It is critically important that we understand some terminology before we are able to move on. Some of these terms are very specific to blogs, and some are more general. Whatever it is, here is the whole lot of terms we’ll be covering today.
* Author Bio
* Blog Archives
* Blog Comments
* Blog Description
* Blog Network
* Blog Posts
* Blog Title
* Client side scripts
* Link Love
* Page Rank
* RSS / Syndication / Feeds
* Server side programming
* Social Bookmarking
Whoa, that’s a lot for a start – and I’m sure that that is not all the terms you will be exposed to, but these are the more important ones. I’m excited. Here we go, one by one.
An A-List a catchy name used in the blogosphere to refer to top bloggers who influence the blogosphere. A-List blogs are normally the pioneers of blogs, and have existed for at least 2 years or more.
While there is no clear line drawn when exactly your blog becomes an “A-List” blog, there are several “top 100? lists on the Internet like the Technorati top 100 for you to go learn from these successful blogs!
Blogs are very personal websites, and very often the author would dedicate a section of the main blog page to talk about themselves, and some, like myself who like to elaborate more would create one extra page out of the blog solely for the purpose to introduce ourselves to our readers.
Most bio pages have a photograph of the author, followed by some words on how the blog came about, where the author is located and stuff. Some author bio page also allow the reader to get in touch with the author, by providing email addresses, or instant messaging (e.g. MSN, Skype or Yahoo messenger) contacts.
Generally, the author bio does well for the blog – it helps to put a face behind the mysterious paragraphs and paragraphs of text that appear everyday.
As you may have noticed, the information appears on blogs in a very chronological manner. As bloggers enter new information into their blogs, these new posts will appear on the main page of their blog, and the older paragraphs get pushed down.
Eventually, (normally) about 7 to 10 posts will remain on the main page and the older posts get rolled off. These posts do not disappear from the blog altogether. Instead, they get archived in the blog archives.
This is where the blogging software does its magic – it creates links automatically on the main page (normally) to these archives, so visitors are able to access the archives by clicking on those links.
Bloggers can choose to archive their posts at different intervals. Some do them weekly, some daily, some monthly. It all depends on the blogger’s preference.
Comments are one of the reasons why blogs have taken off so well. For every post that a blogger has added to his blog, readers are invited to share their views and comments on the post. This allows the readers to create a conversation with the blog author – or even between readers.
Quality comments add value to a blog post, and sometimes the thread of comments can bring the further insights to the subject mentioned in the original blog post.
One important thing to note for many bloggers is that once your blog gets popular, you will tend to get a lot of comment spam. Comment spam is basically rubbish comments. Therefore, many blog authors enable anti comment spam tactics like CAPTCHA phrases, spam filters or explicit moderation and approval of each blog comment.
There has been a lot of talk going on about preventing comment spam from getting through, and whether explicit approval is bad for blog conversation, and there are pros and cons of each stand. Some frustrated bloggers might even turn off blog comments altogether.
Most of the time, a blog title is accompanied with a sub-title, tag line or blog description that describes (normally in one paragraph) what the blog is about. For example, the blog description for my blog is:
Blog marketing is becoming commonplace as companies start to use the Internet for publicity. Get the best SEO blog marketing training in Singapore, learn to use blogs to get in touch with customers, make money blogging, and be a Blogopreneur!
As you can see, by reading this blog description – readers will immediately understand what the blog is about – and more importantly for me, what the snazzy term “blogopreneur” means!
A blog network, put really as simply as it is, is a network of blogs. Blog networks are a collection of blogs and bloggers focused on providing content to their readers. Most blog networks also actively seek out for new writers everyday to add on to their list of bloggers.
Some of these blogs in these blog networks get together to help each other publicise each other’s blogs, and some also share their revenue made from advertising.
Some popular blog networks out there are b5media, 9rules, Know More Media.
Everytime a new entry is added to a blog, it is one blog post. Blog posts are normally shown in reverse chronological order on the front page of the blog (i.e. the latest post at the top, followed by older posts below).
Posts are sometimes called “entries” or “articles”. There are no restrictions to what goes on in the contents of the posts, but generally, the trend is that most posts are written in a conversational voice, and are rarely “marketing talk”. Post may really contain anything, from paragraphs of text (which is the norm) to images, video clips, links to files… anything!
As new posts are added, older posts are pushed off the main page, and are rolled into the blog archives.
Just like every book has a title, so does every blog. While it is not a requirement that the title has suggest what the blog does, that is the normal practice. Like books, titles can be catchy (like “Blogopreneur” ), or the can be straight to the point (like “Blog Marketing Advice for Newbies”).
For this blog, I have chosen to use two titles, one is Blogopreneur, and the other is Blog Marketing Singapore. Since Blogopreneur is still not yet an English word, I figure that not many is going to type that term in search engines. That is why I have chosen to complement that with Blog Marketing Singapore, which is short and to the point.
Normally, titles are short and sometimes because of this, they do not provide a very clear picture of what the blog is about. Therefore, it is often accompanied by tagline or description to further elaborate on its purpose.
Blogosphere refers to the whole blogging community on the Internet. Of course, from you can see that is a spin off from the words blog and atmosphere
So, once you have a blog, post a comment, or even READ a blog (like mine!) you are already in the blogosphere! And you will be addicted to it, and you will NEVER find a way out!
Heheh. Just joking.
A blogroll again, is another spinned off word from words Blog and Nominal Roll or something, and as you may have already guessed – it is a list of other blogs.
Many bloggers maintain a blogroll on their sidebar, and this is done to help their readers find other blogs related to their own blogs. For personal journals, blogrolls can just be the blogs of their friends, or just blogs that the blogger read often.
Blogrolls aren’t always called “blogrolls” – some other possible names are “Daily Reads” (hey! that’s what I use!), “Recommended”, “Blogs I read”, “Related Blogs”, “Blogs I Like”, “Blogs You Should Read”, “Blogs You Must Read”, “Blogs You Gotta Read” …. well… I guess you get the idea. Its up to the blogger.
captchaCAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” – a word which is trademarked by Carnegie Mellon University
It is basically a challenge response mechanism build in some authentication processes to make sure that it is a real person is sitting behind the screen rather than a computer script or a robot. How this is normally done is that a distorted image of a phrase is shown to the reader, and the reader is asked to key in that phrase into a textbox.
Note that there is, however, no restriction to how a CAPTCHA challenge is posed. Recent development has CAPTCHA phrases make it more accessible friendly by using audio captchas when visual images are unusable. Instead of reading the images, an audio file is played, and the user has to type in the phrase that is pronounced.
CAPTCHAs are used in many authentication processes like when you are registering a new email account, but more specifically for blogs, its has been used to prevent comment spam.
The definition of “categories” in the blogosphere is no different from that is in the real world. Bloggers tend to post entries about different subjects or topics, and to make finding easier for their readers, they categorize these posts into categories (erm… not very helpful is it?)… okay.. they PUT (for the lack of a better word) these posts into categories.
Categories are very much like archives, except that archives organise the posts by date, but categories organise the posts by content. One post can belong to many categories at one time.
Sometimes people tend to confuse Categories and Tags. While they are very similar, there is a difference between the two. Categories are used to organise posts; tags are used to organise information, so in a sense, categories can be whatever you want to choose, like “Things I would like to do before I leave this world”, but tags need to be terms that will probably be searched by other people, like “Adventure” or “Web Copywriting”.
Client side scripts
Client side scripts are scripts or programming code that is run after the page has been downloaded into your computer. Consider a scenario which you want to put your visitors’ computer time on the web page. This can be done using a client side script.
Client side scripts can be used to do many magical things on the webpage, like fancy animation and immediate updating of page contents without the reloading of a page.
While a majority of Internet users do not do this, it is important to note that your visitors may choose to disallow client side scripts to run on their computer. It may therefore be wise to prepare another version of the page that does not use client side script to update the page.
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. As the name of the protocol goes, this protocol is used for the transfer of files from your computer (called the local computer) to the server (called the remote computer).
In order to transfer files easily, we often use an FTP client software like Filezilla.
The FTP client software handles all the nuances of the protocol for you. All you have to do is to key in the hostname, username and password (which will be provided by your webhosting company) to connect to your remote server.
In the screenshot of Filezilla above, the left panel is your local computer, and the right panel is the remote computer. To transfer files over, you simply need to drag the files from the left panel to the right.
Link Love refers to the act of one blog linking to another, usually unsolicited. Very often, quality content receive a lot of link love, simply because people want to link to good content!
Page Rank is a means used by Google to measures of importance of a page. A page rank can go from anything between N/A (which means it has not been given a page rank yet, or the page has been banned in Google’s database), or 10 which means it is perfect.
.EDU (education related) and .GOV (government related) sites normally have a higher page rank.
Normally, a site with a higher page rank will appear higher in search engine results. However, that is not always the case.
Yet another spinned off word from Permanent and Link. For most popular blogging platforms, like Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad, every post that the blogger makes is made into a separate page, apart from being listed on the blog main page, archives and categories.
The URL to this page that is created is called the Permalink.
Permalinks are used to refer to a particular post. For example, if I want to comment about John’s recent post on his blog (http://www.someblog.com), if I link to http://www.someblog.com, it will not work, because that refers to the blog’s main page, but his recent post will go off from the main page into the archives as new posts are added.
In order to link directly to a particular post, you must link to the permalink address, and this is usually published alongside each post.
There are many blog aggregating, search and tracking services like Technorati, Google Blog Search, and BlogPulse. These services keep track of millions of blogs.
After you have published a new post on your blog, you need to tell these services “Hey, my blog is updated, please come and get the updates”. This is sent via a Ping.
Now, apart from the three services listed above, there are hundreds of other similar services, and it would be pretty difficult to keep track of new services as they appear. So, what happens is that, there is another services by the name of Pingomatic that updates all the different services for you.
This makes things easier for you, so you just need to “Ping” Pingomatic, and Pingomatic will “Ping” the different services for you.
If you are using WordPress, even pinging Pingomatic is done automatically for you.
Another spin off from the words iPod and Broadcasting. A podcast is basically someone putting an audio file (it can be anything from a song to a speech to a 20 minute lecture) or video file alongside the blog entry and together with its feed.
By subscribing to a podcast feed using software like Apple’s iTunes, you can practically synchronise your iPod with the latest podcast that is been delivered on the blog, hence the word “Podcast”.
RSS / Syndication / Feeds
RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, and RSS is also one of the file formats used for blog feeds.
Blog feeds are essentially a file containing only the blog’s entries. As you start to blog, you will start to realise that you want to keep track of the updates of many blogs – and since not every blog is updated with a new entry everyday, it might be time wasting to visit the blog everyday.
Instead, what you can do is to subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed using an RSS aggregator/reader like Google Reader, or Newsgator.
What happens then is that the RSS reader will keep track of the blog latest posts, and will indicate to you when there are new entries to the blog.
Some bloggers prefer to publish partial feeds, so that the reader still has to got to the blog to read the entire post, while some other bloggers prefer to publish full feeds, meaning that the entire blog entry can be read via the reader.
Server side programming
Server side programs, unlike client side scripts, refers to programs and code that is run on the server end (e.g. requesting data from a database and then populating the page), before the page is sent to you for viewing in your browser.
Very often, server side programming is very transparent to the visitor. Three very popular server side programming languages are Active Server Pages (ASP) by Microsoft (files ending *.asp), Java Server Pages (JSP) by Sun (files ending with *.jsp) and PHP (a cute recurring acronym for “PHP Hypertext Processor” ) which is open source (files ending with *.php)
While you would most probably not need to bother about the syntax of any of these server side script in blogging, it is important to know that some blogging platforms require these server side scripts to be supported on your webhosting server. (e.g. The downloadable version of WordPress needs to be run on PHP, and MovableType runs on another language by the name of Perl).
Therefore, say, if you are planning to set up a WordPress blog, you would need to choose a web hosting service that provides support for these server side languages. PHP (and sometimes JSP) support is more commonly found in Linux hosting plans, and ASP is supported in Windows hosting plans.
The sidebar of a blog is the area where the blogger normally puts their links to the pages in their archives, recent posts, categories, author bio and any miscellaneous information.
Depending on the layout of the blog, some adopt a three column layout with two sidebars, some have a two column layout with one sidebar, and some have a single column layout without any sidebar. In that case, the links are normally put on another page, or at the bottom of all the entries in the main page.
In some blogging platforms, the contents on the sidebars can be managed using widgets in a drag and drop fashion. Other platforms require the blogger to explicitly understand and edit the HTML code behind the sidebar.
Social Bookmarking site are websites like Del.icio.us, Digg and Reddit. On these sites, users (not necessarily bloggers) bookmark articles of useful or recommended content (not necessarily from blog) , and shares it with the rest of the community.
Many of these services also provide a voting mechanism. So, as more people give their vote for a piece of content, the entry rises in popularity in the particular service, and normally, popular links are very much visited by the users of these services.
Because of this, there is an ongoing trend using social bookmarking services to bring in traffic. This practise, however, constitutes to spamming these services, because the original intention of these services are for your visitors to share your content with their friends, and not for you to publicise your own link.
A combination of two words Spam and Blog. A splog is a blog that posts spam content, usually content taken from other blogs.
While it is often acceptable to quote one or two paragraphs and quote the source blog, providing some link love, some splogs do this for every entry, without adding content of their own.
Some other splogs take content wholesale from your blog and republish it in their own blogs. This act constitutes to plagiarism, and should be reported to an authority.
Tags are a way of identifying and organizing information so that the piece of information (the blog post) can be retrieved using its tags. Tags are very often confused with categories.
Unlike categories, tags need to be “normally searched” phases. For example, if I post an entry talking about the recent developments in the WordPress blogging platform, I will probably “tag” the post with the tag “WordPress”, however, I may assign it to a category called “Development in blogging platforms”.
Tags are used in services like Technorati. People can search for blog entries with a particular tag in Technorati. When a tag is listed, it is also normally link to a site outside your blog that lists all the blog posts or entries using that tag.
Many social bookmarking services also run on tags.
A trackback is like a remote comment, and is a mechanism that works between blogs to tell each other “I’m quoting you”.
Let put up an example to make this clear.
Say John publishes an entry. Then Mary comes along, reads John’s post, and decides to expand on the topic John said by publishing a post on her blog. When doing this, Mary sends a trackback to John’s post trackback address. What happens now is that an excerpt of Mary’s post appears on John’s post as a comment.
Trackback addresses are normally published alongside blog posts. If the trackback address is not published, normally the trackback can be sent to the blog post’s permalink address.
With rising broadband speed and the reduction of prices of broadband access, users are able to stream videos from the Internet into their computers.
A Vlog is the short form of Video Blog. Instead of posting text for every entry, vlogs are blogs that use videos as their content for their blog entries.
“That’s it” refers to a notation that a blogger getting done with an article or a blog post… argh… I’m getting addicted to this!
Phew! That was fun wasn’t it? Heh! I sense warning signals of overload! Well, it is not necessary to actually memorize everything here to get started on blogging. You may want to bookmark this page in your favourites though, so that you can come back another day to refer to the terms.
Overloaded? Too easy for you? Let me know if you are managing well. Drop me a comment below, drop me a mail, get on Skype, get in contact! I want to know how you are getting along and I really want to help you get started.
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