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The Internet - Glossary


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Many people new to the Internet, particularly companies or individuals wishing to use the net to advertise commercial products, often have little or no knowledge of computers or Internet and the specialist terms used. Half the battle of learning a subject, no matter how complicated, is acquiring the vocabulary. To assist clients Bearpit compiled a glossary of some terms and working vocabulary used on the Internet, some of these are specific to Bearpit, where I am Webmistress.

Much of the commercial use of the Internet will be for publicity I included some current terms for advertising and editorial, by using terms companies and their advertising buyers are already familiar with it helps to make the Internet a little less like a strange planet and easier to sell as a market place.

This is not a complete bible of Internet terms and is not intended to be a reference book for those with computer degrees longer than my arm (if anyone finds errors I would be grateful for their input) - it is meant to be an introduction in fairly standard English to help people find their way around what can be a baffling environment. I have deliberately avoided some of the more technical terms and omitted some specific to the higher end browser and computer. When companies use the Internet to sell their products their aim, surely, is to reach as many as possible as quickly as possible. Technical marvels like moving gifs, music, video or anything not supported by a large number of computers or browsers used to view the Internet, to my mind, defeat the object of the exercise.

Those terms marked '*' I devised for use by Bearpit. When we started selling on the Internet about 18 months ago there were few standards. To companies or their executives, with little or no conception of the Internet, techno jargon was a big turn off, it was easier to explain in terms they were familiar with from newspaper or magazine advertising, this meant for terms specific to the Internet such as Links and Pages it was necessary to make a definition.

Unlike other media where there are set deadlines, many Internet publications will update on an 'as and when' basis, sometimes daily sometimes monthly or less frequently - it seemed essential to have a term, such as 'Time Block' which could be used for individual advertisers to define the limit of time they purchased from the hour of uploading. I have noticed recently others are now using the 'Time Block' definition, being exactly four weeks it is easy to define and cost e.g. 1/28 Time Block = 1 day - 24 hour period; 1/4 = 1 week; 1/2 = 2 weeks.

This is not a definitive list and I will probably add to it on an 'as and when' basis. If anyone thinks there is a term which should be here but isn't - feel free to make a note on my guestbook or e-mail me and I will add it in when I next update.
Member, Association of Internet Professional
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AIP - Association of Internet Professionals (formerly - IDA-ISIP - Internet Developers Association/international Society of Internet Professionals). The professional body for Internet providers, designers, etc. AIP is in the process of setting up committees or groups to discuss items such as standards, qualifications, training, etc.

Advertorial - Editorials written to promote a company, its services or products.

Authoring - writing in html language
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bit - basic binary unit for storing and transferring data.

Bromide - camera ready copy for plate making by printers, not so effective for scanning into computer, good quality colour or black and white is better, unless a 'grainy' quality is particularly desired.

bps - speed of data transmission of 'bits' used as a measure of modem speeds

Browser - software programme to facilitate browsing or surfing

Browsing - moving from site to site, also known as 'surfing'

byte - binary digit eight - one byte equals 8 bits and can store one character of data
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Camera ready copy - copy used for scanning or printing without further preparation

Connect Time - length of time you are on line to the Internet - this is reflected in your telephone bill. A good reason to avoid those techno marvels such as moving gifs, video, music - they take a heck of a long time to load down and can infuriate a potential customer - remember they pay the telephone bill to view your masterpieces.

Cookie - means of retrieving information from a distant computer - read my article

Copy - words and/or logos/drawings/photographs from which advertisement / editorial is compiled.

Counters - means of checking the number of visitors your page gets. Available free from many sites on the net, some of these programmes also let you check the platform (computer) and browser visitors use. This knowledge might help you in deciding whether or not to include all those black backgrounds and other techno marvels.
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Decryption - decoding data encrypted (often for security purposes) to its original.

DNS - Domain Name Service. Programme translates domain name of a computer connected to the Internet into an IP address.

Domain Name - registered site name used as part of the address for an organization on the Internet.

Downloading - taking documents or programmes from the Internet on to a computer or printing out in hard copy.
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e-mail - electronic mail, most used aspect of the Internet. On signing with an ISP you receive an e-mail address, there are also e-mail services available which enable you to download your e-mail from any computer. E-mail can be sent round the world in minutes via modem from your computer to your ISP usually from a local call POP and a lot cheaper than fax. E-mail has not been tested for legal binding of contracts in court in the UK or US.

Encryption - means of encoding data to prevent unauthorized access (e.g. e-mail or credit card information). US government wish to proscribe software companies from selling most effective encryption programmes outside of US or Canada. If you are setting up a secure environment for transmission of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, check the small print on your programme to make sure it is really secure with no 'back doors' which allow entry by people you have not authorized.
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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions. Many sites have a FAQ section enabling the novice to learn the answers to questions they might be too nervous to ask.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol - way of uploading/downloading files to/from the Internet.
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gif - format for saving images to be transferred to the Internet
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Home Page - first page of a site, a one page site, or a company/personal page within a multi paged site.

html - hyper text mark up language, language used for authoring on the Internet. Best described as 'Esperanto' for computers, enabling computers of all types to connect via the Internet

http - hyper text transfer protocol - 'computerspeak' for a system of transfer of data between computers.
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Internet - computer based communication via telephone lines, allowing subscribers to tap into the largest data base in the world.

Intranet - Internal use of Internet within a company, saves shoe leather, legs, coffee or ciggy breaks, staff chat time.

image.gif - format for saving an image used for the Internet

IP - 32 bit binary number identifying the position of a computer on the Internet - similar to the URL. The URL is usually easier to remember as it is alpha based rather than numerical.

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network, a voice and data telephone network more reliable than the analogue system, though considerably more expensive in the UK.

ISP - Internet Service Provider. An ISP will get you on line once you have a modem, telephone and computer set up with the appropriate software. ISP's will often provide software.
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JPEG - Another format for saving images for uploading to the Internet
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KISS - not an Internet term, but should be - 'Keep It Simple Stupid' - motto taught me by my first editor, back when I was a cub reporter, applicable to almost everything in life - from explanations to the boss as to why you're late to designs for ads. A simple design that gets over the client's message quickly and easily is preferable to one that shows off your skills as a designer but loses the message along the way.

Keywords - a selection of words used with META tags or placed on Search Engines to make it easy for people to find your site - don't try and be clever and include everything including the kitchen sink - if the words have nothing to do with the page or site you are registering with the Search Engine you might find they will not accept your entry or will delete it.
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Line drawing - simple illustration no photographic content

Links - means of turning pages or 'travelling' from a) one part of a page to another part of same page (internal links), b) from one part of a site to another part on same site (on site links), c) from one site to another site (off site links).*

Logo - style of type or design used as 'trade mark' by a company
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META Tag - tags placed at the top of the page giving title, keywords and short description of content in html, to be read by Search Engine spiders or robots, makes your page easier to search.

Modem - Modulator/Demodulator, lets your computer 'talk' over the telephone

Monitor - screen attached to computers
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Page - An Internet page is text and images saved at one URL address, this can print out as several A4 pages but as it has only one URL is referred to as 'a page'*

POP - Point of Presence. Connections to your ISP through which you connect to the Internet. A good reason for choosing an ISP with a POP near you is it reduces connection costs.

pop - Post Office Protocol, method of e-mail transfer.

Proofs - Rough prints of a final advertisement or advertorial, Bearpit provide black & white proofs only. Many web authoring software programmes produce very rough proofs.
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Read - Reading the manuals helps avoid making simple errors such as scanning images for the Internet at the high resolution you need for print production you get good screen production at much lower resolutions. Check on Search Engines under 'Internet' there are loads of helpful articles and programmes to make life easier - for you, your clients and visitors to your site.
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Search Engines - programmes enabling Internet subscribers to find specific sites or subjects on the net, rather like Trades Directory.

Server - Your service facilitator for your Internet connection also known as ISP.

Scanning - importing images into computers, rather like photocopying, but image is recorded on computer rather than paper

Site - Pages which company's, publications or individuals place on the Internet.

Spam/Spamming - Mass insolicited e-mailing by companies or individuals wanting to sell their services, sites or products. Report to your server if this happens frequently from the same sender, there are means of blocking. Spamming is also a term for mass registration of a site or page with Search Engines - not looked on with favour by them and you risk having ALL your pages deleted if you do it. If your page doesn't show up through a search try checking your META tags and the keywords you use when registering.

Surfing - the same as browsing
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Time Block - a description used by Bearpit to define the time span in which advertisements or advertorials are sold. 1 time block = 4 weeks; 13 time blocks = 52 weeks.*


Uploading - sending work from the publisher's computers to the Internet to be available worldwide

URL - Uniform Resource Locator - The address of a company's site or page, Bearpit's Site URL is:, each 'page' within a site has a separate URL. E.g. Bearpit's classified directory is at URL:
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WWW - World Wide Web


468 - the optimum maximum width, in pixels, for advertisements or pages on the Internet as agreed by the IAB and CASIE. As a rough guide don't make designs wider than an A4 sheet of paper. It hacks people off when they have to keep scrolling sideways as well as up and down - result your page probably doesn't get visited more than once.
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