In a few days, when we begin setting up family blogs, you will encounter all sorts of terms –vocabulary words that literally fly around the blogging world. At the bottom of this post I’ve attached three blog glossary links that you can use in the future, anytime you discover an unfamiliar term.
To get started, however, I’ve chosen a few blogging terms that I believe are most important. I copied some these definitions from Daily Blog Tips, however I tweaked here and there and also appended my own comments in green type inside of square brackets.
- AdSense: The most popular advertising network on the Internet, owned by Google. Adsense allows bloggers to monetize their blogs by displaying contextual text messages. Every time someone clicks on one of the text links, the blogger will earn some money (ranging from $0.01 up to $50 in some rare cases) Read more about how AdSense works. [I will devote a post to advertising, blogs, WordPress, and how to stop advertising on a personal or family blog.]
- Akismet: The most popular spam filter plugin for WordPress blogs, created by the same company that coded WordPress. And it comes free with a WordPress blog. [Akismet is terrific. In two years of blogging I've only disagreed with its call one time. The amount of spam your blog receives, even after the first few weeks, is astonishing.]
- Archives: A section of a blog where all or some of the past posts are displayed. They can be displayed by category, by month, by year and so on.
- Blogosphere: Term used to describe the universe created by all blogs, its connections, networks and conversations.
- Blogroll: A once very popular feature on blogs that allowed the author to share with his readers a list of recommended external blogs. This section is usually included on the sidebars of a blog. These days fewer and fewer bloggers are still using a blogroll. [I happen to love using my blogroll features, and I actually use a bunch of link categories sharing my favorites for each topic. Check out my blog, AsOurParentsAge, to see how I use blogroll and link features.]
- Categories: Most blogs cover a wide range of sub-topics called categories. A technology blog, for instance, might have different categories for software, hardware and science news.
- Feed: Also called web feed or news feed, it’s a data format used on the Internet to allow users to receive updates from their favorite websites and blogs, as soon as new content is available. There are two main feed formats: RSS and Atom. [Some readers will subscribe to your blog and receive e-mail notifications, but others will use a feed and read it in an aggregator, such as iGoogle or Bloglines.]
- Load time: The time, usually expressed in seconds, that a website takes to load. Most webmasters aim to have fast loading websites, since this is a paramount factor for positive user experience. Research confirms that most web users will skip a website altogether if it fails to load within 5 seconds. [This is why you want each post to be clean and simple with words and a couple of pictures or a video.]
- Page Views: Also called impressions. Every time a user loads a page from a website, a page view is generated. One single user, for example, can generate several page views throughout a website visit. Popular websites can generate millions of page views every month.
- Pingback: A network tool used to notify a website when someone else has linked or referred to it. Most blogging platforms handle pingbacks automatically. That is, when a blog writer links to an article that you wrote, the link will appear in your comments section.[By the same token, if you write about link in a post, a pingback will notify the other site about your mention.]
- Plugin: A program that interacts with a computer or another program that provides a specific feature. The name is an electricity metaphor — because the idea of a plugin is to connect (plug-in) and just work with no fuss or bother. Plugins are usually associated with graphics, audio, and video activities.
- RSS: Acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It is a format used to deliver information from websites and pages that get updated regularly. An RSS document (called a feed, see above) contains either a summary or the full content from a website. The main benefit of RSS is that it enables people to stay connected with their favorite websites without having to visit them. Once you subscribe to a particular RSS feed, you will automatically receive updates from the website that publishes the feed, whenever they release new content.
- Subscribers: Visitors that either grab the feed of a website or subscribe to receive updates via email. Whenever a blogger updates a site with new content, subscribers receive a notification via e-mail. Webmasters and bloggers especially value subscribers because they represent a loyal and stable source of traffic.
- Tags: Tags are used to classify the articles and content on a website. Tags, however, are more flexible than categories, and usually are used in a more specific way. One article or post is usually filed under a few categories, but many tags may be assigned to it. [Tags make it easier for people to search on a topic and arrive at your doorstep.]
- Technorati: A search engine for blogs, which tracks blogs, links and posts from around the world. It was very popular until a couple of years ago, although lately it is losing attention. One of its famous features is the Technorati Top 100 list, which ranks the largest 100 blogs in the world according to links from other blogs.
- Widget: A small computer application that interacts with a website and the user in some way. Widgets exist for calendars, images, and lots of social media sites,