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March 31, 2009

Insights Part 1--
Understanding Social Networking

Top social networking sites and buzzwords every online business should know

If you are doing business online in today’s competitive climate you need to be “in the know” when it comes to the latest technology. From hardware and networking to executing transactions in cyberspace, the following glossary of terms, courtesy of O'Reilly Media, will help you develop the vocabulary to make smart technology decisions and purchases, communicate more effectively with IT staff and better serve your clients.

Here are the first ten terms that we at Click! Weekly think you should know:

A web application or program that retrieves news (syndication) feeds from other sources and combines them, potentially sorting them by date, title, author or topic

Blog (Short for Weblog)
An article published via either a content management system or through an application to a specialized Web server to appear on the Internet. Blogs cover myriad topics, from political commentary to technical discussions to personal journals and even weather reports. The term blog also refers to a collection of such articles available from a given "blog site."

The collection of all of the blogs currently published on the Web, along with the infrastructure that publishes them. According to Blogscope, there are currently 30 million blogs with 140 million posts on the Web, as of October 2008.

Buddy list
A collection of friends and contacts names and web links that is usually stored on a central database on the web. While initially developed for instant messaging services, buddy lists have become an integral feature of most social networking services.

An open-source community management system, built around the use of news (syndication) feeds and user-based code that is becoming one of the most popular tools for creating community and social networking sites. Drupal modules provide extensive additional functionality that makes it possible to use Drupal for everything from political sites to newspaper front-ends to airline reservation systems.

The largest photography social networking site on in the Internet, Flickr has more than 2 billion photographs online, with 3 million to 5 million new photographs added daily. Vancouver-based Ludicorp started the service in 2004, and Yahoo! acquired it in 2005.

Instant Messaging
Any system that allows instantaneous person-to-person conversations over a network, and has its root in 1960s early Unix chat systems. While most instant-messaging systems have, in the past, been formed across proprietary networks, many IM conversations today take place using the open XMMP/Jabber protocol and can take place between different commercial networks.

An open-source instant messaging application, using the open XMMP protocol to allow communication between two or mare participants. The Jabber commercial organization was recently acquired by Cisco Systems.

One of the first business-oriented social networking companies, founded in 2002 and currently supporting more than 24 million registered users across 150 industries. LinkedIn takes advantage of the "six degrees of separation" concept first proposed by Stanley Milgram in the 1960s, such that any given user is at most just six personal connections away from any other business person.

Long Tail
The idea that states that the Internet makes it possible to capitalize upon smaller micro-markets that nonetheless, in the aggregate, make up a considerably larger market.

Be sure to watch next week’s issue of Click! Weekly for more social networking terms you really should know.

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