Last week, I gave a presentation on blogging to a group of business owners. About 10 minutes into my presentation, a woman in the audience raised her hand and asked, “What is blogging, anyway?”.
I was taken back by her question because I assumed that everyone in the audience knew what blogging is. That is when I realized that there are people who are hearing about it for the very first time and have no idea what it is.
I explained that bloggers, such as entrepreneurs, hobbyists, activists, moms, and the like may use a blog as:
- an online journal or personal diary
- a way to share thoughts, perspectives, and their expertise on a subject matter
- a place to collaborate
- a way to gain fame and fortune
- a way to make money
and if one does it frequently, this would be considered “blogging”. Blogging is considered a form of social networking because your prospects and readers can leave comments. This is a great way to create a dialogue and establish trust with your prospects.
I get asked similar questions like that all the time….like, “what’s a permalink?” or “what’s the difference between a plugin and a widget?” or “should I use categories or tags?”.
This got me thinking about creating a list of blog lingo definitions. I know, I know…it sounds dull and boring but you may find some of the definitions quite helpful.
Some of the blog lingo definitions listed below you might have seen while tinkering around in the WordPress dashboard or heard while out at a cool, fancy party in Silicon Valley. I have used online sources from Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, and blog glossaries for these references.
Blog: A shortened version of the term “Web Log”. Wikipedia tells the history of the coining of the term…
“The term ‘weblog’ was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May of 1999. This was quickly adopted as both a noun and verb (“to blog,” meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”).”
Blog software, such as WordPress, is also referred to the term CMS, (Content Management System).
Blogroll: A listing of websites that often appear as a list of links on the sidebar of a blog. This list of links is used to relate the site owner’s interest in or affiliation with other bloggers.
By having one, you are saying to the reader “Here are other blogs that I like- you should check them out too.” Further, you’re telling other bloggers. “I like your site and I think my readers will too.”
Blogosphere: The totality of the blogging community. Also known as Blogistan or the blogiverse.
Categories: This is a method of organizing blog entries by assigning each entry to a predetermined topic. Each topic will link to a list of entries, all with related content.
Collaborative blog: A blog (usually focused on a single issue or political stripe) on which multiple users enjoy posting permission. Also known as group blog.
Feed: Many websites have links labeled “XML” or “RSS” or “Atom”. All of these are ways of saying that you can find out about updates to that site without having to visit the site in your web browser.
This feature is referred to as “syndication” or “aggregation”. Sometimes it’s just called subscribing.
Header: This is where you’ll see the title and often reveals the purpose of the blog. This is also generally a place for a nice graphic reflecting the idea of your blog.
Ping: A computer network tool used to test whether a particular host is reachable across a network. It works by sending “echo requests” to the target host and listening for “echo response” replies. This estimates the time it takes to get from your network to the network in question, and back again.
Pingback: A pingback is one of three types of linkback methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles.
Permalink: A web link that takes you to the permanent location of an article in a blog archive.
Plugin: In computing, a plug-in is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing software application. When an application supports plug-ins, it enables customization.
Podcasting: Using your MP3 player to listen to the audio from a blog.
RSS: (Rich Site Summary) or (Really Simply Syndication) – a web content syndication format; a feed reader is used to check RSS enabled webpages on behalf of a user and display any updated information. Learn more
Sidebar: This is the area (or areas) outside of the post areas. You can have them on the left side, the right side, or both. They generally contain widgets and chiclets and blogrolls and other extra content that adds ease of navigation and/or visual interest.
Tags: Essentially tags are keywords used to classify content.
Theme: A way to customize the look of your blog. Typically blogging systems will have a handful of pre-made ones to choose from. Some are easily able to be further customized by adding custom headers, titles and colors.
Trackback: One method for blog authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their posts. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking, and so referring, to their articles.
The receptor often publishes a link back to the originator indicating its worthiness. These are used primarily to facilitate communication between blogs and require both sites to be enabled in order to establish this communication.
Troll: A commenter whose sole purpose is to attack the views expressed on a blog and incite a flamewar (aka a war of comments), for example, a liberal going to a conservative blog, or vice versa. Many of them will leave their remarks on multiple posts and continue to visit the blog, sparking spirited (typically mean-spirited) debate amongst the blog’s regular readers. Their verbosity can range from eloquent to crass, although most probably fall into the latter category. Originally, this only meant the custom where someone was commenting just to get a flamewar going, by using exaggarated points of view not held by themselves.
Thread: A side discussion taking place within the comments section of a blog. The term is taken for the forum discussion environment.
Vogging: Video blogging – adding a blog to your blog post with a brief summary.
Widget: A portable chunk of code that can be installed without requiring knowledge of coding. Other terms used to describe widgets include: gadget, badge, module, capsule, snippet, mini and flake.
These add some content to that page that is not static. Some types include photo galleries, random quotes, RSS feeds, and recent posts, among many others. Be sure to check out my list of Top 50 Plugins For your Website/Blog
WYSIWYG – Also known as a “whizzywig editor” : This is a type of editor. Typically these will be much like a word processing editor (Microsoft Word Document). They way it looks when you hit “Enter” is the way it will look when people view your page. What you see is what you get.
WordPress.com: WordPress.com is a commercial website where you can host a website for free with some limitations or pay for upgrades.
WordPress.org: is the open source software that powers millions of websites around the web. There are no limitations.
Xenoblogging: The work you do that helps other people’s blog
That just about sums it up. Are there any terms that you have heard that are not on the list? I look forward to hearing from you.