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3.22  Web 2.0 Glossary

Adaptive Path—A strategy and design consulting company that helps companies build products that improve the users’ experiences. Founder Jesse James Garrett coined the term Ajax and is a major proponent of the technology.

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)—Allows offline access to web applications (i.e., when an Internet connection is not available).

AdSense—Google’s search advertising program for web publishers. This is a fundamental and popular form of monetization, particularly for Web 2.0 startup companies.

AdWords—Google’s search advertising program for advertisers.

affiliate network—A company (see Commission Junction and LinkShare) that connects web publishers with cost-per-action affiliate programs. (See affiliate program.)

affiliate program—A program that allows publishers to post text and image ads on their sites. If a user clicks through to the affiliate site and takes a specified action (e.g., makes a purchase, fills out a registration form, etc.) the publisher is paid a portion of the sale or a flat fee.

agile software development—A process that focuses on developing small pieces and upgrades to a program quickly and continuously throughout the life cycle of the product.

Amazon—An online retailer and web services provider. The Amazon Associates affiliate program allows web publishers to monetize their sites by recommending Amazon products.

Apache—An open source software foundation, responsible for the Apache Web Server and many other open source products.

API (Application Programming Interface)—An interface called by a program. Web services are often referred to as APIs and are accessible over the Internet.

Apple—A leading computer company, responsible for Macintosh computers, the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone.

architecture of participation—A design that encourages user interaction, where the community contributes content and/or participates in the design and development process. Creating websites that encourage participation is a key part of Web 2.0.

Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)—Allows pieces of a web page to be refreshed separately, while the user continues to work on the page. Ajax improves the user’s experience by making webtop applications approach the responsiveness of desktop applications.

Atom—Used for web feeds; similar to RSS.

attention economy—The result of the abundant amounts of information being produced and people’s limited free time. More content is available than users can sort through on their own.

avatar—A person’s digital representation in a 3D world such as Second Life.

Basecamp—An SaaS project management and collaboration tool from 37Signals.

Blinkx—A video search engine with over 12 million hours of video indexed (which makes the content searchable).

blog—A website consisting of posts in reverse chronological order. For common blog components see: blogroll, permalink, reader comment, and trackback.

blog search engine—A search engine devoted to the blogosphere. Some of the top blog search engines include Technorati, Feedster, IceRocket and Google Blog Search.

Blogger—A popular blogging platform now owned by Google.

blogger—The author of a blog.

blogging—The act of writing a blog.

blog network—A collection of blogs with multiple editors. Popular blog networks include Corante, 9rules, Gawker and Weblogs, Inc.

blogosphere—The blogging community. In mid 2007 there were over 90 million blogs.

blogroll—A list of links to a blogger’s favorite blogs.

broadband Internet—High-speed Internet, often offered by cable companies and satellite companies.

collaborative filtering—The act of working together to promote valuable content and remove spam or offensive content.

collective intelligence—The idea that collaboration and competition among large groups results in grand and intelligent ideas.

Commission Junction—A popular affiliate network with member advertisers including eBay, Best Buy, Hewlett-Packard and hundreds more.

community-generated content—Content (writing, videos, etc.) that is created by Internet users.

contextual advertising—Advertising that is targeted to web page content. Because these ads are relevant to the nearby content, contextual ads often enhance the value of that content and generate higher clickthrough rates.

Corante—A blog network whose blogs are written by leading commentators in their field. Categories include law, policy, business, management, media, the Internet, technology and science.

cost-per-action (CPA)—Advertising that is billed by user action (e.g., purchasing a product or filling out a form).

cost-per-click (CPC)—Advertising that is billed by user click. The publisher receives revenue each time the user clicks an ad on the publisher’s site, regardless of whether the user makes a subsequent purchase.

cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)—Advertising that is billed per thousand impressions, regardless of whether the user clicks the ad or makes a subsequent purchase.

Craigslist—A popular classifieds and social networking website that fits the Web 2.0 lightweight business model. The company has few employees and all of the content is user generated. Craigslist was originally free; however, it is now transitioning to charging for certain services such as real-estate and job postings. A portion of the company is owned by eBay.—A website working on converting Wikipedia articles into RDF triples. This is a step toward the Semantic Web.

Deitel—A content-creation, corporate training and Web 2.0 business development organization. Deitel has a rapidly growing content network (currently about 80 Resource Centers) specializing in topic categories, including Web 2.0, Internet business, programming languages, software development and more.—A social bookmarking site.

Digg—A social media site where users submit news stories and the community votes on the stories. The most popular stories are featured on the site’s front page.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)—Technology used to prevent piracy and misuse of digital media. Several high-profile executives, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs, have recently started an anti-DRM movement.

discovery—The future of search; the idea of introducing users to valuable content they might not have looked for otherwise. For example, social bookmarking sites and Deitel Resource Centers suggest valuable resources.—A social networking site designed for use on mobile devices, owned by Google. Allows users to locate friends and “crushes” who are nearby so they can meet up.

DotNetNuke—An open source web application framework based on Microsoft’s .NET framework. DotNetNuke allows users to build dynamic websites quickly and easily. For more information, visit the DotNetNuke Resource Center ( Centers/Software/DotNetNukeDNN/tabid/1217/Default.aspx).

DoubleClick—An Internet advertising company acquired by Google in 2007 for $3.1 billion. Their advertising exchange connects advertisers with online publishers.

Dougherty, Dale—Coined the term “Web 2.0.”

eBay—The leading online auction site.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)—A widely supported open (i.e., nonproprietary) technology for electronic data exchange and storage, which is fundamental to Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web. It can be used to create other markup languages to describe data in a structured manner.

Facebook—A social networking site. Though it is now open to the public, Facebook was originally designed for and is especially popular with college students.

Federated Media—A company that connects bloggers with advertisers. Founded by John Battelle, the chair for the annual Web 2.0 Summit Conference, and the author ofThe Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture.

Feedburner—Provides RSS feeds for blogs, feed monetization, podcast tracking and more. Acquired by Google.

Firefox—Open source web browser (based on the Netscape Navigator browser introduced in 1994) developed by the Mozilla Foundation. For more information, visit the Firefox Resource Center ( .aspx).

Flex—A Rich Internet Application (RIA) framework developed by Adobe. For more information, visit the Flex Resource Center (

Flickr—A photo-sharing website often credited as one of the best examples of tagging content.

folksonomy—A classification based on tagging content. Users tag the web content (web pages, photos, etc.), making it easier to find the content online. Folksonomies are formed on sites such as Flickr, Technorati and Users can search tags for content that is identified in different (and sometimes more meaningful) ways than by traditional search engines.

Friendster—A social networking site; an early leader in the category of social networking. In 2006, Friendster was awarded a patent for a method and tool called the “Web of Friends,” which gathers descriptive and relationship information for users in the network. The combined data is used to show all of the social relationships connecting two users in the social network. It also allows users to find people connected to their friends, their friends' friends, etc.

Garrett, Jesse James—Coined the term “Ajax” and founded Adaptive Path.

Gawker Media—A blog network that includes (New York City gossip), (technology and gadgets) and more.

Google—A Web 2.0 search and online advertising company founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. It is the most widely used search engine, commanding almost 50% market share. In addition to its regular search engine, Google offers specialty search engines for images, news, videos, blogs and more. Google provides web services that allow you to build Google Maps and other Google services into your applications.

Google Gears—An open source web browser extension that enables developers to provide offline usage of their web applications. The program can easily be resynchronized when an Internet connection becomes available.

Google Maps—Google’s mapping web service, hugely popular in mashups.

Hitwise—An Internet competitive intelligence service provider. Hitwise collects and sells usage information from over one million websites in numerous industries. Clients use the information to find market share, keyword, web traffic flow and demographic data.—A mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist apartment and real-estate listings; often credited as being the first mashup.

IceRocket—A blog search engine.

Intel—The computer hardware company that creates the processors that power most of the world’s computers.

interstitial ad—Ad that plays between page loads.

in-text contextual advertising—Advertising that is marked by double-underlined keywords in the content of a web page. When a reader hovers the mouse over a double-underlined word, a text ad pops up. By clicking on the ad, the reader is taken to the advertiser’s page. Companies providing in-text contextual advertising include Vibrant Media, Kontera, Text Link Ads and Tribal Fusion.

iPhone—Apple’s mobile phone, released June 2007. The iPhone is designed to run a full version of the Internet.

iPod—Apple’s portable media player.

iTunes—Apple’s online music and video store; designed to sync with the iPod.

John Battelle’s Searchblog—A blog in which John Battelle discusses search, media, technology, and more. (See Federated Media.)

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)—A text-based data interchange format used to represent data structures and objects, and transmit them over a network. JSON is most often used with JavaScript in Ajax applications, but it can also be used with other programming languages.

Joost—An Internet TV company using semantic technologies to provide high-quality video with time shifting (recording for later viewing) and social networking capabilities. Joost allows advertisers to target their markets precisely. Advertisers can use demographic information such as location, gender, age, and more, to serve appropriate ads and to get a better return on investment from their advertising campaigns.—A popular social music website that uses the wisdom of crowds to recommend music to its users. The Audioscrobbler music engine automatically sends the name of every song the user plays to the server. It then uses the information to recommend songs and artists, connect users with similar tastes and more.

Laszlo Webtop—A desktop-like environment for running web applications built on the OpenLaszlo framework.

lead generation—A monetization model for many sites that send traffic to another site and typically collect a fee when the visitor fills out an inquiry form so a salesperson can follow through and potentially convert the lead into a sale.

lightweight business model—A plan that allows a company to start quickly and with little capital investment. This is facilitated by powerful yet economical computers, the wide availability of inexpensive broadband Internet, robust open source software offerings, and well-developed, easy-to-employ monetization models—especially advertising and affiliate programs.

link baiting—Attracting other sites to link to your site, but without specifically asking for links. Providing quality content is considered the best form of link baiting.

link building—Using various methods to encourage other sites to link to your site. It is widely believed that increasing the number of inbound links to your site will encourage search engines to send you more traffic.

LinkedIn—A social networking site for business professionals. It can be used to stay in touch with professional contacts or make new contacts in your extended network.

LinkShare—A popular affiliate network with over 600 member companies (including American Express, Office Depot and Walmart).

Livejournal—A website where you can create your own blog.

Long Tail—Coined by Chris Anderson in an article in the October 2004 WIRED magazine ( Refers to the continuous sales of numerous items with low sales volume that can add up to a significant part of a company’s total sales. Amazon and Netflix are classic Long Tail companies.

mashup—A combination of two or more existing web services, RSS feeds or other sources of data to create a new application. For example, combines real estate listings from Craigslist with Google Maps so you can view the listings on a map. For a list of popular mashups, see

Mechanical Turk—Amazon’s “artificial artificial intelligence,” which uses people in a web service to perform tasks that are difficult for computers to perform, such as identifying the subject of a picture and transcribing dictation recordings. Users can post a HIT (Human Intelligence Task). Anyone interested in completing the task can submit a response. If the response is approved by the person who posted the HIT, the responder is paid a predetermined fee for each task completed. The key is that the human task is interwoven with the execution of the web service, creating applications that mix computing power with human intelligence accessed worldwide.

MediaWiki—Open source software written originally for Wikipedia and now used by many popular wikis.

Metcalfe’s Law—The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of its users. Metcalfe’s Law was authored by Robert Metcalfe, the creator of Ethernet. (See also network effects.)

microformat—A common standard for identifying information in a way that can be understood by computers. Some current microformats include adr (for address information), hresume (for resumes and CVs), and xfolk (for collections of bookmarks). See for more information.

mobile technology—Devices such as cell phones and PDAs. An increasing number now offer web access, which has opened up new web application possibilities. (See also iPhone.)

moblogging—Blogging from mobile devices.

moderation—Monitoring and censoring inappropriate content and comments in blog or forum postings. The potential need for moderation is a drawback to allowing user-generated content.

monetization—Generating money through your website (e.g., using contextual advertising, affiliate programs, e-commerce and other revenue-generating models).

Moonlight—An open source version of Microsoft’s Silverlight for Linux operating systems.

Movable Type—A blogging software package from the company Six Apart that is installed on the blogger’s server.

Mozilla Foundation—Creates and maintains open source software including the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client.

MySpace—The most popular social networking site, and the most popular site on the Internet.

network effects—The increased value of a network as its number of users grows. For example, as the number of people with Internet connections grows worldwide, the value and benefit to all users of the Internet grows (individuals can communicate with more people, companies can reach more customers, etc.). (See Metcalfe’s Law.)

9Rules—A blog network.

ontology—A way of organizing and relating things. Ontologies are a key technology in the Semantic Web.

open source software—Software that is available for anyone to use and modify with few or no restrictions. Users can modify source code to meet their unique needs, or collaborate with others to enhance the software. Many Web 2.0 companies use open source software to power their sites, and offer open source products and content.

O’Reilly Media—The company that introduced and promoted the term Web 2.0 (coined by company executive Dale Dougherty). O’Reilly Media publishes technology books and websites, and hosts several conferences, including the Web 2.0 Summit, Web 2.0 Expo, OSCON™ (the Open Source Convention), Emerging Technology, Emerging Telephony, Where 2.0, RailsConf, MySQL, Ubuntu Live and more. See the O’Reilly Radar ( to keep up-to-date on emerging technology trends.

outsourcing—A company’s hiring of independent contractors or other companies to perform various tasks. Outsourcing is often cheaper for the company.

performance-based advertising—Advertising that pays based on user actions, such as making a purchase, filling out a registration form, etc. (See also cost-per-action.)

permalink—A URL that links to a specific blog entry instead of the blog’s homepage. Links stay relevant even after the blog entry moves off the home page and into the archive.

perpetual beta—The idea of continually releasing new features even if they aren’t “final.” This allows software companies to constantly fix bugs and improve the software by getting continuous feedback from real users.

Pew Internet & American Life Project—A non-profit Internet research company. The project is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has also initiated other research and cultural projects.

PHPNuke—An open source content-management system and web publishing tool based on PHP and MySQL.

podcast—A media file designed for syndicated distribution online. It can be played on a personal computer or mobile media player (such as an iPod or MP3 player).

Policy Aware Web Project—A site devoted to developing policies regarding Internet data. This is an attempt to deal with Semantic Web security concerns.

premium content—Website content that is available for a fee (e.g., e-books, articles, etc.). It is a way for publishers to monetize their sites. Sites offering premium content typically offer free content as well.

Problogger—A blog about blogging. It teaches bloggers how to monetize their sites with Google AdSense and other programs.

Programmable Web—A website with extensive directories of web services APIs and mashups.

publisher—See “web publisher.”

RDF (Resource Description Framework)—An XML-based language used to describe content attributes such as the page title, author, etc.

RDF triples—Composed of two pieces of information and a linking fact. They are used to help computers understand data, a vital part of the Semantic Web.

reader comment—Feedback left by readers on a blog.

recommender systems—Systems that collect data using collaborative filtering to determine users' tastes and interests as they search the Internet. For example, Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought...”

Red Hat—A popular version of the Linux operating system. The company is a leader in the open source movement.

remixing—Combining existing applications and/or content into something new; this is fundamental to Web 2.0.

reputation systems—Systems used by businesses like eBay and Amazon to encourage trust. For example, after each eBay transaction, the buyer and the seller can each leave positive or negative comments about the other party.

REST (Representational State Transfer)—A simple alternative to SOAP for implementing web services. Many developers prefer REST-based web services to SOAP-based web services for their simplicity, their ability to be cached and more. Amazon offers some REST-based web services. (See also SOAP.)

Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)—Web applications that have the responsiveness and the rich GUI normally associated with desktop applications. Related technologies for building RIAs include Ajax, Dojo, Silverlight, Flex and more.

RSS—An XML-based web-content syndication format. Syndicated RSS feeds are used to publish frequently updated content such as news, blog entries, podcasts, and more. Some RSS feeds include the full text, but most contain only a portion of the document, encouraging the reader to visit the content site.

Ruby on Rails—An open source, web application development scripting language and framework that increases the speed at which you can create typical database-driven web applications.—An SaaS company that specializes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software; a leader in the SaaS movement.

scrobbling—’s music tracking and analysis feature that provides you with recommendations based on the music you listen to through the site or on your iPod. (See also recommender systems.)

search engine marketing (SEM)—Promoting your website to increase traffic and search results. This includes paid search, online advertising and more.

search engine optimization (SEO)—Designing your website to maximize your findability and improve your rankings in organic search engine results.

search engine result page (SERP)—The page shown to a user by a search engine with a listing of web pages matching the search query sorted by relevance.—Danny Sullivan’s search engine news blog.—A search engine marketing resource site. Includes articles, tutorials, conferences and more.

Second Life—A 3D virtual world social networking program developed by Linden Labs. Users create an avatar (their online image and persona) that they use to meet other users with similar interests, conduct business, participate in group activities, take classes and more.

Semantic Web—The “web of meaning.” What some believe will be the next evolution of the web in which web content can be read and understood by software applications.

Silverlight—A Rich Internet Application (RIA) framework developed by Microsoft; competes with Adobe Flash and Flex.

Six Apart—The company responsible for several blogging software applications and websites, including Movable Type, TypePad and Vox.

Skype—The most popular VoIP company. Users can place free calls to other Skype users around the world over their Internet connection. They also offer fee-based services that allow you to call non-Skype phone numbers. Skype was purchased by eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion. Its founders recently launched Joost (an Internet TV site).

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)—A protocol for exchanging XML-based information over a network. SOAP is used as a messaging framework in web services.

social bookmarking—The act of sharing your bookmarks with others through a website such as or Ma.gnolia. Users bookmark their favorites sites, articles, blogs and more, and tag them by keyword.

social media—Any media (e.g., photos, videos, music, etc.) shared online. Social media sites, such as Digg, YouTube and Flickr, often include features for user comments, collaborative filtering and tagging.

social networking—Sites designed to organize users’ existing relationships and help users establish new ones. Popular social networking sites include MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Second Life and more.

SocialText—The first wiki company; provides wiki services to corporations. (See also wiki.)

Software as a Service (SaaS)—Software that runs on a web server. It does not need to be installed on your local computer, and companies can instantly update all users to the latest version., Google, 37Signals and Microsoft all have extensive SaaS offerings.

spam—Junk e-mail messages, blog comments and forum postings.

SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL)—An RDF query language for the Semantic Web.

tag—An author- and/or user-submitted label for web content used to classify it by subject or keyword. For example, a picture of the Statue of Liberty posted on Flickr might be tagged with “newyorkcity,” “statueofliberty,” “usa,” etc. Users can search for content on a site by tags. For examples of tag usage, see Technorati and Flickr.

tag cloud—A weighted list of content tags on a website. A tag cloud is usually in alphabetical order, with the most popular tags often appearing in a larger or bold font. Each tag links to a page where you’ll find all of the content on that site that has been “tagged” (by publishers and/or users) with that term. Tag clouds are used by many Web 2.0 companies, including Technorati, Flickr, and more.

tagging—The act of adding tags to content.

tagscape—The tagging “landscape”; the patterns and trends that are seen in tagging and tag clouds.

TechCrunch—A popular Internet technology blog that focuses on the companies, products, people and events of Web 2.0.

Technorati—A popular blog search engine that uses tagging.

37Signals—The company that developed Ruby on Rails ( Centers/Programming/Ruby/tabid/715/Default.aspx) and many SaaS applications, including Basecamp.

trackback—A method for web content authors to request notification when a website links to their content (articles, blog postings, etc.). It is a great way for authors to track links into their sites, measure the viral effects of their work, find related sites and more.

Twitter—A mobile web service that enables users to message groups of friends at once and automatically receive their friends’ updates on a cell phone or through a chat window.

Ubuntu—A popular distribution of the Linux operating system.

user-generated content—Content that is created by users. User-generated content is central to Web 2.0.

ValueClick—An Internet advertising company.

vlogging—Video blogging.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)—Voice services over the Internet; used to build telephone services. The leading VoIP company is Skype, which offers free phone service among Skype users worldwide.

Vonage—A VoIP company. They provide broadband Internet telephone services that can be used with a standard phone (with adapter).

Web 1.0—The Internet experience previous to Web 2.0, focusing more on static content. Some people called it the “brochure web.”

Web 2.0—A term coined by Dale Dougherty of O’Reilly Media in 2003. It refers to the current state of the web, which has a strong emphasis on user participation and community. Web 2.0 sites include social networking, wikis, blogging, social media, tagging, collaborative filtering, and more.

web as a platform—Instead of viewing the operating system as the application platform and building “Windows-based applications” or “Linux-based applications,” developers now build “web-based applications.”

web of meaning—Another name for the “Semantic Web.”

Web Ontology Language (OWL)—A key Semantic Web technology, used for organizing data.

web publisher—A site that offers content. Advertisers place ads on web publisher sites.

web-scale computing—Refers to the ability to scale memory and processing power according to need, by using web-based processing power and memory, often provided by other companies. Amazon offers web-scale computing through web services such as Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

web service—A service provided online that can be called by another program across the Internet.

Weblogsinc—A blog network.

webtop—A desktoplike environment (such as Laszlo Webtop) for running web applications in a web browser.

wiki—A collaborative, editable document online. The best known example of a wiki is Wikipedia, which has quickly become a leading web resource for virtually any topic.

Wikia—A site offering specialized wiki communities about popular television shows, games, literature, shopping and more.

Wikipedia—A community-generated encyclopedia using wiki technology.

wisdom of crowds—The concept that a large diverse group of individuals that does not necessarily include experts can provide more accurate answers than a small group of specialists working together.

WordPress—Popular blogging software.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)—An organization that develops web standards.

Xanga—A popular personal blogging site that includes community features.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)—A markup language developed in 1996 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that allows you to label data based on its meaning.

XML vocabularies—Customized XML-based markup languages, such as XHTML for web content, CML for chemistry, MathML for mathematical content and formulas, and XBRL for financial data.

Yahoo! Pipes—A mashup tool that enables you to aggregate and manipulate many data sources.

Yahoo! Publisher Network—Yahoo’s contextual advertising program for publishers. This is a fundamental and popular form of monetization, particularly for Web 2.0 startup companies.

Yahoo! Search Marketing—Yahoo!’s advertising program for advertisers.

YouTube—An Internet video sharing site that has created a huge social phenomenon. Users upload and share videos. The company was bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Zepheira—A company that provides Semantic Web knowledge management and enterprise data integration products and services.

Update :: January 22, 2020