Glossary of Blogging and Social Media Terms

This is – and always will be – a work in progress.

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Google’s pay-per-click, context-relevant program available to blog and web publishers as a way to create revenue.

Adwords: The advertiser program that populates the Adsense program. The advertiser pays Google on a per click basis.

Aggregator: A web-based tool or desktop application that collects syndicated content.

AJAX: An acronym (Asynchronous Java Script and XML) representing a way to create real-time Web applications.

Akismet: Comment spam filter popular with WordPress blogs.

Anonoblog: A blog site authored by a person or persons who don’t publish their name.

API: An acronym (Application Programming Interface)
representing a computer system or application allowing for requests to
be made of it by other programs and allows for data to be exchanged.
Think "programmable web"

Archives: Most often an index page, often organizing posts or entries by either category or date.

AstroTurfing: A fake grass roots push to generate buzz or
interest in a product, service, or idea. Often this movement is
motivated by a fee or gift to the writer of a post or comment or may be
written under a phony pseudonym.

Atom: A popular feed format used for syndicating content.

Avatar: A graphical image or likeness that replaces a photo of the author of the content on a blog.


: The administration area on your blog software that allows you to post, check traffic, upload files, manage comments, etc.

Date-Based Archives: The archives of a blog site, organized by time-stamp. Almost every blog will have some form of time-stamp and many archives are listed along the sidebar. Some list in weekly, but most on a month-by-month basis.

Delicious: A social bookmarking site and a property of Yahoo! Allows users to quickly store, organize (by tags) and share favorite web pages. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds of other users and share a page specifically with another user. (Mike’s Delicious page)

Digg: Digg is a place for people to discover, share and recommend  content  from anywhere on the web.

Digital Storytelling: A digital story is a nonfiction narrative, composed on a computer, often for publishing online or publishing to a
DVD.  This can be done with any combination of images, video, narrative, music and text. (h/t – Ourmedia’s Social media glossary)

Domain Name: The identifying name of an internet site. The domain name of my site is ""

Dooced: A term associated with someone getting fired for the content written in a blog post or web site (not for the act of writing, but for what was published). From the popular site, Dooced (by an author who once vented about her company — and got fired because of what was written).


Ecosystem: A community and their environment functioning as a whole. The blogosphere can be viewed as an ecosystem (See It’s the Conversation Economy, Stupid)

Ecto: A stand-alone publishing application, allowing users to compose posts offline.

Edublog: A blog site focused on education, be it teacher, administrator, consultant or student.

EFF: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world

Entry: An individual post or article published on a blog.
Each of these entries, while appearing in an index, are also web pages
unto themselves. (See Blog Posts are Inventory)

Event Blog: A blog specifically launched as a companion to an event (e.g. Blogger Social)

Expression Engine: A robust content management system (CMS) with plenty of features. Not a free tool.

Eye Rest: Using "gifts" in your posting
to give your readers a rest. Includes images, bold text, bullet points,
lists, and hyperlinks.  May go against writing like your teacher taught
you – but does she read your blog?


Feed: The RSS or Atom feeds used by news aggregators (aka feed readers). We have a category dedicated to using Feeds.

FeedBlitz: An RSS service that makes it easy for those addicted to email. Read FeedBlitz in a Nutshell for more.

FeedBurner: FeedBurner
is a Google company/tool allowing web sites, blogs and podcasts to
"burn" content into a simple way for readers to subscribe (incl.
email). I don’t just recommend this tool – it’s a must-have.

Feed Reader: An aggregator of content, subscribed to by the user, so that specific content or search results arrives in their "reader". Among the popular (and free) tools are GreatNews, Feed Demon and Google Reader.

Findability: Refers to being locatable. Though tied closely
with Information Architecture on the Web, particularly within one site,
findability has also become a popular term in creating a findable,
locatable and navigable presence on and across the web and social
networking. Also see

Folksonomy: The collective indexing by use of tags, labels or keywords by the consumers of the content. The tagging system of Flickr of Delicious are examples of this social indexing.


HTML: The acronym for HyperText Markup Language. The coding language used to create and link together documents and files on the World Wide Web. The code is embedded in and around text and multimedia files in order to define layout, font, colors, and graphics.

Haloscan: A free, easy to use commenting, ratings and trackback service for weblogs and websites, allowing visitors to leave instant feedback. Popular on Blogger sites.

Hat Tip: A hat tip is a public acknowledgment to someone (or a website) for bringing something to the blogger’s attention. Also known as H/T (H/T for this definition: Blogossary)

Hits: A measurement used in Web analytics, a "hit" is often defined as any request for a file from a Web server. In one web page, there could be several files embedded in it. If on one page you have four images, two JavaScript items and you use an auxiliary CSS file — you’d have eight hits on one page.

Hyperlink: A navigational reference to another document or page on the World Wide Web.


Mashup: Most often a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single tool. Not necessarily restricted to online applications ("Hey – you’ve got Peanut Butter on my Chocolate!")

Meme: Keeping things simple, here’s a partial definition from "The Daily Meme": In the context of web logs / ‘blogs / blogging and other kinds of
personal web sites it’s some kind of list of questions that you saw
somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone
else sees them and does them and so on and so on.

MicroBlogging: A form of blogging allowing users to compose brief text updates and publish them. These messages can be submitted and received by a variety of means and devices, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, mobile device, MP3 or the web. Think Twitter

Moblogs: A blog published directly to the web from a phone or other mobile device.

Movable Type: Movable Type is a publishing platform a served web publishing platform (it sits on your server) created by SixApart, the same folks who operate Typepad (a hosted web publishing platform — hosted on their server).

MyBlogLog: A Yahoo-owned community and social networking site that tracks traffic and visits to member sites. One of the better community-building applications available. Also read: Faces on a Blog…


Navigation (Nav)
: A menu of links or buttons allowing users
to move from one web page to another within a site. Top navigation is
what I use on this site. You will often see links as a footer on a
site. That would be bottom nav or footer nav.

NetNewsWire: A free RSS news aggregator for the MAC

News Aggregator: A web-based tool or desktop application that collects syndicated content

NewsGator: An RSS company that provides us with FeedDemon, NetNewsWire,  its own web-based feed reader and powers the feeds in Microsoft Outlook.

Newsvine: An open source, community news service, which lets members customize the news viewed by "seeding" articles or posting for others to view and rate.

Ninnyhammer: An idiot. It’s also a term of endearment (my wife’s nickname for me).

NoFollow: An HTML attribute instructing search engines to not
allow a hyperlink to a web page to be influenced in ranking by that
link. Originally implemented to combat certain types of search-engine
spam. There is a movement to NOT use the No-Follow on blogs, especially
the comments area (See How to Remove No-Follow in Typepad Comments).


SEO: Acronym for Search Engine Optimization A good beginner’s guide to SEO can be found at SEOmoz.

Sidebar:A column (or multiple columns) along either or both sides of a blog site’s main content area. The sidebar is often includes contact information of the author, the blog’s purpose and categories, links to archives, honors and other widgets the author includes on the site.

SMO: Acronym for Social Media Optimization, a term coined by Rohit Bhargava

Spambot – automatic software robots that post spam on a blog (h/t Barbara Ling)

SOB: A badge of honor in the spirit of community and knowledge sharing. Created by Liz Strauss at Successful (and Outstanding) Blog(gers). A complete directory of SOBs.

Social Bookmarks: A method for Internet users to store, search, organize, and most importantly – share web pages. Two favorites are Delicious and StumbleUpon. For a great video on how social bookmarking works, check out CommonCraft’s Social Bookmarking in Plain English.

Social Media: The tool set (including blogs) which everyone can use to publish content to the web. This can include audio, video, photos, text, files…just about anything. And these days, everyone is a content producer.

Splog: Nickname for Spam Blogs, or blogs not providing their own or real content. Sploggers use automated tools to create fake blogs full of links or scraped content from other sites in order to boost search engine results.

Style or Style sheet – CSS that determines the look/feel of a site. (h/t Barbara Ling)

Syndication – Allows your blog content to be distributed online. (h/t Barbara Ling)

If you’ve suggestions, additions or modifications, add ’em in a comment. Together we’re smarter.

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  1. says

    Thank you for this very much needed explanation of terms. I am constantly trying to remind our 1500 or so SMO consultants to drop the techno babble. Do you mind if i post this in my private network?
    PS- If you would like to join I will personally accept you. We are a small but active group focused on Social Media.
    To Your Success,
    Chris Patterson

  2. says

    Great list!
    What about widgets:
    A web WIDGET is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user.
    Bryan Coe

  3. says

    Great list. I’m using it in my Social Media Basics Workshop tomorrow — with credit to you and Converstations of course!

  4. ann says

    Great resource Mike, and I enjoy your newsletter.
    may I share it as a printout, I often do seminars?
    I will use your name and contact as the source?