What is…? A handy guide for the new media novice

As a new media newbie, it can be a bit daunting to be thrust into a world of acronyms and technical jargon. 10,000 Words is easing the transition by providing the definition for many common terms and concepts as they relate to journalism and new media.

The following set of definitions is available for download and distribution via PDF and the embedded document below.

What is…? A handy guide for the new media novice

application programming interface; a set of standards for accessing an online software application or tool. APIs are freely available to programmers who can expand the services of an existing online program

the use of social networks by beat reporters to connect with knowledgeable experts in their field in order to augment and improve their reporting

See BeatBlogging.Org

(n) an online journal where entries are written and displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs can include photos, videos and links; (v) to write in the aforementioned style

See Blogs in Plain English

the collective online community of bloggers and their blogs

citizen journalist
a person without professional journalism training who disseminates news and information, often using the internet as a means to do so

content management system (CMS)
computer software or online tool used to create, publish, edit and manage the content of a website in a consistent manner

More new media terms after the jump

the various remarks posted to a website, usually on a blog or individual article

the use of online tools to gather information from a large group of readers for use in a news story

Cascading Style Sheets; a computer programming language that controls how a website’s elements — such as fonts and colors — are styled

See W3Schools CSS Tutorial

a collection of records or data stored on one or more computers. In online journalism, databases are used to synthesize large amounts of information and present it in an indexed or searchable way

digital footprint
evidence of a computer user’s online activity. This can include information posted to social networks or blogs

professional HTML editing software used to create web pages and elements

animation/multimedia creation software often used by journalists to create interactive graphics

the process of adding location-specific information to various media such as photos or video. The data often includes place names or latitude and longitude coordinates

HyperText Markup Language; Programming language that is the foundation of most websites

See W3Schools HTML Tutorial

a form of journalism that focuses on small areas or community-based stories

a blog or blog post updated with commentary or coverage of a live event as it happens; also livecast

See Liveblogging gets the word out

web application that combines information from one or more sources and presents it in a new way

an online journal comprised mainly of photos, often with very little text or commentary

See 30 Amazing photoblogs (and a few tips for creating one)

(n) professional image manipulation and graphics creation software; (v) to use said program to alter a digital image

See 21 Free online photo editing tools

an audio or video recording distributed over the internet for playback on a computer or personal audio player; also the act of creating or distributing said recording

See Podcasting in Plain English

A format for distributing news and other regularly updated content. RSS “feeds” notify subscribers when new content becomes available on a particular site

See What Is RSS?

search engine optimization (SEO)
the improvement of a website to increase its rank in search engines, thus making visitors more likely to find the site