Glossary - Information Technology
Back End (Websites) - The process of maintaining proper control over the amount of time spent on activities and tasks, whether in the workplace or an individual’s private life. Typically a successful Time Management system will involve analysing key tasks, setting priorities, allocating specific times to specific jobs, delegating, organising, and scheduling activities in a logical manner. Time Management is particularly important in organisations where meeting deadlines is critical.
Barcode - The small image of lines and spaces attached to items in retail stores, warehouses, important documents etc as a way to identify and track them. The code uses a unique sequence of verticals lines (bars) and spaces to represent numbers and symbols which are recognised and interpreted by the laser beam in the bar code reader. This is then translated into digital data and transferred to a computer for immediate action or storage. Countries which are members of the International Article Numbering Association each have their own organisation that issues globally-unique bar code numbers. In South Africa, this organisation is called GS1 (www.gs1.za.org)
Blog - Derived from the term ‘web log’, a blog is a website or part of a website usually maintained and/or edited by an individual (called a ‘blogger’) who will post entries on a regular basis. These will typically reflect personal opinions and experiences on a wide variety of serious, informal or frivolous topics. Many blogs are syndicated to subscribers using RSS (‘real simple syndication’), which is a common content distribution tool.
Domain Names System (DNS) - it is a global system which allows internet domain names and addresses to be tracked and regulated. Rather than having to use long and complicated Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to identify and access websites or email addresses, users can simply type in an appropriate or easy-to-remember name in plain language. For example, it is far easier to type www.muntstuk.com into your browser than a long set of numbers which is almost impossible to remember. Under DNS, an internet address has four elements: a server prefix; a domain name; a domain suffix/extension; and a country code.
E-Commerce (E-Business) - it is the practice of buying, selling and other commercial activities undertaken through the internet. This includes ‘E-Tailing’ (electronic retailing) activities via the likes of eBay, Amazon, Kalahari.net, etc and online grocery buying through supermarkets such as Woolworths, Checkers or Pick n Pay. E-Commerce can also include business-to-business commercial activities, data exchange, electronic newsletters, and the gathering of demographic and market research information by electronic means.
Front End (Websites) - That part of a website that the user sees and interacts with on screen in order to be entertained, informed or to purchase products or services. It is the public face of the site and includes elements such as the visual layout, quality of content, ease of use and speed of response. It is the opposite of the Back End (see listing under ‘B’), which includes search engine and database management, user authentication and site security.
New Visitor - A term used in web analytics to describe a person who has not made any previous visits to a particular website. The hope is that the person will be converted into a Repeat Visitor.
Page Views - A term used in web analytics to describe each time that an online user visits a web page. The more page views that a website can log, the better it is for the site. However, one Page View does not necessarily equate to one visitor, seeing as a single user can view a great many pages during a single visit. A Page View should not be confused with a Hit or a Page Impression
Podcasting - A pre-recorded audio programme which is posted on a website so that others can download it and listen to the content, which may contain useful information or have entertainment value. Depending on the content and circumstances, it may be available free of charge, or as paid-for content. ‘Podcasting’ takes its name from the Apple iPod range.
Return Visitor - A term used in web analytics to describe a person who has made a previous visit to a particular website. The hope is that all people landing on the site will ultimately be converted from a New Visitor into a Return Visitor. Usually a website measures Return Visitors by a specific timeframe. If the timeframe is one month, for example, a Return Visitor will be anyone visiting the site more than once in a month.
Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) - This is the process of optimising the visibility of a website on search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) so that the site ranks more highly during the ‘search’ process carried out by web users. SEO involves carefully selecting and placing those Key Terms which most succinctly describe the important content of the site – and which are most likely to be used by web surfers during the ‘search’ process.
Social Media (Social Networking) - It is the various online technological tools which allow people to communicate with each other via the internet for purposes of social interaction, business interaction and the sharing of information. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram are all examples of Social Media, which is experiencing an explosion in popularity worldwide and is on its way to becoming the dominant form of social communication
Top-Level Domain - The term for domains which are at the highest level of the Internet Domain Name System. These will typically either reflect countries (e.g. “za” for South Africa or “uk” for the United Kingdom”) or be generic Top Level Domains (e.g.".com"; “gov”; “edu”; “org”; “net”). Lower-level domain names (such as company website name) will always carry a label at the end which reflects the Top Level Domain. Management of Top Level Domains is usually delegated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).