you know cookies – the kind you eat and sigh over – are one of our most favorite things. But online a cookie isn’t edible. It’s a message from your Web server to your web browser. Cookies identify previous visitors to the site from those who are new and customize content for them depending on whether they’re returning or stopping by the site for the first time.
A domain name is how a Website is identified on the Internet. It appears in the middle of a Website’s URL. For example, in www.cruxcreative.com – “cruxcreative” is the domain name.
Short for ‘Electronic commerce’ which is the buying and selling of goods and services online. It includes the display of items, their purchase by visitors and the transfer of funds in payment. If you’re a retail business you’re probably already using E-commerce. More and more businesses of all types are finding it allows them to expand their businesses without investing in brick and mortar locations.
As far as I’m concerned this is “geek code.” Seriously. Who else would know what this is? Well, now you’re in on the secret. It means that the web page you’re trying to open can’t be located. This could be because the page has been taken down or because you’ve mistyped the URL and are trying to get a page that doesn’t exist.
I love this word! It means just what you think it does. The “Findability” of information is how easily it can be found, either through search engines, online directories, and resources or from within the site itself. The greater your service and/or product’s findability, the easier it is for you to make a sale. And at Crux, we absolutely want to raise your findability as much as we can.
If you ever watched the old “Lou Grant” TV show you probably know that if a newspaper story is printed “above the fold” it’s the scoop of the day and the first thing a reader sees. Online, “above the fold” means the content that can be seen without scrolling down. Obviously, this is where you want to put your biggest, most interesting news.
Don’t you love the concept of getting something for nothing? So do we! Freeware refers to software that you can download from the Web at no extra cost. Hooray! Adobe Reader and Skype are just two examples. We can show you more. Just ask us.
I know I should know this but it’s an ACRONYM and I’ve already told you how I feel about those. If you MUST know, it stands for “Hypertext Markup Language,” and is a cross-platform term for creating and formatting web pages.
I’m sure you use these, usually called “links,” all the time. I know I do. They allow readers reading a Web page to connect with another web page within the same site or on other sites. We use them all the time on our Facebook postings. Click here and see.
Another you know what. But this one is fairly easy to remember – it means “Internet Service Provider” or a company that provides Internet access.
A major branding tool for your company. It’s the image at the top of your web pages and can contain photos, copy, shapes, and/or image maps. Our designers are brilliant at them. (Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased. But they are.)
Okay. I’m borrowing from Wikipedia here because this is a bit over my head. “Metadata is defined as data providing information about one or more aspects of the data, such as Means of creation of the data, Purpose of the data, Time and date of creation, Creator or author of data, Location on a computer network where the data was created, Standards used.” In short, it’s how you would describe the site itself and its content within the site or its blog.
Another term that’s pretty straight forward. This refers to links that go from your site to somebody else’s. Sharing these with a business that intersects but doesn’t compete with yours is a cost-effective way to increase traffic to both sites.
This is a program that searches HTML documents (i.e. Web pages) for pre-determined keywords and then develops a list of documents containing these words. It has two parts – a spider that locates and gathers the documents and an indexer that reads them and indexes them.
Now, this is an acronym I actually LIKE – “Search Engine Optimization.” SEO is a plan or design to raise the attention a Website gets from search engines. This can be accomplished through a number of techniques including developing keyword-rich content, link-building, injection of Google Analytics site-wide and more. Crux is exceptionally good at SEO and would be happy to share what we know.
Officially this means “Uniform Resource Locator,” otherwise known as a Web address. Our URL is http://4e4.7d0.mwp.accessdomain.com.
An indispensable way of communicating with clients in whatever industry you’re in. Websites fulfill all of the functions of collateral, print ads, commercials, brochures and annual reports in one place. They can show customer testimonials, product demonstrations and even take product orders – 24/7 – to anyone, anywhere around the world. If you don’t have one – get one. If you already have one – treat it as your business’s most important marketing tool because that’s exactly what it is.
Hope you’ve found this useful. If so, please feel free to pass it on.