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Blogging terms and phrases2

All the words and phrases every newbie Edu-Blogger should know about: part two (the sligTwo Bloggers by Mike Lichthtly more serious list).

Archives
A collection of your posts stored and divided monthly by tags and/or categories.  It’s very important to display these in a immediately visible area on your blog so that returning readers who may have not yet bookmarked a specific post but wish to refer to, link or comment later on, can.

Auto-feed
Automatic Feeder.  This is when you set up a system so that your blog posts are automatically fed (via RSS) into other sites such as Facebook (NetworkedBlogs), Twitter (TwitterFeed) etc.

Many blogging platforms have a plug-in you can install to do this with, and send your posts across various different social-networking sites.  Useful for when you’re very busy however bloggers should be careful not to abuse this because sometimes the feeds are sent out immediately upon publishing (before you’ve had a chance to do a last-minute edit) and non bloggers (family members, friends) get very annoyed with a steady stream of your links without little interaction or conversation on your part.

Badges

One of the ways that humans determine value of a product, service or person is through evaluating social proof. It’s the reason why shoes like Crocs and hip-waisted jeans are ridiculously popular despite being awfully ugly.  It’s the reason teenagers want to look like Paris Hilton.  Placing badges on your blog easily lets others know how many others read your blog, subscribe to it and follow you across different social networking sites; what communities you personally participate in and what awards you have won.

As difficult as it may be to do, if you’re a private educator, the truth is that it helps readers to assess whether or not you are indeed a respectable site, providing information of value and it helps them to decide whether or not they should follow/subscribe to your work themselves.


BBS a.k.a Belly Button Seekers

Bloggers who spend a lot of time talking about themselves, their philosophies on life in general and how absolutely amazing they are as human beings or educators, writers and/or presenters.

Generally their posts feature news on their conference participation: pre, during and post – complete with photos of them shaking hands or having dinner with other VIPs, is only about their own projects or books or overall or how truly blessed their lives have really been.

Although this may possibly provide even more social proof, you’re best advised to give BBSes a wide berth wherever they crop up, be it on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
Also known as Blogarcissists.

Bleg

To use one’s blog to beg for assistance on a project or to beg for votes in a blogging award or competition.


Blickers
New bloggers who spend a lot of time courting older bloggers through means of flattery, done only in order to get on their blog rolls and when not successful move on to another blogger.  Time would be much better spent simply writing quality content and allowing the blogosphere to discover them in its own time.

Bots
Web searching ro”bots”, a.k.a spiders that crawl through the web retrieving websites and then organizing this information so that it can be found by search engines.   Most bots are good however there are also spam bots which go through the internet looking for specific keywords and then go out blog dumping on mass.

Captcha
Completely-automated-public-turing-test-to-tell-computers-and-humans-apart.  A set of letters and/or numbers are presented so that only a human can read and enter these.  Useful for blocking comment spam.

Categories

Think of these as section headers or as parts of a book.   You shouldn’t have too many of them because they define, overall, the subjects you write about most often.  Differs from tags which are more like subsections or chapters.

Collaborative blog

Multiple users who work together on one blog.  Also known as a Community or Group blog. Generally contains a series of articles exploring a common, long-running, theme and posts are often made up of many different global voices.

Comment v.
The process of leaving behind one’s own thoughts, opinions and experiences on a blog. Do not get hung up on the quantity of comments your blog receives, many readers generally prefer to lurk unless they’re talking to a VIP/ well-known blogger.

Comment spam

Robots or persons who flood blogs with advertising. When done by fellow bloggers leaving behind their urls or requests to be visited this is known as blog dumping.

Dashboard

In the back-end of a blog, where you can see and draft all posts.

Desktop blogging client

An offline management system designed for writing, editing and archiving blog posts. This may be useful if you own multiple blogs or you travel frequently and want to draft blog while not connected to the internet.  For more information, read this article on blogging clients.

Domain name
A unique, case-insensitive, name, consisting of a string made up of alphanumeric characters and dashes separated by periods which you choose for your blog and have register with a web host/provider. The Domain Name System  (DNS) maps to IP numbers and other information.

Draft post

Unfinished articles held in the back page of your blog.

Eddies

a.k.a The Edublog awards: the original principles behind these were to provide an opportunity for an international community interested and involved in scholarly and education based blogging and the use of social media as an opportunity to come together as a community.  To discover new ways of using blogging and social media as a way to support learning and highlight the wealth of effective, innovative work being carried out globally.

They were founded by James Farmer from 2005-8 convened by Josie Frasier. In 2009, the Eddies were sponsored by EduBlogs Campus and Classroom 2.0.

Edublogs 1
Blogs written by educators, aimed at other teacher trainers and teacher-educators, teachers in similar educational niches, students, parents and/or the wider community.   Posts are generally discuss topical educational topics and when by individual /group of students used as a digital alternative to the paper-based notebook.   Blogs have also been used as electronic portfolios, as alternatives to paper-based resumes/CVs.

Edublogs 2
Edublogs is also the company name of the hosting platform for approximately half a million blogs written by teachers, students, researchers, professors, librarians, coordinators, classrooms, institutions and administrators.   They offer three
products: free, pro & campus.

Edu-blogging
The process of communicating with other educators, writing up notes for students to read and to keep parents updated with activities occurring in the classroom or done in class with students.

When used by students, a blog replaces the paper notebook and can be used to list important links, write essays and reports, store vocabulary for future reference, keep school-work organized via tags, share presentations, documents, videos and other media.

It can also be used to start discussions with classmates and to express themselves autonomously in whatever way they wish and in some cases, to communicate with sister classrooms in other nations and the general global community of readers.


EdubloggerWorld
Community created by Steve Haragon in order to facilitate the creation of a PLN amongst educational bloggers worldwide.

EduBloggerCon
The official un-conference of/for/by educational bloggers.

Footer
The bottom of a blog.  Generally used to record the copyright statement.  Some bloggers use this space to include links to other articles, about pages, general information or host web-links.


Google Alerts
One of the most important thing that Edu-bloggers can do is to stay on top of subjects they write about in their educational niche.  They can do this by signing up for alerts and receiving these directly in their email inbox.
Google Web Alerts and Blog Alerts, which are very easy to set up and you’ll have the option of choosing how often you would like to receive them.    Also set up an alert on your own blog and name as a way of keeping dibs on who’s talking/ writing about you.


Google Analytics
The installation of these in the back-end of your blog can help you to get a true picture of how many people are visiting your blog, how long they stay there, where they come from and what pages are most popular.   They can also help you determine what posts to write next.  See
http://www.google.com/analytics/

Hat tip
Acknowledgement of a source who tipped you with news which you are now sharing on your own blog.  Often indicated to with an @name.   Important to do, from a smart marketing perspective, as in general people really like people who remember that they were the original source.

Header
The top of a blog, usually featuring a photograph or emotive image and the blog title.  Some templates have simple plain headers in a solid colour and others include individually personalized design logos.

Hits
A hit is a request made to a Web server.

It is a popular misconception that the term refers to the number of visits or visitors a blog has received, however, whenever a post contains pictures or any other media, any number of hits can occur on the same page, i.e. if there are ten photos then eleven hits are recorded during the time the browser is accessing the server, one for the html and ten for each photo.

If the blog carries google adsense, widgets of any form, twitter updates or a social-networking frame, these may also send requests to the server and be counted.  Also, hits can come in from spiders and spam bots.  Therefore, in general a blogger should not count hits as a way of measuring blog success.

The term hits also refers to the number of times your/ your blog’s name is listed on Google.

Moblog
A blog which features posts sent to the site via a mobile phone, using SMS and MMS.   Mostly photoblogs.

Permalink
The unique address for each individual blog post which you write. You use this whenever you are passing on a link to someone else.   The name comes from the fact that this link remains permanent once it has passed from the front page and into the archives and as is not susceptible to link rot.

Some blogging platforms create unique and user-friendly post-slugs (the end of the url) however others generate numbers or complicated strings of words and figures.  Human readable forms are generally preferred and are better for search engines.

For information how to change standard URLs to Permalinks in WordPress (Blogger and most other platforms) do this automatically: http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks

Ping
(Packet-internet-grouper)
A ping or pingback is a notification sent to search engines and other tracking tools to let them know that a blog has been updated.

Pro-blogger
Someone who blogs professionally i.e. gets paid to blog or earns an income from advertising, affiliate marketing or product sales.  Also known as a Blogan.

Recipricol linking
The philosophy behind this is reminiscent of the old boy’s club (a “Link Farm” in blogospeak) and this club’s motto is “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”  Done to increase popularity of a website and apart from being unethical, if done across random genres, may be considered as black hat SEO.  In Googlelandia, that’s a big no-no and may cause your blog to drop off the map. 
http://www.webdesign.org/site-maintenance/web-promotion/white-hat-seo-vs-black-hat-seo-whats-your-definition.15374.html

RSS
Really-Simple-syndication.  Provides the possibility for readers to subscribe to your blog using a reader and/or persons to aggregate your content and display it on another site.

RSS aggregator
Collects the feeds from various blogs and then compiles them on to one platform for easier comparative reading.  One example of how this is used in education is Macmillan’s OneStopBlogs.
http://blogs.onestopenglish.com/

RSS feed
The file containing a specific blog’s latest posts.  It immediately updates an aggregator or reader whenever there has been a change on a website.

RSS reader
This tool collects RSS feeds you select and then provides them for you, organized in posting order or type.   It’s the easiest way to stay on top of what other bloggers are writing, the best of these is Google Reader,
learn more on YouTube. Another good one is Bloglines: http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs

Self-host
The act of downloading software and then hosting a blog on your own site with its unique domain name (i.e. not followed by .blogspot.com or .posterous etc but instead name.co/name.de)


Spam blog

A blog which is entirely made up of chunks of content from other blogs and links that go to other spam blogs. The creator doesn’t add anything of written value and may be using RSS aggregation tools to collect information.  Done usually so that they can run google ads and earn income via link farming.  Also known as a Splog.

Subscribe
Readers who want to regularly read a blogger’s postings without having to visit the blog each time.   Subscribers can opt for getting a blog delivered to their email inbox (via Feedburner or in a Reader.)

Tags
Tags are ways of organizing your blog posts into a system.  If categories are like the parts of a book, then tags can be seen as the sections or even individual chapter titles.

Templates
The layout of a blog: designed in the back-end, separate from the content you write, it determines how the page will look when it’s published.

Theme
Like the template, however usually refers to special pre-set packages with a quality design.  They can be download for free (many designers have a good range available in order to present their skills) or you can, for a small fee, can have one designed to look more professional/personalized to your own needs.

Trackback
An automatic ping between blogs, it allows a blogger to let another blogger know that a post has been linked to it from another blog without needing to write personally.  One drawback is on blogger, you have no way of knowing this when it occurs on older posts.   Some trackback programs include mentions on various social networking sites, i.e.
Disqus

URL
Uniform Resource Locator.  A URL is the specific web address on the internet.  I does not have spaces and certain characters cannot be displayed (&).   The first part of the URL, http:// tells you that it is a web page, directory or document.

The next part tells you the website/blog’s home address:

(e.g. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/ =
Larry Ferlazzo’s blog, which is hosted on edublogs);

next it tells you when it was written

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2010/01/24/;

and finally, in the post-slug, the name of the post (this can be changed later on).

the-best-online-collections-of-powerpoints-for-teachers/

Some blogging platforms do not automatically provide unique urls but instead provide random numbers and symbols which looks pretty clumsy and unprofessional as well as being generally unhelpful to bots. See above Permalink.

Visits

The ‘real’ hits on your page, a record of the visitors who visit your blog.

Vlog
A video blog

_ * _ * _

What have I missed?

What words or phrases do we commonly use when participating in the blogosphere that newbie bloggers might have a difficult time understanding/ coming to grips with?  Are there any words you personally would like more clarification on?

And by the way, for a fun list of terms and expressions derived from the word blog, please see Sue Lyon Jones’ blog. Blogging terms and phrases1

Sources
http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2006/06/the-giant-blogging-terms-glossary/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_blogging

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/
http://www.doshdosh.com/social-proof-optimization/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blook
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/09/27/using-categories-and-tags-effectively-on-your-blog/
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/domain_name
http://www.techterms.com/internet.php
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Google+Blog+Search-a01073996368
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Edublog_Awards
http://www.webdesign.org/

Karenne(c) KarenneJoySylvester, 2010
This article is part of a series,
Thoughts on Edublogging.  Karenne is an ELT edu-blogger, a ESP:IT teacher, EdTech teacher-trainer and materials writer, originally from Grenada in the Caribbean.  She currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany and is the blogger behind Kalinago English and BusinessEnglish~5mins.